I am not even going to begin to scratch the surface of this post as I have had it swirling in my head in one form or another for months, maybe over a year, but I figure if I don’t start writing some of the swirling thoughts down I am never going to get started and in the last few days the topic keeps raising its head so it’s time to address it.
I think I have said it before I am the least girlie girl I have ever met. That’s not to say I am masculine, I don’t think so anyway, but I do not go in for all the things so many people feel the need to do to themselves to ‘enhance’ their beauty. I think I have only worn make up about six times in the eight and a half years I have been living back in South Africa. And only twice since the twins were born nearly three years ago. I don’t colour my hair, it gets cut every six months or so when it looks unhealthy or I fancy a change and it only ever sees a hairdryer if it is cold and I am about to leave the building otherwise it is wash and wear. I am wearing less and less jewellery as time passes (thanks in part to an annoying allergy I seem to have developed even to 24carat gold?). My face cream costs R16 a tube and lasts me about a month. I haven’t worn perfume in years (thanks in part to the terrible headache strong smells give me these days). I don’t paint my nails (except for fancy dress parties), I have never had a facial, I have never had a manicure, I don’t have tattoos, I wear flat comfortable shoes and I am happy with me. I guess you might say my ‘look’ (if such a thing could be called a ‘look’) is natural and practical.
That’s not to say I look in the mirror and think I look fab, most days probably not, I know I am extremely overweight, but most of the time that doesn’t bother me that much either. But I look in the mirror and I am happy with me. I can look in my eyes and see ME. I don’t have to look through layers that have been pasted over me to see me. And I am never afraid my hubby will wake up one morning and get a fright because I haven’t “put my face on” yet. What a ridiculous thing to say… “put your face on”.
I’m not entirely sure why but for some reason this ‘natural’ approach has become a source of pride for me, a little like how proud I am that I have NEVER eaten a McDonalds Burger.
I quite simply do not understand at all why women put themselves through so much to look nothing at all like themselves? I don’t understand why so many spend so much time and energy to be something other than what they are. It is foreign to me.
Someone once made some comment that one day they would have to teach my daughter how to apply makeup and quite frankly while I laughed I was appalled. Why on earth would my gorgeous child ever need to learn how to hide herself?
And I think right there is the source of why I have become more and more firm on my ‘natural’ approach since the kids arrived. First off I want my kids to be kids for as long as humanly possible. And I don’t mean stunting their development, I simply mean not pushing them to become ‘grown up’.
I know a little girl who is not yet five, she wears high heel wedge shoes most of the time. How do you climb trees and run and jump in wedges? She has nail varnish on her nails most of the time. She wears makeup to kids parties. She has her ears pierced. Her mother calls her sexy regularly. Is anyone saying WHAT THE F#CK with me? Why is this LITTLE girl being sexualised and grown up and worst of all not being taught how incredibly gorgeous she is just the way she is?
I think that I hold onto my natural approach so strongly in the hopes that in this way my kids will learn that I love who I am inside and out and when I spend time on myself I would rather spend that on improving the person inside. I hope my kids will learn that we do age, getting older is part of life and when we get older we start to look different. That the lines on my face come from experiences out in the wind and sun and from laughing with joy at my happy life, that the grey hairs come from worrying about them because I love them so much. That my flabby and stretch marked belly is because it nurtured them while I held them closer than I will ever hold them again. As an aside they already know that my top belly is from Sausage, where he grew and my bottom belly is from Pudding where she grew. And this isn’t in the blaming them for my fat kind of way but as a constant celebration of the little lives that started right there.
When they are going to grow up in a world which constantly tells them to be something other than who they are, how do we teach them to love themselves for their raw natural beauty?