On Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin

In my last post I alluded to not being comfortable in my own skin at one point in my life. This is something I have been pondering. I am a member of the Runner’s World forums and there recently was a thread about wearing makeup at races. I have to admit I was surprised at the number of women that put on makeup to run and that had sentiments like “I can’t leave the house without mascara”. I am in no way judging. If women want to wear makeup, no matter the occasion or how much, it is certainly their prerogative. I am more interested in the “Why”.

I wear makeup when I go to work, I feel that it gives me a more polished look. And I have to admit, it is kind of fun to put it on. I am fairly minimal though, I don’t wear lipstick or mascara. My whole routine takes about 5 minutes. On the days that I don’t work I just use a moisturizer with SPF and some lip balm.

At the age of 45 I am pretty happy with how I look and I am committed to aging gracefully. Yeah, if I see a gray hair I pull the sucker out. If they would lay nice and behave they could stay, but gray hairs don’t want to do that. Friends have asked me if I would color my hair eventually to hide the gray. That is hard to say… I have black hair so the gray really sticks out. That may be my only concession to aging!

I will admit that in my twenties I was more concerned about how I looked. At the same time I had this niggling feeling that it shouldn’t be necessary. Men don’t wear makeup, most don’t color their gray. I assume that men don’t get together with their buddies and have discussions about BOTOX or laser skin resurfacing. You don’t hear about men aging badly, in fact it is generally the opposite. The consensus seems to be that men look better as they age.

Why is society so focused on how women look and why is there the drive for women to retain their youthful looks?

I am reminded of the Colbie Caillat song, “Try”. She appears in the song’s video without makeup (gasp!) and sings about not trying so hard to make yourself into something that you are not. I think it’s OK to put on makeup and follow whatever routines and regimens that you want as long as you are doing it for yourself. But as Colbie Caillat suggests, you might want to try going without. It may surprise you that people like you just as you are.

Note: If you haven’t seen the video for the song “Try”, go to YouTube now and check it out! 🙂

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