Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Sense of Self

Okay, I think I'm sort of plain looking. I don't wear make-up except for lipstick. I wear glasses. When I color my hair to hide the gray I usually color it a color near my own and I usually do it myself. I don't wear acrylic nails and I don't do much with my fingernails other than keep 'em clean and clipped short. (Though I totally LOVE having pedicures). I'm pale and don't go to the tanning bed because I just usually burn and peel and start the process all over again. I'm over weight. I'm just rather plain, I think.

Now, I have a teacher friend who is also overweight; she's a little bit bigger than me. She's also a little younger as well. She goes to the tanning bed and maintains a tan all year round; it looks good on her. Her hair is always styled and beautifully colored. Her nails are always impeccably done, as is her make up. Her clothes are stylish and always accented with perfect jewelry. Compared to her, compared to almost anyone, I'm Plain Jane.

I know that looking that good takes money, which I don't have. Salon colored hair every 4 weeks is expensive, nearly $40-60 each visit. Nails every two weeks and almost daily tanning bed visits... all that takes money. Which I have very little of. And keeping an update to date wardrobe is outrageously expensive. (I was spending some serious hours reading In Style magazine and I really really need some new clothes. Really.)

Though I've been thinking a lot about self image. As all of you know my self esteem over the last year and a half has taken quite the beating. See I've always looked nice and enjoyed clothes but haven't been a total slave to fashion ( mostly feet fashion); I wear what I like and what's comfortable, or what I can afford. But I've never thought of myself as pretty so I've usually defined myself on what I do for a living rather than how I look. Being unemployed sort of messes with that sense of self.

Keeping that in mind, I also know that how you look can sometimes help how you feel about yourself. I'm not going to kid myself and say that beauty on the inside is the only important thing, because unfortunately, it's really not. I've worked with kids for years and years and one things I've come to realize, that the young ladies need to look good on the outside before they will think they look good inside. It's a sad fact, but true. It's easier to help them pick nice clothes, have a good hair cut and teach them how to use make up than to make them feel like a worthwhile human being and boost their self esteem which will help them make good choices. Like it or not. One time I worked with a group of girls in a Big Sisters program. We took them to Glamour Shots in the mall and by the end of the day those girls where walking around with heads held high and making eye contact with people and not being so shy, as to opposed how they went in, looking poorly and the attitude matched. Sometimes outer beauty is important.

You may be asking yourself if I believe this then why don't I put more effort and energy into my own appearance, which brings me to the thought and question of the day. Well, why don't I? Well money is one reason. And time. All that maintenance takes lots of time, from appointments to daily preparation and upkeep. And then there dumb reasons- I'm lazy. I want to sleep in each morning rather than get up and spend an hour on my make up and hair each day. I spend my money on shoes and books rather than clothes. I'm hard on my hands so paying to get my nails done would be throwing good money after bad. I don't know how to put on make up to get the look I want.

Lately, though, lately Ive though about maybe doing some "work" on myself. First, and foremost, I want to be infinitely clear- this has nothing to do with ITSam or men of any kind. As a matter of fact, ITSam would be thrown off kilter if I was all fancied up. One thing he says he loves about me is my look; he thinks (and tells me) that I'm beautiful. So this is NOT a man thing. It's a Maggie thing. I'm old enough now that I think the fresh scrubbed face, the clean girl next door look is more like the lady next door is really lazy. And getting old. I've been thinking of taking of advantage of the tanning bed special and seeing if this pa;e Irish skin could actually hold some color. Tan fat looks better than white fat. I'm thinking of maybe asking my friend how to do some makeup. Maybe spend some money on clothes. Maybe get some highlights in my hair.

This is about me, just something I've thought about lately. Maybe to help me feel better about myself, maybe to help grasp some youth, maybe to change my look? I dunno... but I know "Beauty is only skin deep" and "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" but why don't people "idolize" (for lack of a better word) the likes of Margaret Thatcher or Marie Curie rather than Marilyn Monroe and Megan Fox?

Just thinkin',


Shan said...

Interesting post Maggie. I like hearing those inner thoughts bounced around. I have a lot of trouble with the beauty question myself. I went through a really slobbish time after I moved to this small town because I was tired of the expectations of clothes and makeup in the "big city" life. But my self esteem did suffer when I wasn't fixing myself up at all.
I've decided there must be a happy medium there and am trying to look a little nicer for myself when I go out so I can in fact hold my head higher.
I like that you are considering this for yourself and not to obtain a man's attention but it is nice for them too as they can be more visually stimulated in general. baha
I think healthy is a better goal than manicured. It's nice to focus on wellness in the beauty process. Shall we exercise a little to get some pink in the cheeks, circulation and muscle definition? I hope to get back in THAT habit soon.
(p.s. Tanning creme is my secret delight on the legs. It's all in the application. )

Curley said...

So many thoughts running through my head. First with your beautiful skin, makeup is not needed. Second, I love your sense of style. I think you dress beautifully. And lastly, The reason men (not people) idolize the likes of Marilyn Monroe or Megan Fox is because they don't look past the big chest and the fact that these bubble headed women simper around them.

Maggie said...

Shan- when I lived in Northern Civ. I used to always make sure I looked "good" to even run out for milk. I tried to stay on my game in the Wild West but I was always too dressed up there, so I feel ya. Sometimes, tho, ya need to look good for ourselves ya know?

And I think the health/ wellness is certainly a part of it. Again, it's easier to become more "beautified" rather than healthy. the weight will come off, but just more slowly...

Curley- I don't think I could simper if I tried LOL!

Anonymous said...

Hhhmmmmm I'm a plain Jane too - well, basing on how you describe it. I think I look decent enough LOL Though, I guess there will be times were I also want to be a little more than decent. Not often though.

I'm all for the inner beauty - hands down. Then again, it's a case to case basis just like how you described those little girls. But I guess there's nothing wrong about it. If it helps start . . . develop self esteem on those young girls, then why not. Just as long as they don't forget the most important thing - - - the beauty that doesn't fade away. :-)

Now, I hope you'll have fun doing all your plans. Hey, we do deserve to be pampered at times :-)


Jacalyn @ said...

Maggie I just have to comment on this post. I think we could talk about it forever, don't you? This is my passion and my profession and I feel very strongly about women caring for themselves. You are absolutely correct when you note that you must do this for yourself! It won't work otherwise! Self-esteem is indeed internally derived but I look at it this way: you are making an investment in you! Aren't you worth it? When women do things for themselves it not only nurtures them but sends the message that "hey, I am worth it." It's not about how much you weigh,what color your hair is etc... it's about what you want and how you present it. I know that I always feel better when I know I took the time to do what's important to me. For me, that's wearing makeup and yes I too have a foot wear issue, ha! But it doesn't have to cost a lot of money either. I like your idea of having your friend teach you some makeup techniques. Plus, there's oodles of info on the internet about makeup application. Visit your local walmart for some makeup that doesn't break the bank. Nothings wrong with coloring your own hair because I know how expensive that is at the salon! Maybe a friend can help you apply highlights. There are kits out there to do that. Also, you don't have to spend tons of money on clothes just buy basic, classic pieces that will last forever and add a few trendy/seasonal items to them. Also, a cheap way to enhance any look is to buy some cheap accessories like purses, bracelets etc... that add that pop of color and interest to any outfit. I am sorry this post is so long but like I said, I am passionate about women's issues, particularly how they see and feel about themselves. So, I say go for it and do what YOU want for you! Invest in yourself!

Big, big hugs!