Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Break out the Lipstick!

I, for one, will wear lipstick until the day I die - and my kids better paint me up before I have visitors in the old folks home. After all, I am a woman -- first and foremost -- and believe you me when I'm not wearing the shiny stuff that differentiates me from men, you'll know I'm feeling poorly -- about life mostly. Makeup is a rite of passage, as is having your hair done. My hair, makeup and the way I dress are always a reflection of how I feel about myself -- and I dare say that's true of the rest of you lovely ladies. I have pretended otherwise as well.

I strode through the 60's in bell bottom jeans, combat boots, T shirts, frizzy long hair, tinted glasses, and no makeup. Somehow I even managed to snag a boyfriend, but I was a whole lot younger then and most of the males back then only look for what's under the clothes anyways. BUT, once I survived those tumultuous years I realized that telling myself that "appearances" weren't important was just a myth I'd perpetuated because first, I was a part of a generation that loved rebellion and second, I wasn't so sure I liked being a girl -- a sexual object, a second class citizen and all that went with it.

One day I looked in the mirror and didn't like the way I looked. I wouldn't have dated me. I wouldn't have paid any attention to me. I was a eunuch -- I'd given away one of the best gifts we women have -- the right and privileged of looking female and enjoying it. Why shouldn't we play up our best features! Men just get to grow old naturally and are stuck with whatever defects produce themselves. Women get to cover their age spots, reduce their wrinkles, cover their gray and feel young and vibrant a whole lot longer. What a gift! I have no intention of ever being gray and I will fight my wrinkles and cover my age spots just as long as I can. Why not? It makes me feel better about myself. I have a million physical defects that I have spent far too many hours brooding over. On my good days I put them aside and focus on the positive ones that can be enhanced by makeup, decent looking clothes that are more stylish than not and a hair style that fits the new millennium. Trust me, you can do it on a budget, so that can't be an excuse.

Let me tell you about a woman I know. My mother had a wonderful friend in the retirement community...Katie...she's 92. Her husband died about 5 years ago and she now has bone cancer and is in tremendous pain much of the time. In addition, the chemo has created sores in her mouth and she can't wear her dentures. But there is rarely a day when she doesn't appear, even just to get her mail in her little scooter, dressed to the 9's with makeup and lipstick - despite not having any teeth -- and it's easy to tell that she feels a whole lot better about life than if she were schlepping around attired the way she really feels. And the people who encounter her feel better about life as well. I used to think we should be honest and without pretense -- and while that is still an important concept in many areas, we run the risk of being so honest as to make ourselves feel worse -- not to mention those around us.

The bottom line is this ladies...look in's are beautiful. After all you are a woman, and all women have an inner beauty that when released reflects itself in outer's just the way God made us...put on a little makeup (I'm not suggesting a Dolly Parton look); call up the hair dresser and add a little color back in your hair. Do you feel better about life? I bet you will. And oh, don't forget to smile at yourself and say "I look fantastic! and I feel fantastic!"

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