Well, so far I haven’t felt pretty today, yesterday, last week, or last month. It has been an intense rut of glaring in the mirror and hearing the song “I Feel Pretty” in my head and groaning in response. I see the new wrinkles by my eyes, the new white hair in my eyebrow, and every flaw possible as if they are being put on a projector under a magnifying glass. Ok, that’s a bit extreme, but admit it, you’ve been there too.
Almost to the day one month ago I turned “Dirty Thirty” as my best friend refers to it. I hear people say 30 is the new 20, I want to smack those people. I feel older, tired, and most of all- not pretty. Of course this is all in my head and I am certain that August 17th, the Grimm Reaper did not come check on me and say “yep, she’s 30, we are getting close now”.
I’ve read a million blogs on beauty tricks and hacks, How to make your hair shinier, make your lips more luscious, and a million more articles of the sort. What I found is that I never felt better about myself after reading those. I even tried a few of the “tricks and hacks”- with terrible success I must admit. One person even put tape on their face to get the perfect eyeshadow lines. Really, I’m not putting tape on my face- ouch!
I’m a happy minimalist. Minimum makeup and only if I have to. I like my curly red hair in a ponytail. I really LOVE jeans, a tank top, and flip-flops. Sadly, that is not the approved daily wardrobe for this working mom. I battle with losing my own self identity and the person that society thinks and requires me to be.
I wear a suit and heels to work, with appropriate professional makeup, my hair done in just the right way and I have really lost myself. I have a mantra that I constantly repeat on those days- “I have tattoos under this, I have tattoos under this, I am still me”. But I have pleased society and the standard views of my profession and get all the compliments in the world. But I don’t feel pretty- and I am certainly not me.
I am tired! I don’t want to get up at 6, get kids ready for school, get myself all dolled up and set myself up for a day of full discomfort. So here comes the weekend and it is time to relax!! No makeup, no suit, no heels, no hair. Tank top, jeans, flip flops here I come! And there is that awful magnifying glass again pointing out my flaws and putting them on the projector.
The thing about this magnifying glass is that it isn’t real. It’s only in your head. Beauty comes from the inside and I am blessed with more beauty than any makeup could ever create. I have a heart of gold and I am genuine. I am beautiful.
That grey hair in my eyebrow shows I’ve lived and I’ve stressed. It’s real and that one stray hair in my eyebrow is proof. Those new wrinkles around my eyes show I have laughed. I’ve enjoyed things to make me have a real, genuine, eye crinkling smile that lasted more than just a second. The mom-bod shows I’ve had 2 kids that I carried and nourished. Those tattoos are unique and individual to me and only me. I am beautiful.
So tomorrow, when you wake up with your hair crazy and going in 37 different directions, and your eyes are puffy, and your smile has a new wrinkle- remember that you are beautiful. Your experiences are beautiful and they made you into the you in the mirror. Look in the mirror with your cup of coffee and smile when you hear that internal radio playing “I Feel Pretty” and sing along. Because you are pretty!