For the first time in about 45 days, I told myself I was going to get “ready”. As a woman, I’ve been taught to believe that being ready means your hair is elegantly done, your makeup is on, your jewelry is on, and your clothes are the cherry on top to support the entire “ready” facade.
Normally I go through this process and I just do it, no thinking about why. But today, this thought started pouring in…
How much of “ready” do I want to be? So, I started with a shower, washed my face, brushed my teeth. The basics. Then I put on a top that would only be worn to work normally, and I considered a bra, but really? Who invented those?! News flash to those who haven’t put on one, they are NOT, I repeat, not comfortable! I don’t care what type of bra you have. NOT COMFORTABLE. 😃
And then I put on some earrings. I enjoyed the process of picking the perfect elegant pair.
Took out my flat iron and straightened my hair. The entire time wishing my hair was different than it is. Shinier, straighter, longer, anything but what it is.
Once I finished my hair, I stopped. Do I put on jeans? Normally jeans are “ready”. “Mmmm, but not comfortable” I thought to myself. They are tight and stiff. So, I went for comfortable. Some black sweat pants I normally only wear to bed! But you know what, my legs are thanking me! “Finally, something we can breathe in!”
Comfortable. Comfortable. Comfortable.
How much that word comes to mind in all of this. I’m comfortable. Comfortable in my half “ready” outfit. Comfortable with my half “ready face. And then I stopped for a second. What would I wear to work when I have to go back? Could I wear this? Could I go into a meeting with my team, with leaders, and not have on any makeup?
Then more thoughts poured in. Why didn’t I think to wear this to work before?
And that’s because I believed, and I believe that society believes that “ready” as woman means…no flaws…and to such extent you must do the following to be “ready”:
- Style (flat iron or curl or fluff, etc!) hair
- Wash face
- Put on makeup
- Put on a bra
- Put on flattering clothes
- Pick out jewelry to match
- Put on sexy shoes
So I decided to do part of this. And it turns out, I still look pretty damn good!
So “why”, I ask myself. Why did I do this process everyday before? Parts of this slipped once I became a mother. I began to wear less makeup. And that felt strange at first. And media calls this “mommy style” in a tone that the lack of getting “ready” is below standard. And somewhat unacceptable.
But I became more comfortable with the idea that all I needed was mascara, blush, and some chapstick.
The other day, my son asked me, mommy, what is makeup for? And I couldn’t give him a good answer. The truth was horrific to say. It’s to cover my face so the world thinks I look pretty. So I think I look pretty.
What the f*uck. Why isn’t my natural face beautiful enough? Makeup has taught me my entire life, that my natural face isn’t good enough.
We are forced since the day we are young children to understand that our organic appearance just isn’t “enough”. I can’t stand the idea of teaching my kids this. Especially my 2 year old daughter.
I don’t think being “ready” is bad. I enjoy the process of getting “ready” some days. Really enjoy it. Do you want to wear makeup? fine. You don’t, that’s fine too. O, you want to wear makeup one day and not the next, okay!
But what rubs me the wrong way? Being sold the idea that we must do these things in order to be presentable, to be fully acceptable. Especially at work. We only show one side of ourselves. The “perfect” side. Let’s show all sides, make it even.
Social media, movies, magazines, Pinterest, instagram, rrrr. Perfection. That’s all they show. And NO ONE is perfect. Come on people! So much of being a woman is to cover who we truly are. And as we cover, we learn that we are not enough as we are.
In this time, when no one truly sees, who do you want to be? Be that person all the time. Share that person. Because that is the person who’s heart is always open. That is the person who is vulnerable (and it’s okay to be vulnerable, it’s okay to be uncomfortable, it’s okay to upset). That is the person who we all want to be. Just ourselves. Comfortable in OUR own skin. Comfortable with the choices we make, knowing that each one is from who we are underneath the facade of clothes, skin, and bones. If we all share every side, then we will all be more comfortable knowing that it’s totally normal that we are all who we truly are. And then, no one has to cover anything up.
As Pete the Cat says “Everyone else is already taken, you gotta be you”. And that’s what I want my kids to learn. Comfort in their own body and mind.
So please, everyone be you, so I can be me. And so my kids can grow up knowing what it means to be a true person. A whole person. A person who has flaws…