I’m Not Beautiful. And That’s Fine by Me.
Two weeks ago, I got my hair trimmed, layered in the front, and blow-dried in such a way that it actually looked pretty good. I know it must have looked all right, because my grandmother, with whom I was dining that night, said, “Oh, my! Don’t you look beautiful!”
I tried unsuccessfully to brush wispy bangs out of my eye and replied with a grimace, “Take it in while you can, Grandma, because this is the last time it’s going to look this good until the next time I have to get it trimmed.”
Still, the next time I saw her, she exclaimed in disappointment, “What happened to your bangs? They looked so nice!”
I shrugged. “I went with the wash-and-wait-for-Denver’s-dry-climate-to-air-dry-it look, Grandma. And besides, they were getting in my eyes. I like ‘em a lot better pulled back with the rest of this mop.”
Alas for my grandmother, who would really love to see me try a “fun” and “sassy” hairstyle with some highlights, I’ve never considered salon days and their results to be particularly therapeutic. Make it look healthy, make sure it’s cut in such a way that I don’t have to cut into sleeping hours with a hair dryer and round brush in the morning, and make sure it won’t look too awful after a day under a ski helmet, and I’ll happily be on my way.
The same goes for “retail therapy.” Shopping for clothes or, worse still, shoes is a sure way to induce a mental breakdown in me. The only way I finally convinced myself to replace my holed-out jeans was to get my dad to agree to go to the mall with me when he was last in town. As he put it, “Well, maybe we can shore up and be each other’s moral support through the shopping trip.” The fact that he didn’t seem to mind buying my new jeans helped lessen my pain.
I also don’t wear silken undergarments, wear makeup except for a bit of mascara on days I’m meeting with writing clients, shuck my eight-inch-thick glasses for contacts when I’m not wearing ski goggles, or shave anywhere. Forget waxing. As far as I’m concerned, there’s a reason why the gunk gets plucked off candleholders and discarded.
Maybe there is some truth to Helena Rubinstein‘s saying, “There are no ugly women, only lazy ones.” With minimal effort–putting on some of that mascara, wearing those contacts, putting on a dress–I can have a queue of guys waiting to hit on me at a bar or club and an equally long queue of women sneering at me, calling me various assorted epithets under their breath.
But perhaps one of the nicest things about reaching the ripe ol’ age of 27 is that I have exactly zero fucks to give what people think about my appearance. I have enough social awareness to know that it’s a good idea to shower at least once a day and probably not wear my jeans with the giant holes in the crotch (or at least cross my legs in a manner befitting a lady if I do run out of other pants to wear), but as long as I’m not violating nudity laws or dressing in a manner totally out of sync with Colorado’s admittedly bipolar weather, I’m not particularly interested in what other people on the sidewalk think. As long as I can walk down the street without my toes declaring civil war on each other in a tight but “cute” pair of shoes and without feeling Saran-wrapped into skintight clothing, I’m content.
In fact, I’m inclined to think it’s nicer not to attract too much attention. Honestly, the only area where I want to be noticed and commented on is on the slopes. Hearing, “Those turns look beautiful!” or “You look great out there!” in regards to skiing the bumps makes my day. Skiing moguls, after all, is a skill I have spent years refining, and since it’s one that not everyone can master, hearing affirmation that my time has paid off makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But beauty is so subjective and, with enough money, so easy to achieve that I don’t particularly care to be complimented on my appearance. Some guy tells me, “You look great in that dress”? I’m probably going to dismiss him as a horny creeper, even if he meant the comment sincerely. The same guy catches up to me on the slopes and says, “You were poetry in motion on that double-black diamond run”? I might chuckle at his cheesiness, but he’s got a better chance of getting me to have a drink with him during apres-ski specials.
None of which is in any way reassuring to my grandmother, I am sure. Especially if I go with the plan I cook up every time I go into my hairstylist’s and finally show up for our weekly dinner with a one-inch buzz cut and blue streaks in my hair and an exclamation of, “But Grandma, you said I should get highlights!”
From → Uncategorized