Posts Tagged ‘ody image’

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Now if you’ve been reading my blog or you happen to know me, or both, you might guess that I am rarely caught without my makeup on. We all know people like this… I just happen to be one of them, and I’m admitting it out loud to myself in concerted effort to try to change that, at least a little bit. My sister-in-law always comments on how put together I look, and how she sometimes wishes she would put more effort into her appearance like that. (She also happens to be one of the most stunning women I know, makeup or no makeup, so of course I tell her she’s crazy). Well let me tell you, and her, and the rest of the world that its absolute ridiculousness and its totally exhausting.

I’m not sure when it started exactly,but I can remember at a very early age sneaking my mom’s mascara with me to the rink on Saturday nights (ha ha can you tell I’m a small town Canadian girl?) because I wasn’t allowed to wear it when I left the house. I became very aware at a very early age that an attractive physical image equals positive attention, and positive attention eventually morphed into becoming one of my main sources of self-esteem, and here I am now, 32, afraid to be seen without my spackle on.

Let me give you a clear picture of exactly the kind of insanity we’re dealing with here. I don’t go to the 7-11, the grocery store, or even the Post Office without make-up on. I try to avoid swimming for fear of washing all of that hard work off my face. (I mean its bad enough being in a suit already, at least I could try to maintain a little bit of illusion!) I don’t wash my makeup off before I go to bed (GASP!) but that’s mainly just because I’m too lazy. Unfortunately, because of this, my boyfriend never saw me without it until about 6 months after he moved in with me! Crazy, right! Well not as crazy as what he said to me when he saw me without it. I came out of the shower and as I walked through the kitchen he stopped to give me a kiss, then looked at me, and said, “You look weird without makeup.” Uh, WTF?!?! Don’t most people say their boyfriends tell them they look beautiful, Au Natural? Well not mine! In his defense, at least I know he understands me. One morning, I hadn’t showered and “gotten my face on” yet and he offered to go to the grocery store for me. Why? Because he knows I wouldn’t be caught dead going out in public looking like roadkill, that’s why. Now that’s real love! But possibly the worst example I have is being in labour with my first child, and taking the time to shower, blow-dry my hair, and put on a full face of makeup before I would allow myself to be driven to the hospital. Yep, I’m totally batshit crazy. I learned in a hurry that when you’re doubled over the birthing bed, howling in pain with your bare ass hanging out for the world to see, a little smudged mascara and a bad hair day are the least of your worries.

As sad and embarrassing as it is to admit, my kids have also gotten accustomed to my behaviour. They know it’s just a given that mommy showers, puts on her makeup, and blowdries her hair before we leave the house. Period. Unless the house is on fire. Then I’ll skip the blow dry. When my son was four, he came into my room when I was getting ready and asked, “Mommy, as soon as you’re done painting on your mask, can we go to Grandpa’s?”. I laughed, of course, but cried a little on the inside. Because that’s what it is, really. It’s a mask. It’s not the real me. And I’ve begun to ask myself, Why is the real me not good enough?

OK now that is deep on so many levels that I won’t go into here. But it brings me to the big question. Why do we, as women, put so much pressure on ourselves to “look good” all the time? Why are all the ads in all the magazines photoshopped to look completely flawless, when by nature we are beautifully flawed? Why is the cosmetic industry a multi-billion dollar industry? Why does almost every cast member of “Real Housewives” look like a walking ad for plastic surgery? Why are 6 year olds in Pageants getting spray tans? It’s overwhelming, it’s shocking, and it’s scary. But for millions of women, it’s reality! I would love to wake up in the morning, splash some cold water on my face, and go to the store without fearing that the clerk ringing up my items might think I have the Swine Flu, but something ingrained in me early on has prevented this from being possible. I want to change that, and I want to avoid passing that on to my daughter. I want to jump in the lake and not worry about ruining my makeup! In my quest to build my character and grow as an adult in this world, I am challenging myself to go beyond the parameters of the comfort zone I have created for myself. I know I’m not going to give up makeup cold turkey, but I am going to try not to be such a freak about it. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

Men wake up in the morning and their only concern is to get a cup of coffee and take a nice satisfying dump. Kids wake up in the morning and their only concern is how many marshmallows they’re going to get in their Lucky Charms. But not women. Women worry about their masks. Is it on? Is it good enough? Can anyone see through it? And the worst part is, many of us are wearing these masks for fear of what our fellow females might think! So I pose some food for thought to you here:

What kind of mask are you wearing? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you took it off?

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