Yesterday I tried a new stylist since my regular one is on her honeymoon.
Unfortunately, I ended up with a bad haircut. By the way, there’s no hiding a bad haircut–when you have SHORT hair. And for some inexplicable reason the stylist (who’d endlessly complimented my hair texture) decided to leave most of my head with less than an inch of hair all round–barely enough to pinch. She did however, kindly leave me a small fringe in front and wisps near my ear lobes. So I kind of still look like a girl.
After viewing the damage in the salon mirror, I did something that in a previous life I would’ve never done. I summoned a brave smile, swallowed my disappointment that the outcome looked nothing like the magazine picture that I’d given her, and I tipped her. She’d given it her best shot, afterall, and we did have a wonderful chat, so I also gave her an extra fond hug since it’d be my last visit.
When I got home and looked again in bathroom the mirror I was again saddened…and overwhelmed with helplessness. I’d just started a new job in a conservative industry 5 weeks ago!
My 4 year old son gave me a hug and said “Mom your hair smells good and I like the way it feels!” My 6 year old daughter took one look at my head, saw my red eyes and instinctively said “Mom, I like your hair!” Then she too hugged me.
I cheered up.
Although I rarely wear earrings, I decided to try on a bold pair that I’d never worn. Then I rimmed by eyes with black eyeliner, from a makeup set that I’d receieved as a gift last year but had never used. The effect was a little Annabella from Bow Wow Wow-ish (circa early ’80’s.)
At the end of the day, bad hair cut or not–it is still me. So I scooped up my adorable tribe and exited the building. After all it was a great day out.
Plastic (i.e. “cosmetic”) surgery is fully out of the closet, gaining rapid acceptance with the mainstream, particularly the woman (and girl) next door.
As an aesthete I appreciate enhancing what you have to look your personal best. The operative word being “your,” not someone else’s ideal. Too much tinkering particularly on the face and your natural beauty, because everyone IS beautiful AND ugly, is replaced with an artificial version, as impressionable as weak tea. This artificial look has come to gain acceptance in very much the way non-organic, microwave, and fast, food have, that is until you run into the authentic versions. Lines rarely make you look old, but your carriage, attitude and spirit can. Many, though not all, beauty procedures are trends that become outdated in a matter of years. Remember facelifts of yesteryear that made its receipients look older? Surgery, on the other hand is irreversible.
There is a national pre-occupation of near obsessive level for conditioning women over the age of 30 to believe that they are old. Finally, sometime around age 65, these women learn the truth. Trouble is, they can’t get the word out because everyone else is conditioned to ignoring them.
There’s something about beholding aging, worn, or just plain old, but well made things that makes my skin tingle with a feeling very close to that of romantic love. Their aesthetic beauty and functionality are amazing in a way that many recently manufactured things (insert big box store here) are not. Moreover, things from an earlier era typically were made by artisans–created with pride and intended to stand the test of time. Each one with its own story, and evoking memories associated with its particular acquisition. That is why I frequent musems and antique stores. It is with this gentle perspective I observe the marks time etches on the faces of elders–and feel a deep respect, tenderness, and appreciation at my core for their simply being here.