Monday, January 24, 2011

Eye of the Beholder

Now that I have perfected my surprise Posh Spice hairdo, I have completed my long, slow transformation into the exact kind of woman I spent my teenage years vociferously denying I would ever become.

Every morning after my shower I do my hair. This requires a hairdryer, a straightening iron, and not one but two hair products. Suitably coiffed, I put on some makeup. And I'm not a lip-gloss-and-go girl; au contraire, on the average day no fewer than 10 separate goops and powders anoint my visage. Up to 13 if I'm feeling fancy. I put on some clothes - not infrequently a dress and some heels - and get on my merry way. I pluck my eyebrows. I shave my legs. I exfoliate. Every once in a while I even get a pedicure.

Any one of these activities would be blasphemy to my T-shirt-jeans-sneakers-ponytail 14-year-old self, and the combination is nothing short of sacrilegious. I have sacrificed significant quantities of precious time, sleep, and money to the twin golden calves of my own vanity and societal expectations. I have finally bought into the beauty industrial complex.

And I'm pretty much okay with it. As it turns out, the extra effort it takes to make myself look a bit nicer in the morning is probably less than the effort of just throwing something together in five minutes and then spending the rest of the day trying to pretend that I don't care how I look. Because I do care, always have, and this way I can just check off the "deal with body image insecurity" box before I leave the house and have the rest of the day to concentrate on more important things.

So maybe I'm the same kind of woman I've always been, just a little more honest about it. Maturity!

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