I got my hair cut Monday. I had to sit and wait so I picked up a magazine and started flipping through it. It was one of those women’s magazines that I never read. I can’t remember the name of it. It was one of the fashion oriented ones. I came across an article about a woman who did not start wearing makeup until her 50th birthday. Her story was similar to mine. Her mother didn’t wear makeup and she had no sisters so she never had the chance to play with it growing up, but unlike me, she apparently hadn’t ever experimented with it at all. But on her 50th birthday her niece sat her down and started applying makeup. She liked the result, started wearing makeup all the time, it changed her life, and yadda yadda yadda.
To be honest, that woman’s happy ending made me feel a little betrayed. As I mentioned a while back I rarely wear makeup. Not wearing makeup has always made me feel a little weird* and left out but rather than wanting to wear it to fit in I wish there were more women like me – straight, feminine women who don’t wear makeup. So here was a woman who was like me but then on her 50th birthday she joined the other side. That’s what it felt like to me. (*That’s something that annoys me about myself. I consider “weird” to be a good thing and something to aspire to and yet I don’t really have the courage to be weird or eccentric.)
As far as the haircut is concerned it was a momentous day. For the first time in over 15 years I got it cut exactly like I wanted. It’s really just a small difference from the way they usually cut it but it makes a big difference to me. For once I left the hairstylist happy, not annoyed and disappointed.
I have this new blouse I wanted to show off – my last summer sewing project this year. It’s a fitted style, which I sort of shy away from. For years I have felt that I needed to wear long loose tops to conceal the distressing fact that my top half is a size 14 and my bottom half is a size 16, but I occasionally do wear something more fitted and I found this cute pattern that I wanted to try so, overcoming considerable fear of disappointment, and fear that I was wasting a piece of fabric that I like a lot, I made it and when I tried it on and looked in the mirror I was surprised that it looks really nice. And I’ve been thinking that maybe trying to hide my shape under shapeless clothes isn’t the best strategy.
So instead of nagging someone to take a picture of me I decided to just try the self-timer, knowing that it would be be a terrible picture of me but at least I could show off the blouse (and my new haircut) and everyone knows self-timer pictures are terrible so it would be okay. It was worse than I expected. I looked hideous – really, really hideous. A couple of mistakes: I took it indoors and flash pictures are not flattering. Also I should have zoomed in because a camera’s wide angle setting will always make you look fatter.
But the thing I really noticed most, and maybe this was just because I had read that article the day before, was my face – a pale, uneven, pinkish blob with no eyelashes. Yeah, I’m over fifty, I’ve never been pretty and I’m certainly not now, but the face that looks back at me from the mirror is really, honestly not that bad. And after I had looked at the pictures and deleted them I went and looked at myself in the mirror again and still thought I didn’t look all that bad and I thought, “Why can’t I get that image in a photo?”
The experience got me to thinking about makeup again and I really didn’t want to think about it. Maybe I should be a makeup convert. But I really hate the stuff. Maybe just a little eye makeup. But I hate mascara worst of all. Once I found a very lightweight kind of mascara. (for those “special occasions” when I wear a little makeup) It wasn’t even called mascara, it was “lash darkener”. It was tolerable but I can’t find it anymore.
So anyway… maybe I’ll get a picture taken of me modeling the blouse, maybe not. I had a number of other garments I wanted to show off but never did, for the same reason. And the makeup thing? It’ll pass, I’m sure. I don’t like to take the time and I’m never happy with the result. In makeup I always look either “not different enough to bother” or “like a clown.” I don’t have a serious problem with the face in the mirror so why mess with it?