For the first time in years I’m starting to care less about how I look. I feel a lot more comfortable in my body these days partly due to weight loss but mainly due to some kind of mid-thirties self acceptance.
I’ve come to realise other than clothing, hair and makeup there is very little I can do to alter my appearance these days. There’s no point in sitting for hours slaving in front of a mirror dragging GHD’s through my hair each morning when I’d rather throw my hair into a bun, enjoy a brew, save my hair the damage and myself the time.
Who really cares if my hair is straight, curly, long or short? What difference does it really make? I’m still me, I haven’t changed as such, I’ve just saved myself a little hassle and learnt to embrace my wild side, go with the flow and nurture being natural.
As for makeup, I’m not entirely sure whether I could cope being bare-faced whilst out and about, I don’t feel quite myself without a shovel load of eyeliner and a bit of blusher slapped on my cheeks, that and many may mistake me to be on death’s door.
Me without makeup isn’t a pretty sight but it’s something which I’ve become ‘happy at home’ with. There’s absolutely no reason why I should pile on the patter just to potter around the house. Instead I’ve opted to save my skin a few hours of suffocation, keeping my makeup to a minimum and only applying it prior to heading out.
Then there’s my flaky, short and rather weak nails which I once spent hours of my time every other week sat at a nail technicians desk desperately having infilled or extended. I’ve had it all; acrylic, silk, gel, you name it my nails have worn it and suffered due to it.
I’ve always wanted to be able to grow my nails and to paint them in pretty colours but getting back to the real world, the one in which I pull pints, empty glass washers, scrub countless sink loads of pots, play piano and look after two children both aged single figures; it’s hardly as if I’m ever likely to maintain ‘terrific talons’. Less than an hour after applying nail varnish I’m sure to scuff or break a nail scrubbing shoes, pots, kids or whatever else may require washing. It’s a hopeless cause and in all honesty a waste of polish never mind time or effort.
That said I like to keep my toe nails painted just to be sure that my feet look feminine should my socks require removing in a public space. Hairy toes are one thing but naked nails is another… yes my toes are super hairy and yes I deal with them much like the rest of my body which is covered in random fluff thanks to my horrendous hormones. Oh to be a woman!
Getting onto shaving, I can hand on heart assure you that I’m far from going ‘au natural’, Rach and the razor will be best of friends forever more, than and immac, wax pots and whatever other form of torture may be required to remove hair from here, there and everywhere. I may as well dip my body in a wax bath once or twice a week and be done with it!
Moving onto fashion, I’ve never really been ‘on trend’ when it comes to clothing. I’d class what I chose to wear as slightly alternative, maybe even gothy in that my wardrobe contents are 90% black. Blacks good though right? It goes with anything and if anything is slightly slimming! Who cares if I look like I’m off to a funeral most days? It’s clean, looks alright and should the kids throw food, muck or whatever else they may have to hand my way then it’s unlikely to stain.
Over the past year or so I’ve quit living in leggings and have dabbled with danger by donning dungaree dresses, squeezing into skirts, slinging on scarves and have even become comfortable with colour! It felt good to give something new a shot but I’ll forever be fifty shades of black (quite literally as much like my hair, with age and endless washing blacks almost always end up grey).
I’m a far cry from turning hippy, burning my bra and giving up on my appearance entirely but I sure as hell ain’t bothering with the same level of time, effort and expense that my younger, self-conscious version of myself once did.
So I may not be the model of beauty but I’m yet to crack a mirror. I may have the odd wrinkle, hair in places I’d rather not have, milk bottle white skin which wouldn’t tan even if dipped in Ron-Seal , short unpainted nails and an imperfect smile but as far as I’m concerned I’m smiling on the inside and that’s all that matters.