31 May 2015

This Bothers Me

I was trolling around on Facebook earlier today, and saw that someone had posted about this article.  Commenters were decrying the fact that women are judged on their appearances, forced to get Botox, etc.  I'm sure you can fill in the blanks here and guess what was said.

Meh.  And not just because I'm not a fan of Jennifer Weiner.

I am tired of people complaining that they are slaves to fashion, beauty, etc., and that these days social media makes things worse, and puts more pressure on all of us as women.

Because I'm sorry, but if you are allowing everything and everyone else to determine how you live/dress/act/whatever, outside influences are not at fault - you are.  When did people lose their autonomy over their own lives?  When did they actively decide that what others think or look like is the most important?

Now, I realize that this kind of thing has been happening one way or another since the dawn of time.  And I realize that peer pressure is hard for a lot of people to resist.  And that many people with children encourage their children to look good, pointing out those who don't.  And on and on.

I think like most other things in life, this is a case of choosing your battles - what is important to you? - and moving on.

Take me, for example.  I can remember very clearly during 5th grade, when a couple of my friends became obsessed with having a boyfriend.  They were newly busy fixing their hair, acting flirty, and who knows what else.  I did not understand this at all, and remember asking my mother if I should be doing the same thing.  She responded that it was up to me what I decided to do.  Since I was about as interested in having a boyfriend as I was in eating bugs, I decided to just forget about the whole issue.  I was still puzzled by my friends, but we all still got along just fine (though lots of times I thought they were acting stupid.  I wisely kept that opinion to myself.  Mainly because no one asked me).

And a version of that has continued, even to the present day.  We are bombarded with images and text every day, even to the point of telling us what we should be wearing in our 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond.  I'll admit that every once in a while, I'll see someone who is probably around my age, and for a moment, wonder if I am dressing/trying to look younger than I should for my age.

Then the moment passes.

I like to look nice.  I will admit that I love makeup, clothes, shoes, jewelry, and plenty of other "girly" things.  I color my hair.  I wear makeup.  I try to keep my nails neat and clean, even if not polished.  I am probably slightly overweight, and I try to dress in a way as to not accentuate it.  I make an effort (granted a minimal one) when I am getting dressed to go out to look as nice and presentable as possible.  99% of the time, no one seems to notice - at least, if they do, they don't comment on it, one way or the other.

I have no desire for Botox or any of the other things like that.  I do not get my teeth whitened, I do not use the at-home whiteners.  I am not interested in plastic surgery at all.  I do not have tattooed-on eyebrows, or permanent eyeliner.  I know tons of people who do this, and other things which I find useless, and in my opinion are stupid.  But unless asked, it would never occur to me to comment on it unless someone asked me outright.

Maybe my perspective is unusual, but I hope not.  I just wish people would come out and say that what they decided to do or not do is their own decision, not try to opt out by claiming that it's all society's fault.  Few of us are doing anything because someone is absolutely forcing us.  Unless you live in certain areas of the world, your choices are all your own.

Just admit it, people.  And let's move on.

25 May 2015

Memorial Day 2015

They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation.
--Henry Ward Beecher

Have a wonderful holiday, but remember those who made it possible.

17 May 2015

Something's Gotta Give

Yesterday and today, I was out shopping and doing some errands.  The weather was especially hot and humid, even though it's only the middle of May.  So I had on a t-shirt and capris (yesterday) and a t-shirt and shorts (today).

I walked past a mirror (yesterday) and a store window (today), and it stopped me in my tracks!  Both times, I looked like a street person, or someone who had been ill for a long time.  Granted, on neither day did I go out of my way to get fixed up, but I figured I looked OK.

Now I don't spend an inordinate amount of time obsessing over my appearance, but these two things just really rattled me.  I expect to look awful if I've been exercising, gardening, or if I am in fact recovering from some illness.  But not when I am just walking around.

Recently, I have been reading the book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo.  I have found it both amusing and interesting, and have been slowly working my way through things applying the principles in the book (our house isn't big enough, and I don't get enough stretches of long time to pull out everything in every room each time, as she suggests).  I've made real progress, which feels good, but I also now realize that it's not just my closet, or the kitchen cabinets, or places here that need to be tidied up - it's me as well!

So it's time to make a plan, and try to get my person in order.  I know it will make me feel better, and give me more energy.  I've been making a concerted effort to find something positive in each day, and maybe this little push is just what I needed.

I'm giving myself a few days to think about the what/when/how of getting myself "tidied up" because I would like to do this in a systematic way.

It can't hurt, and it might help - right?

(Not me, of course, but I do wear hats in the summer ...)

*image borrowed from here

06 May 2015

Product Review - My Face Is Happier Than Ever

I don't know about you, but at this time of year, and then as it gets even warmer, I am a sweaty mess.  I don't "glow," or "perspire" - I SWEAT.   And it means that putting anything on my face that is lotion-y or creamy is a) a mess, and b) a waste of time, since it seems to sweat right off.

So when I saw commercials and ads in magazines for this product, I decided it was worth a try.

And I am now in love.  

To paraphrase Stefon, of "Saturday Night Live" fame, this product has everything:  a light feel, a cool feel, virtually no scent, hyaluronic acid, and you only need a small amount to cover your face (and your neck if you get a little carried away).  

Seriously, this is exactly what you need if you are like me.  Though it is a gel, it's a very light gel, liquidy but not runny.  It feels invisible on your skin, and application is a breeze.  But most of all, it immediately sinks in to your skin and your face feels cooler.  As I mentioned above, it has the slightest of scents and does not in any way sting or feel like it is shrinking your skin - you know, like products with alcohol content can do.

Of course, since it contains hyaluronic acid, it is good for anti-aging, but also means that you need a good sunscreen if you are using it in the daytime.  But whether you put sunscreen or foundation or powder - or even all three - on top, you never feel like you are adding a layer.

Also, since it is a Neutrogena product, you can find it in your local drug store.  I got mine on sale at our local CVS, for under $20.00.  I have a feeling it's gonna last me a nice long time, since you need the tiniest amount for full face coverage.  So there is a better than usual chance that this will do well on the BMST.

This gel has not caused any extra redness, breakouts, or other problems with my sensitive, rosacea-ed skin.  I really feel like this might be one of the best things that Neutrogena has come up with - or that anyone has, for that matter!

My face and I are both happy.