Bridget Trask and I have had long and serious (and sometimes not so serious) talks about beauty. About the frailty of it all, the longing for, the desire to be. We’ve shared how we’vewrestled with it, been caught up in it, can’t begin to understand it. We do this because beauty is written into our genetic code just as surely as our mom hips and roller-coaster emotions. We do it, too, with a growing sense of panic and fear because being the moms of girls is hard.
We agree that we want our girls to be healthy and love themselves. But what do you do when your 6 year old says when she grows up she will dye her hair “yellow and finally be pretty”? We want them to know true beauty , to know we see it in themselves, and to encourage their understanding and expression of it. We know we want to be ahead of the curve when it comes to outward beauty and the questions that are sure to (or already have!) come.
The difficulty comes in not knowing how to REALLY do it.
I struggle with my own identity and self image most of the time. “Pretty” and “beautiful” are not words that pass my pale and chapped lips when describing myself. It’s rough on my psyche, my marriage, and certainly my kids. Me and Jesus, we’re working on rewriting my story but chiseling out what seems written in stone is a long and arduous process. And while the work is difficult, some things are worth the effort.
The point is, I’m working on it. I know that wearing lipstick won’t make me see myself as beautiful, but it might help. Therefor I’ve resolved in 2015 to figure out how to apply it. This fall, too many clandestine meetings with Gemma rendered my nice Mary Kay brushes and compact trash-bound. Jac gave me different tools for Christmas and while I am intimidated, I am trying to use them every day. It may help my self image, it does help my marriage (to take time for myself. Settle down, feminists!), and certainly helps my girls to watch me in the mirror.
And, as expected, my girls have helped themselves, too. Under lock and key, it doesn’t matter, they will find a way to get at my things. Tess told me with bright lips and wide eyes that she was cleaning the bathroom and the lipstain just ‘happened’ to fall from the top shelf, causing the lid to fall down the drain. Was there another version to that series of events? I wondered. She spilled in the end but the cap was washed pass the bend in the pipe and gone.
My sanity almost went with it today when I held my new eye shadow brush in my hand and contemplated if I should wash it. It’s new, so do I not mess with it? Is it dry enough to dry it out without incident? Oh, what the heck, I thought, and began to wipe the bristles on a tissue.
Pink? Why were there streaks of pink? What in the name of sparkle?!?!
The bristles clung together. Ironically, so did my eyelids. Yes, oh yes!, Gemma had used the big fluffy brush to apply her ‘lip-tick.’ “I put it back, though, Mama. I put back your makeup.”
I washed the brush. I tried to tame my second-day hair. And I wore my sticky eyelids because some things just aren’t worth the effort.