Libraries, Lip Gloss and the Inherent Flaws in Self-Image

Okay, so I was sitting in the library revising a manuscript and checking out the other mom types. Yes, I’m a mom type (unless you have excellent kink instinct, then you might see through my Target T-shirt camouflage). It was a busy afternoon – lots of moms with lots of kids. I found myself thinking things like, “Nice legs, spare tire,” and “Pretty but bad hair.”

Hyper critical, right? And I wasn’t being a mean girl and putting them down (in my head) so I could feel superior. I am twice as hard on myself. This baby belly I have on my lanky 5’8″ frame is the first thing I see when I’m naked. The small boobs are next. Then the earthworm vein that runs over my right knee. Then, only then, will I admire my excellent shoulders but I’ll tell myself to quit slouching. Do you guys do that too?

Okay, that’s not the interesting part. I caught myself being critical of these women, so I decided to judge them from my husband’s perspective. The spare tire? Womanly. The bad hair? Who cares? I was certain he would have seen the positives first, like the great legs or the cute butt, and maybe not even noticed the negatives. Yes, he’s a horn dog, so I won’t be so bold as to generalize to all men. You can tell me if your guys would do the same thing. What do you think? Do women focus on the flaws while men focus on the sexy?

The other thing that has been rocketing around in my head this week happened at the salon. I’ll be honest, I pretty much gave up on my appearance ten years ago and have only now begun accessorizing and using make-up again. I had three kids in five years.The having of the children required 7 units of blood and two D&Cs. I nursed each of them for a year. I was wiped out.

That picture over there in the sidebar? It took $100 of professional hair styling and make-up to get me looking that good. (Sorry if I ruined the glamour for you.) Last week, I decided to go back to my hair and make-up guru and get a make-up lesson because something tells me things have changed since I was thirteen and learning to put on eyeliner…

Happy!

Pucker up!

True to form, after the make-up was on, I looked in the mirror at my sexy self and focused on the tiniest imperfection: the itsy-bitsy flakes of dry skin that I could see on my face under the powder base in the magifying mirror. My guru rolled her eyes and said, “If it looks better after you put it on than before you put it on, it’s an improvement. Even if it isn’t perfect.”

I stepped back from the mirror and focused on the big picture. And it was good. Particulary the Smashbox Baby Pout Lip Enhancing Gloss.

I’m pretty sure that there is nothing to be gained by focusing on the flaws. It sure as hell doesn’t motivate me to change. So what do you think? Should this be the summer of focusing on the sexy? What is one thing you can do to make yourself feel great when you face the world, the mirror or your own inner critic?

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3 comments

  1. I too tend to focus on the flaws – I thikn it is a bad habit of all women. WHile men look at themselves and usaully think they look a lot better than they do!!

    I need to do my makeup every morning, and make sure my hair looks decent (I too tend to get lazy with this stuff). WHen I look better, I do feel better about myself. And new shoes always help! 🙂

  2. I love that reminder from your guru–the makeup isn’t there to make me perfect (HA!!) It’s there to enhance a smidge 🙂

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