I Appreciate the Link Between Looking Good and Feeling Good.
As I was on my way to the gym this morning, I drove past a friend who was walking her dog. I stopped to chat for a minute and told her where I was going. She remarked, “Oh your hair looks too pretty to go to the gym.” I thanked her, continued our chat and then drove off wondering if my hair really did look too pretty for the gym. And then I thought “what exactly does that mean, anyway?” I’m not one to dissect my conversations and rehash them over and over. I took the compliment and thanked her for it before going on my way but …
Ok, so here’s the thing … I like to be clean, groomed and ready to face the world when I, uh, face the world. And that includes the world of the gym, even at 7:00 a.m. I shower before I go, draw on my eyebrows, coat my lashes with mascara, slick on some lip gloss and off I go. I don’t apply the same makeup I would for a business meeting, lunch with friends or party – but so what if I did? If it makes me feel better, why not?
I am not taking my friend to task here. Not at all. She gave me a lovely, spontaneous and heartfelt compliment and I appreciated it greatly – but it made me think about the conversations I’ve had over the years about the subjects of beauty products and fashion. I’m always surprised to hear the opinion that a fondness for those things is indicative of a superficial personality and a dull brain. Really? Since when did wearing lip gloss kill brain cells? Since when did applying a coat of mascara make one self-centered and selfish?
I simply don’t understand that way of thinking. Why shouldn’t I try to look good when I go to the gym? Or anywhere else for that matter? Does wearing mascara to my workout make me any less serious about getting fit? I don’t think so. I admit that I’m vain – but I’m not superficial. It enrages me when people confuse the two. I like mascara. I like lipgloss – but they are not the sum of me. I am a political junkie, can quote speeches and statistics and can hold my own with the best of them when it comes to political discourse. I am an avid reader with eclectic tastes in literature, although I prefer historical fiction, histories and biographies. And, when it comes to most things archeological, I devour that information like it’s candy. I am passionate about our environment, wildlife and animal rights in general. I am an internet gamer, with a preference for word and trivia games. I am a good listener, a good friend and a trusted confidante. And, every day I try to make the people I encounter feel good – and I do it all while wearing mascara and lip gloss.
Any number of studies have been done on the psychology of looking good to feel good. There must be something to them. From women who are ill to those who are victims of domestic violence to those who are jobless or homeless, charitable organizations that provide beauty and wardrobe makeovers have been found to improve self-esteem with a coat of mascara, a blow out and an upgrade in wardrobe. Superficial? Not in my book.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t care if one wears – or doesn’t wear – makeup to the gym or anywhere else. It’s their choice to dress as they like and that includes applying cosmetics. I don’t judge. But I don’t want to be judged either and have my glossy lips interpreted as a sign of an empty head and a selfish heart.
I’m passionate about fashion and beauty but that does not make me, or anyone else with similar passions, superficial or stupid. Let’s never confuse those things again.
What’s your view on using cosmetics to look good and feel good? Leave a comment below …
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