Sunday, September 16, 2012

Made Up

It's easy to laugh at a girl wearing too much makeup, and poke fun at her appearance. We call her foolish, misguided and compare her with circus freaks and drag queens. Who among us women, though, hasn't tried to cover up or dramatically embellish how she looks? For most of us, this cosmetic confusion comes in high school where we try out bad perms, white eyeliner and over-tweezed eyebrows. It's a funny phase to look back on, and makes us cringe when we look at old pictures.
I am thankful to have grown up with good genes, and a solid set of beliefs about self-worth. My family, friends and husband have always made me feel beautiful on the outside, (but not as much as they made me feel beautiful on the inside). I never felt much need to cover up my face with heavy makeup. Call me lazy, but it's a lot of work to keep up appearances and I have more valuable things to do. I have my beauty secrets and I take care of my skin. I don't make a habit of leaving the house without a lick of makeup, but neither do I fear it.
We live in a world where we are taught to put our best face forward, to make a good first impression, to look our best. It's a lot to live up to. I'll admit to being prematurely thankful for our move to the Yukon from Ottawa, because among the promise of adventure, I had hoped it would mean I could live somewhere things were a little more laid back. Where I wouldn't have to worry that my appearance would be judged. That perhaps my looks would be second-fiddle to my work and ability to rough it in the North.
Living in the North, becoming a wife and seeing myself through my daughters' bright blue eyes has given me a real sense of confidence. My experiences have given me great pride in myself and my character, but tonight I am reflecting on how I look.  And I am happy. Grateful. I have not been disfigured by scars or other accidents. I have not been emotionally traumatized and left with a skewed self-perception. I have been taught to wear makeup that enhances the beauty my mama gave me, and how to take care of my skin so that I may age gracefully and with pride. This is all I can ask for, and certainly what I hope to pass on to my girls.
When I walk past a young lady downtown wearing too much makeup, I don't scorn her or laugh. I instead hope she'll soon see herself for the beautiful lady she is, because of course she is beautiful. (We all are.)

No makeup! Getting ready for my good friend's wedding last fall.

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