What a “Selfie” did to my self-image

 

I’ve never been one to pay much attention to looks. I’ve always had more confidence in my personality than my looks. I’m just average. I’ve always been the tallest in my friend groups, which worked against me all through high school, college and early adulthood. Face it – if there is a group of girls hanging out together, most of them under 5’6”, then the one over 5’10” is not going to be the pick of the litter. And I would DEFINITELY not win any awards for “most photogenic.” (Thus the reason for my lack of a profile picture). I can’t take a good picture to save my life! Really…I’m not exaggerating. I even dreaded taking wedding photos!

Enter “The Selfie.” This last week, I met up with some friends that I’ve known since elementary school. We only had a few hours to catch up, but it was fun seeing them. We decided to take a picture to document the occasion, and since I have the longest arms (a blessing if I want to reach the top shelf, a curse if I’m competing for most petite), I was the one to hold the phone and take the Selfie.

I knew as I pushed the button, it wasn’t going to be pretty. And boy I was right. #selfiefail

My friends look fabulous in the picture. But since I was holding the camera, and straining to get everyone in the picture, I was already at a disadvantage. My head was tipped back slightly, and while I had my hair pulled back (big mistake), the grey hair across my hairline virtually DISAPPEARED in the photo and I look like I’m going BALD! I already have a big forehead, but…my God…IT WAS HUGE!

And then there’s my nose – you can see right up that honker! And it’s now on Facebook, for all our childhood friends to see!

As I said, I generally don’t care about looks. I’m fairly low maintenance…AND IT SHOWED IN THAT SELFIE!

I was using root touch-up on my hairline to cover up the grey, but sadly, that simply will not suffice anymore. The grey is taking over! So I’m faced with a dilemma:

Do I gracefully grow grey or do I do like most every other woman in my area and COLOR….COLOR…COLOR!

I admit that I hate to get stuck in the color trap. I don’t WANT to color. It’s inconvenient and a pain in the you-know-what.

I thought I was okay with my grey hair. I thought I was a confident woman. UNTIL THAT SELFIE!!! I really hate that it shook my confidence.

I guess it’s time to break out the hair color. Any recommendations? I’m not the type of woman to spend money and time at the hair salon every three weeks re-coloring, so it looks like I’m going to have to go the home hair color route. I’ll take any helpful hints you have.

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Shaving relief…at last

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I don’t write about beauty very often…okay…ever. I mean, I am a t-shirt and jeans girls through and through. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I don’t polish my nails, color my hair (professionally or regularly), wear makeup unless I absolutely have to, and when I go shopping I usually come home with more things for my kids than I do for myself. #notashopper

But I have to share this beauty tip I just discovered.

For years, I’ve been suffering through horrible itchy legs after shaving. It’s not razor burn. I’m talking about a burning itching sensation that starts immediately after shaving and never goes away, because it runs into the next shaving cycle. #stopthepain

I know there are others out there like me, because I’ve seen you on message boards when I’ve been searching desperately for a “cure.”

At first I thought it was our water. It seemed to start when we moved to the Mid-Atlantic a few years ago, and for the first time experienced “hard water.” So I bought a filter for the shower. It didn’t help.

It got so bad, that I even gave up shaving for a week. Sorry, TMI, but that’s how desperate I was.

Then last night I ran across a miracle on a message board.

Someone explained that shaving with the newer multi-blade razors, even if they have a lubricant strip on them, actually irritates your skin more than the simple, single-use, single blade razors. (My pocket book liked the sound of that – razor blades are crazy expensive)

So here’s the solution: Get one of those disposable single blade (I had a double) razors; Lather your legs up with something like Cetaphil skin cleanser; And then shave…now here’s the key…WITH THE HAIR, as in shave DOWN (from knee to ankle) rather than up, and rinse as usual! You won’t get a super smooth shave, but who cares! No one but you will be able to tell. And you won’t be miserable!

I didn’t have any Cetaphil on hand, but I also read on that same message board that someone used hair conditioner. I happen to use Mane’N Tail Shampoo and Conditioner (which I highly recommend for your hair), so I tried shaving using that conditioner… IT WORKED! Hallelujah!

I shaved my legs, and then didn’t spend the next 5 hours (or longer) scratching in pain. Sweet relief!

This might not be news to some of you, but if it helps even one of you, then my work here is done.

So that’s all the beauty tips I’ve got, well, that and O’Keeffe’s Working Hands is great for winter elbows!

And if you happen to work for any of the above mentioned companies, I’ll happily collect my commission now.

Teaching My Son About Beauty

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So often we hear about “body image” and what is true beauty. It’s usually directed towards our young girls.

One night, while watching TV with my son, there seemed to be countless commercials for Victoria’s Secret, and Macy’s Bra Sale…you get the idea. The advertisers seemed to be focused on ONE audience…or maybe not, depending on how you look at it.

That led to a conversation on “beauty.” My son commented how the women were all so skinny and pretty. My inner alarm went off.

I realized that, though I’ve talked to my daughter about realistic beauty, I haven’t really talked to my son about his expectations of women. #letsgetreal

For my daughter, I showed her something Dove did regarding how models are “created.” The video has since been taken off of their website, but I found it on YouTube. You can watch it here. I highly recommend showing it to your children.

But I realized that maybe I had been remiss in not showing it to my son.

We are NOT a very “high maintenance” family, meaning “beauty” is not really a focus. I don’t get my hair done, I never wear makeup (much to my husband’s chagrin), my husband doesn’t wear Lucky jeans (unless I find them at Marshall’s) or have a designer watch, and I don’t buy name brands for my kids (again, unless I can find them at Marshall’s). “Beauty” doesn’t really cross my mind much. I don’t feel pressure to compete with the women around me, or the women in magazines, and I don’t want my kids to either.

I want my son to choose a mate the same way that I want my daughter to…based on personality and friendship first. Attraction is of course necessary, but I also want them to have realistic expectations. I want them to find the beauty within, the kind of beauty that lasts. #realbeautylasts

When it comes time for them to get married, I want them to picture their future mate with the opposite physical qualities that attracted them in the first place and ask themselves, “If this person lost those qualities, would I still be attracted?”

If the answer is “yes” then they’ve chosen that person for their inner beauty and not for what they see on the outside.

Most importantly, I want my son to understand what goes into creating the models he sees on TV or in magazines. I want him to know they don’t wake up that way, and they don’t go to sleep at night that way. And they don’t live their everyday life that way.

It’s never too early to start…they pick up on way more than we think they do.