Last weekend, I found myself house-bound due to a snowstorm. We experienced about 7 inches of white flakes in a matter of a few hours. After the housework and laundry were done, I became restless. I didn’t want to spend wasteful hours in front of the television. I thought a better use of my time would be to watch some short self-improvement clips on YouTube.
My first video was about the types of fashion NOT to wear when you are over 50. Nina’s presentation talked about how to look modern with the types of clothes you wear. No more shoulder pads or sparkly sweaters.
“Wearing a jean jacket over practically anything will give you the look you want”, she kept saying.
I watched her put on a worn blue jean jacket over a lovely floral dress. Really? Then she went on to explain that any type of denim outfit is always complemented by black heels.
The second clip was a make-up demonstration titled – How to Look 10 Years Younger. The model was a mature woman with flawless skin. Donna spent the next 30 minutes in front of a mirror explaining how to apply eye makeup. She must have used 6 different colors on her eyes. Then, she went on to show how to blend foundation and highlight your cheekbones with a special sponge. I counted at least 13 different beauty products and 7 different applicators on her tray. The end result was stunning I must say. That being said, Donna’s complexion would look great no matter how much makeup she put on.
The next morning, as I was getting ready for work I tried some of my newfound tips and tricks. I carefully applied my eye makeup to make sure the inner crease was highlighted. I swirled my foundation and used concealer to cover up my so-called aging skin.
I found an ancient Levi’s jean jacket in the back of my closet. I paired it with my new black pants and shoes. An hour later I was ready to go. I dashed out the door with no time for breakfast as I was already late.
My workday was a typical one full of phone calls, meetings, and paperwork. I don’t think anyone noticed my attempt to dress modern. By mid-afternoon, my eye makeup was smudged and the dewy look from my foundation was long gone. Maybe I was a little heavy with the eyeshadow I thought to myself. I looked in the mirror and realized that under all that blush, eyeliner, and mascara, it was still me. I took off the jean jacket earlier in the day because it didn’t feel right.
I realized that I fell into the trap of thinking that my clothes and make-up were not good enough. I doubted my ability to demonstrate fashionable choices. I thought that if I dressed differently or used a different type of mascara that I would be treated differently.
I have always prided myself on taking care of my appearance. I may not take an hour to get ready in the mornings, but I do take the time to make sure I have lipstick on and my outfit is color-coordinated.
Clothes and makeup are just packaging. The clothes I wear each day or the color of my eyeliner need to represent my authentic self not what some You Tuber says it should be.
I dress for myself and how it makes me feel. I won’t fall into the “you are not good enough trap” again!