I remember something my mom said so many, many years ago. Perhaps it was the wistfulness in her voice that caused me to recall it so often, but it certainly got my attention.
She said, “Men get gray hair and they look distinguished. Women get gray hair and they just look old.”
As I progressed in years, I discovered that I agreed with her. Every time I noticed a man with gray hairs I thought he looked great. Every time I saw a woman with salt and pepper hair I thought she was getting old and wondered why she didn’t dye her hair. So, I willingly dyed my mom’s hair when her gray roots showed, and had been dying my own hair for so long I can’t even remember when my own hair started turning gray.
As a young child, I remember watching my mom put on her makeup, longing for the day when I was old enough to wear makeup too. I never questioned her about why she did it. I just accepted it as part of a woman’s natural routine. I started wearing eye makeup when I entered Jr. High School (Middle School).
Shortly after that I began to get styes in my eyelids. My mom took me to the doctor and he just said I needed to use eye wash and keep my fingers out of my eyes. Well, that didn’t really help, so we just accepted it as a part of my physiology.
I was in my early 30’s when I discovered the cause of the styes. I was working the late shift, getting off at 9 am. I worked in a casino that was dimly lit with no windows, and when I walked out into the bright sunlight, my eyes would water, causing my mascara to run, burning my eyes. Sometimes I would have to pull over while driving home just to wipe my eyes so I could see. I finally decided it wasn’t worth going through all that every morning, so I chose to stop wearing mascara. I can’t tell you how surprised I was when after almost 20 years I suddenly stopped getting styes in my eyelids!
No pun intended, but that was a real eye-opener for me!
I realized that the same companies that sold makeup are the same companies that sell products to repair your damaged and aging skin. I also realized that men…who look distinguished, not old…don’t wear makeup!
It wasn’t long before I gained enough courage to go to work without “putting my face on.” It’s been over 25 years since I stopped wearing makeup, and while my skin isn’t young and taut anymore, I have very “distinguished” skin with very few wrinkles.
I never actually stopped to think about it before, but many males in the animal kingdom are considered more beautiful than the females. The lion has a great mane; the female is just kind of blah. The male peacock is the one with the beautiful tail; the female is a boring brown. The rooster sports a bright red comb on his head; the chicken’s is much smaller. I think it’s because the males need to attract the females’ attention. The female doesn’t have to do anything but…well, be a female.
Somewhere down the line the human species has gotten it backwards. It’s like the females are all fighting for the males’ attention, yet I don’t think I’ve ever seen documentary footage of two female animals fighting over a male.
I think it’s time for us to “man-up”, girls. I think it’s time we stop listening to commercials about “beauty” products and start acknowledging to ourselves that we already ARE beautiful.
I know I would rather have someone tell me “I’m” beautiful rather than have them say I “look” beautiful…and then later have to wash my “beauty” off. I trust someone who smiles at me in the grocery store, wearing my grubbies and no makeup, more than I trust someone who only smiles at the people who are dressed to “go out”.
There are people who believe they must always look their best, and they are beautiful to look at. For me though, I want people to see me smile and not notice if my lipstick is crooked. I want to be able to cry without worrying that my makeup will run. I want to walk out in the sunshine and not have my face melt.
Having the courage to show the world all the flaws in my face has made me a better person. I don’t take the time to accent my eyes so they stand out or use highlighting strategy to make my nose look smaller, so I do not look beautiful. I just work on BEing beautiful.
The only person who really cares about how you look or the type of person you are is you. Everyone else is really just worried about how they appear to the world. Wear makeup or don’t, but whichever you choose, just remember to show your true face to the world. A person can only act like they’re someone else for so long.
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My name is Laura Mozer Davis, and I was born over half a century ago. My life’s journey has included raising three children as a single parent while caring for my parents who both became disabled during the last 10 years of their lives. Now that my children are grown and my parents have passed into the next part of their journey, I finally have time for me to grow as a person, not as just a care-giver. What I am learning, however, is that my destiny is to always be a care-giver. When I started writing for The Daily Sisterhood blog, I realized that I was to continue my care-giving through my writing. If my words help even just one person find either solace or joy, I know my life continues to have meaning.