Then I saw Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45 by Christopher Hopkins. Okay, I wasn't expecting that. I had just left Subway, where the boys and I had lunch, and I saw a parade of women in their 50s and 60s with their breasts pressed together and spilling out of their little t-shirts, capri pants showcasing varicose veins, and smeared red liptstick. I recalled thinking that's what divorcees on the prowl look like and I didn't ever want to go there. So, in light of yesterday's blogging, I caved and bought the book, hoping that I could find my place in the world of beauty.
I'm reading the first chapter right now. There's a quote by Helena Rubenstein: "There are no ugly women, only lazy ones". Is my perceived lack of effort over my appearance rooted in laziness? Well, I suppose a certain amount of it, but I'd rather ascribe it to a different system of priorities, and my personal beauty regimen needed to be very minimal for a portion of my life. Even now, with a burgeoning desire to improve my appearance, I don't know when I'll be able to do this, or how much of my resources to invest in it. What's the payout? Will I feel better about myself? Will I feel more confident? Will I get more done? Will I be able to move mountains? (Because I've always wanted to do that.)
In the first chapter, on page 8, there's a task...List Your Wants. The author asks for a list of my beauty aspirations, how I'd love to look if everything were perfect in my world. Okay, I'll bite:
- I'll start from the top...I like my hair. I have a lot of hair. As I've gotten older, it's gotten coarser. There's now a distinct wave to it. Not enough to let it dry naturally and it falls in gentle tendrils around my face. It get's a little frizzy. I wish I could manipulate it so that I could put one product in it to make the gentle tendrils happen for me, and let it dry "naturally", and then go through another procedure to get it shiny and straight. I know that all exists. I'm just not sure how. I don't like having the same haircut for long periods of time. I like to experiment, but I don't want to look trendy. I want to look womanly.
- I have the early signs of rosacea and very dry skin, but with the soy allergy, I have a hard time finding products to address that and even my skin tone without causing my eyes to water. My skin is still fairly wrinkle-free, except for some lines across my forehead. Wish I could erase those. As I've lost weight, the skin under my jawline has gotten a little crepe-like and loose, so I'd like that firmed up somewhat. And my eyelids are heavier now as well, so a bit of a brow lift would be nice. But I wish I could do all that without surgery.
- I want clean, shiny white teeth and healthy gums to show off a healthy smile. I can do that on my own. I have good teeth. Just need to put more regular effort into them.
- I need a mole harvest to happen. I have an awful lot of skin tags all over me. One on my eyelid, several around my neck, and other inconvenient places between my neck and hips.
- My skin overall feels dry and rough. But again, soy allergy prevents me from using anything with glycerin in it.
- I'm also rather hirsute. I've got a fair amount of chin and mustache going on now. Tried electrolysis, but it didn't work. Tried laser and that didn't work either. Now they're all white and very coarse and stiff. Not at all attractive. I don't know what to do about that. Hair removal over my arms, underarms and legs has never been a good thing for me. I tried Nair and Neet, but that never really worked. Tried waxing a couple of times, but I ended up with the worst rash! And shaving gives similar results. I usually just stay covered up.
- Due to the weight and my height, I have really poor circulation in my lower legs. As a result, there's some strong discoloration from blood that never circulated out of there. I don't know what to do about that at all. I can't wear dresses unless I wear boots with them. I have one pair of shorts and I only wear those at home. There have been a few occasions when I have gone out of the house in a dress or with shorts and people have stopped me to ask me what's going on with my legs...every time! It would be nice to have that go away, because I have lovely slender ankles and would look nice in a dress!
- I wish I could find a love for getting regular manicures and pedicures. I don't like to put color on my nails, because I'm a bit rough on the finishes. I work a lot with my hands and I always mess up the color! The whites of my nails are always very white, so a simple buffed finish is what I prefer. And I do like nice, soft heels without cracks. My skin is very dry around my feet as well.
- I do wish I weighed less. I'd like to have about 20% bodyfat on my. That would put me at around 180 lbs. I like feeling soft, curvy and fleshy, like a body fit for belly dancing. I want to have some really strong muscles and supple joints underneath as well. And I want my skin to be smooth and not sagging anywhere. No more batwings. No more inner thigh masses. No more thick middle and stomach overhang. And I want the "girls" to move back to where they're supposed to be. I'm not sure if I want them to be any bigger. It would be nice if I could move some of my own fat stores in there.
- And finally, I want really nice, natural posture.
Wow! Who knew the list was going to get so long!
I was thinking about a person to whom I'd look as a beauty icon for me and I can't think of any at the moment. Perhaps someone like Isabella Rosselini. She seems to have a very comfortable beauty. I might have chosen Sophia Loren at one point in my life, but as she has aged, she seems to have a forced beauty and sexuality about her. I don't think we women need to be so wrapped up in putting our sexuality "out there" because then our value seems to be only in our ability to sexually attract someone. And frankly, men aren't that difficult to sexually attract. As a man once told me, he could look at a parade of women of all shapes, sizes and ages walk by and entertain the idea of "doing" practically each and every one of them.