Trying to return to my plan of thematic days (look, it’s a process, people), Fridays are about Fashion. Well, not fashion exactly, but like… stuff I wear. Or other people wear. Or both. Clothes/appearance/beauty/stuff.
Because I’ve been going on ALL THE DATES I’ve been more focused on my appearance than usual. Let’s not lie, I’m always focused on my appearance. I’ve been accused by more than one friend of having a particular “mirror face.” I don’t know, it’s just my face. But I can’t not look in a mirror. It’s not vanity. I’m not waiting, Evil Queen like, for the mirror to tell me how lovely I am. It’s hyper vigilance. I feel like if I’m not policing my appearance every minute of the g-damn day I’ll transform into Princess Fiona after sundown: More green troll than Cameron Diaz.
Now that I’m going out with the lads a lot more, I’ve been trying to dress more [traditionally] feminine, and be more [traditionally] feminine in general. Again, I think if you asked my friends they would be surprised to hear this, since I literally have a jewelry closet (in fairness, I also sell jewelry through Stella and Dot), I think going to the Laura Mercier counter for a makeover is a perfectly fine way to spend $200 and a Tuesday evening, and I’m NEVER in pants. NEVER- because if you don’t want someone to know what the exact topography of your ass and thighs look like, wear a skirt or dress. #protip
What I’ve realized is I don’t luxuriate in being [traditionally] feminine. I put on a five minute face while speeding out the door, chugging a cold cup of coffee. Sometimes I just throw makeup in a bag and put it on around 1pm in the office bathroom when I finally get a break. But lately, because I’m hoping to find someone who wants to pay a great deal of attention to my face, and perhaps kiss it, I’ve been taking my time. Actually using that foundation primer I bought. Asking myself what would make me feel and look pretty.
My hair is a whole other story. I’m blessed with admittedly great hair- so great that I can usually get away with doing literally nothing to it (other than getting an excellent cut from Renee at Salon One80– go see her!), but lately, with the SWAMP that I live in (seriously, we’re on day 16 of gloomy rain), my hair looks like I just came from sticking my tongue in a light socket. So I’ve actually been working on it, twisting it up wet at night to in the morning I can unroll some semblance of beachy waves, and look a little bit more polished.
I’ve been taking more baths, using my favorite homemade scrubs (1) baking powder and lemon juice; or 2) used coffee grounds, sugar, and olive oil -try them!) actually shaving my legs everyday, buffing, trimming and painting my nails. Doing all the little things that add up to make a big difference. This makes me sound like I was a ragged water buffalo before, but I realized I was relying on good products and decent clothes, rather than actually making an effort at the whole package.
I totally understand if these things don’t make you feel good, or you aren’t that sort of girl. I don’t think there’s one way to be a woman, and I don’t think there’s one way to feel feminine, if you like feeling feminine. But I do like to feel this particular brand of feminine, and I don’t know why I feel like I can only treat myself as special when it’s for someone else’s benefit, or someone else’s gaze. And so I had to ask myself- why am I only doing this when I think men are paying attention? While there’s definitely something enjoyable about dressing for a lover, why wouldn’t I do this just for myself, because it feels nice, because it makes me feel like I care about myself independent of anyone else? Aren’t I as worthy of attention as any present or future beau?
Self care is not only for special occasions. You, your life, is the special occasion. You alone are worth the good china. I’ve said it to others, I’m written about it, but living it is different matter all together. Especially when you live alone, it is so easy to spend days at a time just wandering around in your own lounge-wear funk. But what message is that sending to yourself? That you’re not enough. In almost everything I do, I telegraph to myself that I alone am not enough. It might be a chicken on the egg thing, I don’t know, but I’m trying to be conscious about it. I’m putting on lipstick, for me. I’m eating off the nice dishes, for me. I’m doing my hair and getting a pedicure and wearing a pretty nightgown, for me. If someone else wants to enjoy it too, good for him. But mostly, good for me.