You are not defined by your Brazilian
I am not a goddess of grooming. While I am generally washed and my level of presentable usually stays between ‘somewhat’ and ‘fairly’, I am never, ever going to be one of those women that can keep all the aesthetic balls in the air with any consistency.
There are far too many things to keep track of!
Hair I want to keep: wash, condition, smooth with keratin, trim, style...repeat.
Hair I don’t want to keep: threading, tweezing, waxing, shaving
Skin: washing, moisturizing, exfoliating, hydrating, calming, SPF-ing
Makeup: evening, contouring, concealing, bronzing, brightening, lengthening, thickening, layering, setting, polishing
The list goes on forever, right? Ladies, can I get a what what! What...what the fuck else would I ever have time to do if I somehow manage to keep up with all of this?!? If we’re going to break down the general areas that need attention, I believe we have: hair, hair removal, skin, makeup, nails and wardrobe. Seem fair? I’m leaving fitness out of this. At my level of skill and focus, I believe that at any time, I might have three of those things in proper order. Four, if there’s a special occasion on the horizon, but that would be temporary.
Who are these women that can seem to keep up with all of it ALL the time? I’ve often wanted to be one of these marvels of femininity, but it’s not in the cards. I am investigating my nails right now as I’m typing this and they are making me sad. Last week however, they looked great! My hair didn’t, though. I’ve been unpleasantly surprised at the beach by a stocking of stubble on my legs that I failed to notice earlier. I’ve looked in the mirror at midday at work and upon seeing what my hair is saying to the world, I’m surprised I haven’t been escorted out of the building. It’s always something.
But...why should that make me feel inferior?
I don’t want to go off on too much of a rant about the unrealistic ideals that we have shoved down our throats each second by all forms of art and media (okay, I do want to, but it’s been done to death so I won’t), but that’s a huge part of it. Take a few more steps back though, and we see that it’s a lot bigger than that. How many times do we see images of superhero career women, super moms - super EVERYTHING - put forth as some type of Holy Grail we should all be reaching for? I know “Something About Mary” was not intended to deliver any type of social commentary, but Cameron Diaz’s character was one of those ‘perfect specimens’, wasn’t she? Tall, thin, put-together, attractive, successful. She wasn’t stuffy, though! She loved sports, fart jokes, beer, social work and philanthropy. I would venture to guess she’s never missed a wax, either.
In the era of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and all the other social media outlets I’m too old to be aware of, it’s so much easier for everyone to put forth an image that is carefully constructed so as to appear perfect, whatever our proposed idea of ‘perfect’ is. It’s the new annual Christmas letter, where you only shared the bright and shiny and hoped what you were projecting was happiness and solid success in every arena. Except now it isn’t annual, it’s 24/7, every second of every day. And though it defies logic, when we’re presented with these snapshots of others, eventually, it makes anything that is ‘less than’ feel like failure.
So we take on even more at work, or buy another power outfit or get a $300 hair color or buy a new car. We do whatever quick fix we feel will get us closer to the ideal when in fact, the ideal is an illusion. No one has all of their shit together. They just don’t. If they’re acting like they do, you have my permission to flick them in the throat. No doubt, it takes a Herculean effort to truly realize this and then accept that you are not failing if you don’t have it all together. Sure, we all hit rough spots in our lives, but I’m not talking about that. You are still hot if your nails aren’t perfectly manicured and if your outfits have never come from In Style. You can be successful at five figures, it doesn’t have to be six or seven. You don’t have to have children to validate your existence.
Who made up these stupid, stupid rules anyway??
This is what I’m slowly figuring out: You’ll waste a lot of time living your life by ideals created by people you don’t know and will never meet. People who likely suck a lot anyway. Take ideas and objectives and inspiration from everywhere and use those to be the best version of you according to YOUR specifications. You’re not defined by your Brazilian. Unless you want to be.