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‘Don’t hate me because I am beautiful.’
We all remember the commercial, with the beautiful ex-wife of actor Steven Segal admitting her shameful secret of being beautiful, and we all thought, ‘no, we don’t hate you for that, we hate you because you have the balls to come on to national television and tell all of us women that you are beautiful, and proud of it.
Today there is a new surge of women (girls) who also have those large cajones and think that they are the hottest thing to walk the earth since Cleopatra (who also had an ego the size of her beloved Nile). There is a difference in today’s woman. Before when complimented on our looks, we remained humble, always findings a reason to negate the compliment, “well, you should see me before coffee” or better yet, nervously laughing off the compliment, in sheer hysteria because we received one from someone other than the construction crew that has been working around our office building for the past five years.
The new breed of women today will take that compliment; raise it with one of their own and then fish for compliment numbers two and three which they fold back into their deck and save it for future use. Like the ace of spades up the sleeve that they can pull out later for a quick beauty boost. And quick beauty boosts are all the rage now. Face peels (how can that be beautiful?!) to outpatient liposuction and a myriad of other ‘beauty enhancers’ that seem to strip away your wallet as much as it does that unwanted hair. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder true, but it seems that the beholders are ourselves now. We have mirrors and we are one of those that either know what looks good on us, or like a few sad souls, bless their hearts, have no idea and could use help.
Cute is a whole other subject. Cute is puppy dogs and new babies and pictures of any baby animals with their mom. Cute is first words, first steps, and little Katie’s ballet recital. Cute is NOT a grown woman. No matter how hard you try, it just won’t fly. We grew out of cute when we grew out of our learner’s permit. Cute is not acceptable and should not be used to describe any female over the age of 14, unless you are talking about a meerkat or chinchilla and I don’t think they have that long of a lifespan, to be quite frank.
It never ceases to amaze me what we women go through to be beautiful. We disappear to the salon, which never takes less than four hours unless you are just getting a, gasp, cut, but we all know that the minute you say just a cut and the stylist looks up at your roots, you immediately blubber out, “oh, and a touch up on my color/highlights/lowlights/frost” (you insert your choice here and by the way, does anyone even frost anymore under the age of 60?). We go through all kinds of painful procedures (can we say ‘wax’?), and we shop for just the right clothes.
I’ll just go ahead and admit it. I love clothes. I really, really love them. Call me a clothes-aholic. I have more clothes than I can ever wear and I still keep buying more. They can be from anywhere, Stein Mart, Old Navy, Tar-jay, the little neighborhood boutique that costs too much but you love it anyway; heck, you name it, it doesn’t matter where they come from as long as the clothes make me feel beautiful.
You know who I am, I am that woman. You’ve seen me, every part of what I am wearing and my makeup matches perfectly and there is nothing blue jeans and t-shirt about it (or me). I wear outfits, not just clothes. My shoes, my clothing, my jacket and gloves, everything must match. I have the deep-seated urge to dress up EVERY SINGLE DAY and I love it. And let me tell you why.
Because secretly, I am unsure of myself. I am self conscious and often have a horrible self esteem issue. I also suffer from an autoimmune disease and usually the inside of me feels just horrible, but you wouldn’t know that from how I was dressed.
My dependency goes deeper than just clothes though, it branches off into belts and scarves, shoes and purses, and of course, the ultimate addiction; JEWELRY. And like a true addict, I like all types of baubles. The nice, good stuff that only is it worn on special occasions, or the kind, I dare to say, that I have the most of, the well, more modest variety (I refuse to say cheap) of shhhh….quiet now….costume jewelry. Aggghhhh, I admit it, I am a sucker for the things that are shiny and pretty and different and not-so-cultured-like pearls (or me) that either makes me look like a junior leaguer or a mini Barbara Bush. Nope, not me, give me my bracelets, necklaces and earrings that match my outfits, ones that make me feel all like a wrapped up gift with the final addition of jewelry as the bows of my present-papered self.
Wearing the right outfit, making myself in what I feel looks pretty, makes my body feel that way. I need to dress for the day so that I in turn can face the day. Dressing up for the world every day can be a superficial thing but it can also mean the difference in feeling good about yourself or feeling like a shlump. Me? I would rather smile and feel pretty. And I know there are other women out there like me, who feel the same way. Putting on all the contraptions sometimes make us curse Eve for eating the forbidden fruit and making us endure a lifetime of pinching undergarments and oppressing layers, but we do it anyway. We make the effort because we want to feel better about ourselves, even if it is only through fashion.
I love to acknowledge another person’s effort, as much as I like my own to be recognized. If I see someone at the grocery store wearing a striking scarf or pretty dress, I’ll tell them. My kids always get embarrassed when I just randomly speak out to a stranger standing next to me in the cereal aisle how pretty I think her skirt (shirt, scarf, hair, whatever) is, but I don’t care. If you have something nice to say, say it. Sometimes it may be the only nice thing someone hears their whole day. I like to be that person. The person who you remember later on when you reminisce your bad day over dinner, who suddenly pops into your head and you go, but oh, this lady at the store told me how nice I looked. And then you smile. And feel better. That’s who I would like to be, spreading beauty with one sincere compliment at a time, helping people to feel beautiful inside and out. But also letting them know, that yes, your effort is noticed! It is worth it to look good, to make yourself feel good. Someone notices you, makes you feel good and you do the same to someone else. It is a big beauty karma chain and I don’t mind being the ringleader.