Friday, July 30, 2010

Beauty/Fashion: Why do I care?

Why is it that we are all so vain? Part of me hates the part of me that cares about how I look. Part of me hates the part of me that decides not to do my hair or makeup, and just go au naturale.

Let's discuss. Most days, I decide to let my hair air-dry, I forgo all makeup and I wear what feels comfortable and yet appealing. I frankly hate having to get ready- because getting ready means not only buying in to the idea that in order to be beautiful one must be mainstream, but also because it is a pain in the ass. So, for years, while friends and co-workers don their 30-minute to an hour's worth of product, I generally opted for some lip gloss and a coat of mascara. While people spent their mornings trying on various outfits I put on whatever felt right. If you ask my college roommates they would tell you that would mean a pair of ripped jeans, my favorite O.A.R. t-shirt, and flip-flops. Flip flops, in fact were worn even in the winters of North-western Pennsylvania, unless there was snow-- but I digress. Even today, I tend to go for comfortable clothing over form-fitting va-va-voom outfits.

There have been, especially more recently, times in my life when I did give a damn about my appearance. Most formal occasions, for example. On holidays and weddings, my sister is delegated to putting on my makeup, an arduous task, because I frankly look like a monkey when it comes to putting on my own face, and she is generally embarrassed of my attempts (think:tons of various blushes, concealers and moisturizers open, as I shakily put eyeliner everywhere on my eyelid but the proper place). So, I stick to my mascara and lip gloss, but stare at counters fully of beautifully packaged beauty products longingly and wonder if I can be taught to put it on. . . Then I suddenly feel silly- why do I need all that gook?

Admittedly, once I graduated from college and got out in the real world- I had a bit of money and began to pay attention to fashion- I liked looking polished and a bit more put together, and then I liked following fashion even more closely, and now it has hit an apex, wherein I spend hours staring at the latest new thing, read my Vogue hungrily, and lean close to the point of self-destruction when I realize I do not have the money to buy half of the crap I long to have. Just now, I spent an hour online staring at the new Fall Fashion Trends for this year on and added about 50 unnecessary items to my wish list. What has happened to me?

Now, I think maybe I'm being a little bit hard on myself: Is it bad for me to want to look good, to take an interest in my appearance? no. Does it mean I think that appearances are all that matters? no. Do I judge others on their appearance? no, not really, unless I meet them in a dark alley I don't tend to make snap judgments about people. Can someone be independent, free-thinking, and feminist-leaning and still care about their appearance? I think so. Or is it that I am being beaten-down by all the media hype as to who I should be and what I should care about, making me really not as independent, free-thinking and feminist-leaning as I thought? mm, I hope not.

There, now I feel better. Sort of.

In any case, all this really started rolling around in my head after I read this interesting article from The New York Times on French Women's Secrets to Aging Well- and then wondering what really drew me to the article i.e. Why am I worried about aging when I am in my late 20's? Should I really care this much now? At least the French may have it right- age gracefully, proudly showing your age but maintaining Style and Dignity.

Comments? Questions? Concerns?

P.S. What do you think of this romper? Too Much?

1 comment:

  1. JUST SAY NO TO THE ADULT ROMPER!! They are very "in" right now, but that is a fading trend along with the short lived Mom Jeans. They do not accent any good feature of a woman's body... They look good on one body type but that is it. I would say to stretch your dollar buy an outfit that can be mixed and matched with others rather then a stand alone piece that is headed out the door :)