In talking with a friend today, we were discussing a recent picture we saw of a gal we know, and how strikingly different she looked now, compared to then.
In her picture, she was spirited, lively, beautiful...and now, not so much.
This has baffled me for years. The thought of "letting yourself go". My mom, for one, was an example I studied firsthand. She was never one to get dolled up everyday, that just wasn't her style. But as the years went on, as I was growing up, I noticed more and more of a dejected "giving up". Once I got married and left the nest, she rarely left the house, as she didn't work, and when she did, it was typically in scrubby pants and some oversized, gross shirt she just threw on. Combing the hair was merely running fingers through it and makeup was a never, unless she was heading out to an Amway meeting with dad.
Not to say I wasn't surprised when she called to tell me my dad was leaving her, but I must admit, if I was out busting my ass all day working and I came home to someone who was in the same dingy pj's as when I left in the morning, it wouldn't make me wanna rush right home either. Naturally, they had alot of issues that are between them, and none of my business, but, it does still stick out in my head...would he have stayed if she carried herself the same way she did when they first met? If she had still taken care of herself the same?
With all of this being said, I'm not overlooking the fact that women have a load to carry...work, school, kids, housekeeping, money, etc....the list goes on and on. So...is that what does it? Or is it more that getting "dolled up" and presentable is not 'natural' for some of us, and we only do it to "get a man" or "keep a man"...in which case, once the "I do's" are said, the gloves come off and so does the makeup, the feminine mystique, and the glorious things that attracted that fellow to begin with???
At any rate, I am not indicating that one is better than the other, more...asking the question why does it happen? Where is that one incident, or that switch that turns in the head that causes the downward slope?
As far as not indicating one is better than the other, we all live with the scars we choose (Sugarland). Myself, you will find to be on the opposite end of the spectrum. And I will be the first to tell you that I will not go out of the house without makeup or being remotely put together unless there are excruciating circumstances. I actually get chastised for this, now, and even did when I was younger.
Looking at it, from an outsider in, I think in seeing my mom's spiral downhill, and being so close to it, caused a "what I don't want to be" to happen inside. And so now, I make it a point to be presentable...not for others, mind you, but for myself. If I look in the mirror and I look like hell, I stay in. I am a woman, and love to feel like a woman, and wear pretty womanly things, and look fabulous, like women should look....because *I* like it. Because I like the way it looks and the way it makes me feel. When I am sitting around all day in sweatpants, I feel like I have been sitting around all day in sweatpants and I feel like shit.
I am ok with the fact I have been called shallow for this. In fact, I got into a Facebook posting spat with a woman who indicated the fact that "all I cared about was how I looked was a poor example of how a woman should be; there was more to life to think about".
I disagree. Life is so drastically dark, and hard, and tiresome...why CAN'T we focus on something beautiful? When there is so much bullshit in our everyday lives, the one saving grace, the "pick me up", so to speak, is the fellow whom I pass in the hall at work, whose face lights up when he sees me and says, "You look like a million bucks today!" - and I know that I made his day, and he just made mine. That isn't shallow, that is spreading JOY sister!!!!
(oh and, as I am writing this, I am sitting in yoga pants with no makeup on...so figure that one out)