When I come in to any temporary gig in the mornings, much like everyone else, I head to my desk and unload the coat, the scarf, the handbag (holy shitballs, Batman! What is IN there? Books!), and I flop into my seat. Computer turned on? Check. Headset ready? Dinky little thing is sitting there, staring at me, begging for love. I oblige because hey, I’m a lover not a fighter.

However, unlike most of the women in the office, I’m shuffling to the coffee machine instead of the rest room. While they check that their hair and make-up is in place, I’m checking that the mug is completely clean, devoid of any remaining sugar on the rim from yesterday’s caffeine-fest.

I can hear them walking up the hallway, talking about the new eyeliner, the new blush (“It’s a cream, Annie! It’s magical!” Sweetheart, it’s not unicorn blood, okay? Take it down a few notches.), and I feel relieved not to be in their “circle”. I’m a low maintenance type of woman. I put on the bare necessities in the morning, because I don’t want people thinking I’m a zombie. I’ve seen enough “Walking Dead” episodes to know that would not end well.

Foundation, eyeliner, and a dab of light crimson on the cheeks. I’m good.

(I once went to the mall, and a woman was doing free makeovers. She told me I was a “Fall”. I responded with, “yeah I do fall a lot, but these feet are new. I’m just working out the gears.” She stopped the makeover early. I think she sensed I wasn’t going to buy anything.)

As far as hair, I have a blissfully short haircut. Lately the worst I have to deal with is looking like Christopher Walken with an Alfalfa cowlick in the back. Why won’t it stay down? STAY DOWN!

I’m sure my simplistic appearance would be rated a 4 by the likes of Drumpf. Not only am I fine with that, I’m relieved.

I stopped reading the magazines that constantly told me what was wrong with me. These “tips” mind you, came up AFTER I bought the crap the same magazines had shilled exactly one issue ago. The articles on how to get fit and build muscle, and then they would complain/judge/mock women who had too much muscle. They’ll inform you of the best ways to “get skinny”, and then put someone on blast for being too skinny.

The best way to get out of this circus is to leave the tent.

I found myself happier when these “resources” weren’t swarmed around me. When I didn’t have these little bees buzzing in my ear, when I had finally swatted them away for good, I was able to get on with my day with my coffee in one hand, book in the other, music in my ears. My “Fuck Off” Wall was up successfully, with no unwanted visitors allowed in. It didn’t cost Mexico a penny!

I have no plastic surgery, because I don’t need it. Plus, self-esteem is a lot cheaper. I’m not getting my eyes lifted, my nose done, my lips fattened, my neck pulled back, none of that bullshit. I’m not exactly auditioning for Miss February, but that’s awesome. Fucking flash on those cameras causes me migraines, anyway.

When I look in the mirror, I see — immediately — my grandparents. I’m told often that the resemblance I bear to my grandmother is remarkable. I always found her to be beautiful and full of laughter. So when people tell me that I look just like her, I take it as the highest of compliments. I mean, seriously? I already got this?!? I’M GOLDEN! Why would I alter that?

Grandma.
Me.

There’s going to be days where I’m not going to feel so sparkly. I already know this. I’ve been on this roller-coaster so many times, I know to expect the drops. I’ve had days where I didn’t want to look in the mirror ever. I was ready to toss everything that gave even the remotest of reflections.  But I always got past it.

The point is this; if you would give the finger to a random stranger who told you “you’re not good enough”, why wouldn’t you do that to these “beauty experts”? Toss the magazines, pick up a book, laugh at life hard enough so you get those crinkles by the eyes. That shit is awesome!

The biggest gift we can give ourselves is ourselves. The rest will be handled by the rest.

“Youth and beauty are not accomplishments.” — Carrie Fisher

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