Vanity?

Yesterday, my husband and I were having a conversation about makeup with our eldest. She is very fond of nail polish and while I will never be ok with her wearing it, I have learned to (generally) bite my tongue whenever I see her sporting a new colour on her nails. The discussion quickly turned from the use of nail polish to vanity.

My husband declared makeup to be an exercise in narcissism but I had to disagree with him. When I wear makeup, I do it for myself. I use foundation to cover up some of the pigmentation on my face (it would take industrial-strength foundation to give me a flawless complexion) and blusher to give me just enough colour to reassure anyone I meet that I am not on death’s doorstep. If I don’t brush my hair, it tangles up and gets caught in the baby carrier, which is painful. When I make an effort and wear clothes that are pretty and not just practical, I feel lighter and more optimistic about my day. It is not about what others think about me, but what I think about myself.

We only have a couple of small mirrors at home, so it’s not often I see my own reflection. Which is a good thing, considering how tired and run down I am looking lately. I haven’t worn make up in weeks, my hair is half brown, half orange, with a generous peppering of white. I have been wearing the same three combos of leggings/tank tops for the past two months and my month of eating healthily (more on that some other time) has been followed by days of eating nothing but bread and ice cream. In a nutshell, I look and feel like poop.

That is why I was internally rolling my eyes at myself as I told Maia that makeup should be worn only to make the most of your favourite features and to feel your best, just for yourself. I wish I practised all that I preach to my daughters. I know what I should and should not be eating, I need to buy myself some clothes that don’t hug my post-pregnancy rolls and I am in dire need of a haircut. While I’m at it, I should also throw out my old makeup and start using some moisturiser again. Am I vain to think I need some embellishment? Maybe, but how can I expect to feel good if I don’t take care of myself? And, even worse, how can I expect my daughters to have a positive relationship with their own body if I neglect mine all the time?

So if you happen to see me driving past or waiting in line at the supermarket, please don’t judge me. I’ll sort myself out little by little. Hopefully before the girls are old enough to leave home.

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