Black and White to Color


Normally I look something like this. I’m a very plain Jane on the feminine side. Its all about comfort with me. Old jeans, soft cotton t-shirt and sneakers or boots. But on days like today when my insecurity is showing I rely on that time old tradition of gussying up.

I must begin by saying that I didn’t really  wear make up until I was in high school and that was only stage make up for plays. To this day I still do not wear it on a weekly basis. I guess I always felt that my face is my face, take it or leave it.

But I find when stress is involved or its important to make a “good” impression out comes the unloved bag of color. Over the years I have developed skills that suit me and learned what colors I should and should not wear (orange and purple NO!).

I learned most of these skills the first year I lived in Texas. The women there are dressed to the nines all the time, big hair, big color. I tried my best for about a year. I wore make up every day to work (HS teacher), I dressed all cute and business like. The effort it took to maintain it is what nipped it in the end. I just don’t care enough to stand in front of the mirror for an hour to “look” a certain way. So my concession for days like this is everything that I do takes a total of 30 min.

In the end I come out looking something like this (left). I like to error on the side of understated and “fresh” looking. I am not a bold color person and my attempts at make up reflect that. But I must say for all my fussing, I do feel more confident when I put my face on. Maybe it is some deep pre-conditioning that I am supposed to “want” to be attractive or that it is my “job” as a woman to achieve a certain level of up keep.

All I know is that when I am facing an important meeting out comes the colors and a favorite out fit. Today that would be a comfy sweater stripped in shades of blue, dark jeans and black cowboy boots. I definitely feel like me in these cloths. Perhaps that helps balance the mask that is my face.

How do you feel about make up. dressing up and the lack or presence of expectations on how you should or should not dress?

3 responses »

  1. It’s funny, I can’t stand make-up (really, makes me itch) and refuse to wear it about 97% of the time. I especially refuse to wear it on a date- I figure he better like the raw me, or there’s no point. But if I want to impress other people, say at an interview or because I’m feeling particularly low on the self-esteem scale, I’ll break down and paint on some eye shadow and lipstick. That’s about as far as it goes, though. I got over the need to do it up a while ago when one of my students looked at me and said, “What happened? You don’t look like you at all!” when I showed up to work wearing make-up one day.

  2. I felt like this yesterday. I’m sure the holiday and relationship humbugs affected my decision. But you know what? It worked for me, and by the end of the day I was feeling a little lighter and a little more confident with myself. It’s strange that lipstick and a bit of mascara can have such an affect on me. Maybe it’s because I rarely wear any makeup. Whatever the reason, it helped, and right now I’ll take whatever helps.

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