Anyone who knows me knows that I don't try very hard in the "outward appearances" category. My family may attest to the fact that I do have a "beauty ritual" after I shower, involving copious quantities of mousse and a bit of eyeliner and mascara, and I definitely go through way more bobby pins than the average human, but usually my routine in the morning involves more hitting the snooze button than primping.
As far as clothing is concerned, I like to look like I try, but if a look is going to make me try harder than reaching into my closet and pairing a neutral-colored tee shirt with a camisole and jeans, I usually won't go for it, unless I'm being forced to dress up. Occasionally, I will go out of my norm and put something on that actually accentuates the fact that I'm a girl, but usually I feel crazy awkward leaving the house with something that achieves this look that I change my clothes five seconds before I leave the house.
In high school, I used to care way more about my hair, and would straighten my bangs every morning, until they were almost permanently straight, but my clothing style was just about the same as it is now, and as soon as I got to college, the heat tools generally stay in the linen closet most of the time.
Tonight, out of boredom, I decided to re-curl my hair, and put eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick on my face. It took about an hour, and when I was done, I looked in the mirror, and didn't even recognize myself. Sure, I looked pretty good, but my natural Jewish curls had already started to rebel against the ironing, and I hated that I could feel the makeup sitting on my eyelids. I sit here scratching at my eyes, twitching my nose in discomfort from all the makeup I have on my face, and I've already impatiently tied my hair back up. It took me about twenty minutes.
|Not worth a full hour.|
If being "real" has helped me in any way, I never have a doubt in my mind that my friends are my friends because of who I am, not because of what I'm wearing, or how I look. I know that Alex thinks that I'M beautiful, not my makeup or curling iron. Of course, he likes when I put forth a little more effort than slathering on some mousse and slapping eyeliner on my face in three minutes, but I generally don't try very hard on any normal day, and he is still attracted to me. He compliments my features even on my "ugly" days, and I know he cares more about my heart than my hair. He also loves my natural curls, as much as I despise them. Plus, when I actually do dress up, put on something that accentuates the fact that I'm a female, and step into some heels, he acts like it's Christmas.
Maybe my lack of sophisticated fashion sense, and my "unlucky" gifts from the gene pool made me less popular than most in high school, but I know my brain and intelligence is healthy and thriving. My character and actions are so much more important than looking the part that everyone wants me to play, and being a unique, intelligent individual is miles more rewarding than being "typically attractive."
If all of the girls in the world stopped trying so hard, perhaps everyone could get along by content, rather than the cover. Popularity would be judged by character, rather than by clothing and hair. It's still self-respectful to care for oneself, and take care in one's appearance, but instead of slaving in front of the mirror every morning in an effort to look good for people I don't even know or care about, I would rather be comfortable and happy in my own, real, genuine skin.