Thursday, April 22, 2010

Mea Culpa...It's All on Me!

I came to an abrupt realization the other day that has left me fairly reeling with self-doubt and recrimination. (For those who may have taken this type of post on my part a little too seriously in the past, here's my cue---> I am kidding.) Almost entirely.

I stand before you today (or sit far away from, actually) determined to accept complete and incontrovertible responsibility for the fact that I have, however unintentionally, dealt my sons' marriage prospects a severe blow. It's true. Certain choices and tendencies of mine have narrowed their prospective fields of marriageable girls considerably (though not, I believe, fatally), and I am ready to acknowledge that.

The thing is...I don't wear make-up. At all. Ever. It's true. (Not even for weddings. Gasp!) And the colossal hair-do efforts of my senior picture, immortalized here, were no more than a one-time fluke, perpetrated upon me by an older sister with a knack for hair and a fondness for french twists and beehives. In short, I am not, nor have I ever been, a "floofy" girl. I am, instead, the no-frills variety––a product of the 60's, stuck in a time warp. My concept of doing a good job beauty-wise is having a clean face, shiny hair, good haircut, soft skin, and a pleasing scent. No manicures (I do keep my nails filed evenly), no pedicures (just my own, cut-rate clipper-cuts), no facials, waxing, dyes, or yen for plastic surgeon skills...NO FRILLS.

Don't get me wrong. I see my beauty regimen...or lack of neither vice nor virtue, just personal preference, but here's the rub. How many young women (and especially LDS young women) do you know that don't at least make a reasonable effort to enhance their look in all the ways that are so popular today? It's true! Right now, the pervasive style is more "done-up" than "dressed-down," and not just in Utah, either. California girls seems to have moved in the same direction. (My eldest son found his bride in Utah, but she was a beach girl from California...And that was more than a decade ago, when the trend was a little different.) These days, Orange County girls look like they're trying out for ingenue parts on the O.C.! And most of them could probably get said parts, too. They look gorgeous.

Woe is me. What have I done? Stabbed myself in the back, that's what! How many wonderful daughters-in-law have I missed out on because their hair was poofed up a little too much, or their eyes were a bit too artfully shaded or shadowed? Which potential mother of my grandchildren has gone by the wayside because she had some fun with the red lipstick thing or covered up the natural wonder of her freckles? Would there be more estrogen-bearing inhabitants of our family sphere if I had polished my nails a bit...or added some mascara to my faded lashes? And here's where the non-kidding part lies......Have I been so easy-maintenance that anyone who does any kind of maintenance at all seems like too much work? (I sincerely hope not.) Because judging a woman by her trappings (or lack of them) is plain, old superficial. And that word just doesn't jive with what I know about my unbearably handsome, incomparably intelligent, reliably humorous, and delightfully depthy boys. (She said modestly. And should I be worried that I am referring to my nearly 28 and just-turned-30-year-old sons as "boys"?) Just wondering on that one. And be gentle...

So, what's the verdict? Should I be glamming up my style in order to repair whatever damage I may have done to the feminine mystique that is woman? Probably not. For one thing, it's a little too late to teach this old dog many new tricks. And it probably wouldn't work anyway. Let's face it, if I've inadvertently managed to ruin the men in my family for truly gorgeous and/or elegant women, the damage is already done. Which means I might as well just continue to please myself, keeping the expectations about my personal allure low. Because looking the same when I wake up in the morning as I did when I went to bed the night before really works for me.

(Even if "the same" isn't necessarily a good thing...)


PS. Okay, I have to 'fess up and admit that either one of my single sons would probably want to date these beautiful girls...But you can bet they'd be trying to get them to lose the make-up!

PPS. Do yourself a favor and take a quick run over to my friend Karen's giveaway at Still Crazy after All These Years. Not only does she have a great blog to visit, but she has some of the cutest, handmade prizes imaginable over there!


Brad said...

This is funny to me. All my friends asked me who was doing Heidi's makeup for the wedding. And I said, somewhat stumped, "Heidi." They thought I'd gotten off the Clampet wagon.
I'm with you.

jen said...

I just realized that I commented from Brad's account. Forgive?

Amy said...

Going natural is such a wonderful thing. I have heard so many boys say they don't want a girl who relies on the face paint because they don't want to feel like they are going to bed with a stranger.
But without blush I always get asked if I am sick. My skin is just too pale.

Momza said...

First, most men don't want a plastic-faced bride.
But they don't want a horse-faced girl either.
IMO, work with what you've got to present your best Self, whatever that entails is individual.

Sue said...

I should have mentioned that much of my reason for not applying make-up (which at this time of life is sorely needed) is my lack of any artistic ability whatsoever. I actually manage to make myself look worse!

I also kinda hate the stiff feel of it on my face.

I think Momza has the balance just about right in her comment...


PS. For Jen- My friends had to tell me to get someone for Karin's make-up, too. Actually, Karin applies hers pretty well...But it was nice for her not to have to worry about it that day.

PPS. For Amy...I'd use blush, too, if my cheeks weren't already ruddy and reddish. (That's relatively easy to apply!) And you look pretty "natural" to me!

karen said...

Hmmmm... where to start? I'm a somewhat "floofy" girl myself. I do love me a facial and mani/pedi. I seriously color my hair. And I wear makeup - but not a lot. The difference between you and me is that I enjoy it. If you don't, then don't do it. I love all kinds of looks, and natural is my favorite, so I try to achieve that, but that's different than "au natural" which on me looks pale, tired, and haggard. The point is to look however YOU feel best. Because if you like the way you look, you'll be confident. And isn't confidence something we'd all like a piece of? And for the record, I LOVE the look you've chosen for yourself. You wear it well, my friend.

PS Thanks for the shout out about my giveaway. I'm so excited to see who wins what!

Jess said...

My Emma said to me that I wasn't very good at being a mom- 'cause I don't wear earrings or anything'. It made me laugh cause I just can't gather up enough enthusiasm to be super girly- I'm definitely in the dress down category.

KC Mom said...

I wouldn't change who you are...not a bit. I bet if you wait a few more years...the trend will come back to wearing no make-up and then you'll be the trendsetter.

Cherie said...

I totally would not change who you are.
Men are men - they go for what they like. It works for them.

I didn't wear any make-up until I went to college (in Utah - ha ha) and my roommates pressured me into "just putting on a little make-up" they were obsessed. I never wore much, still don't wear much (Although I do have a weakness for lipstick).
I have one daughter who wears no make-up and one daughter who is a "Foo Foo Girl" and loves make up and all girly things. So funny!
I think you have to be who you are!

And quit giving those boys an excuse - "Go out and find a wife dudes and start giving your sweet mom some grandchildren!!" :D

Six Feet Under Blog said...

I have the pale skin too, so I need help. lol.

Katie Blacker said...

I think most girls would be relived to know their man doesn't need them to wear a bunch of make-up all the time. I tend to be a minimalist so, maybe I am biased. All I know, is my brothers grew up with sisters & a mother that didn't cake it on, and now they look for the girls who do.

VK said...

I put a little paint on this old barn most every day, then I forget about it. Seems like my boys also don't like too much makeup on a girl/woman even though I have always worn some.
Point? I think you didn't necessarily create boys that abhor a little makeup, most generally don't like the fake look.
I also have one daughter that wears it pretty regularly and amply, and the other daughter hardly ever touches the stuff. Who knows?

Joy For Your Journey said...

HOw lucky for you to be so beautiful you don't need makeup!! And I am thinking your son's future wives will actually appreciate the freedom you give them to go natural themselves.

Darlene said...

I like your look. I only wear a little myself and then only to church. Around the family I am natural too. I know Ryan's problem, he is looking for another Heather. Too bad too, because she is one of a kind as he found out when he dated her sister. Ha!

H Lue said...

Too funny! I had thought about getting a makeover for a long time, but when someone gave me one for my b-day, my kids were stunned and blunt, and I haven't worn the make-up since!
But that's okay with me! After all these years, my philosophy has become "Look, love, and walk away!" It's too easy to get caught up in the "I'm not perfect" and forget what's important if I don't!
Thanks for the smile!

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