Friday, February 26, 2010

friday forte: appearances

multiple personalities

Maybe I'm just vain but one of my big hangups right now is how old I look! I'm feeling a little "old lady-ish" and it's well before my time. As a SAHM (or more correctly, someone who works from the home) I have absolutely no need to dress up for work everyday, let alone sport a trendy hairstyle, embellish my visage with make up or be 'easy on the eye' to workmates. Occasionally the Wee Guy announces he likes to see me wearing a dress (cos I look like a princess, bless him) but other than that, there's no real feedback for my frumpy self around the house ...... except that I'm getting really critical of myself. Mirrors are demoralising and occasional SPT's a reminder of how much greyer my hair is/how my wrinkles collection is growing. In my mind I'm still only 21y old; mirrors jolt me back into mid-forties reality.
I've had to take direct action recently since my regular spectacles (bottom row, middle) are disintegrating with metal fatigue. I need to replace them soon. In the meantime, I'm wearing my school pair (bottom right image,  yes, that old!) and have been surprised at how different they make my face look. This launched me into a detailed online investigation of face shape vs. specs shape vs. hairstyling. For instance, according to the outline drawn in eyepencil on my mirror, I have a long face (length is greater than width), and a lot of forehead. I should choose glasses which add depth and  a hairstyle which doesn't drag down the face (see my current style for an example!!) but adds width. Bangs or a fringe are a must! Alas, my sleek Jennifer Aniston do needs to go.
But what will a radical makeover accomplish? (or even a less radical one to allow me to wimp out last moment?) What's in it for me? Would I feel more confident. Although I'm extremely proud of what my body has accomplished so far (re: childbirth, breastfeeding , recovery from complications of flu, and so on)  my body image problems are more to do with the packaging than what's underneath. Despite appearances influencing judgment, I think it would make me feel more at ease with myself.
If I knew I was presenting my best side and wasn't looking like a hag I could get on with the business of my mid-life crisis with fewer wardrobe malfunctions and interruptions.



Anonymous said...

As a former nature girl, I now firmly believe you have to update in your 40s. And you really will feel better. (I benefitted greatly former fashion-forward colleague at my former office who insisted on taking me shopping and we had a very causal office). I think there is nothing better than a quality hair cut (min $50). Go somewhere moderately trendy but not too young and get them to give you a great cut. Friends of mine swear by eyebrow shaping. Def get new glasses. And go shopping. There are tons of deals out there.

I know it seems lame, but it really makes a difference. And there is no reason not too look good (but comfortable) just because you're a SAHM! You are working too!

Anonymous said...

I am pretty conservative with my appearance, and I don't invest a lot of time in it. But I harbour a secret desire to dye my hair pink. I can't decide if it would be brilliant or horrible, though, and so I haven't done it. But maybe one day. I'm thinking if not before, when I'm 65.

Good luck with the makeover quandary. Whatever you decide, I hope that it does make you feel better and more confident.

pomomama said...

Thank you ladies!
As a formerly low-maintenance woman (who prided herself on her get-up-and-go lifestyle) it's a real eye opener seeing all this changing body shape, greying hair, wrinkles etc transformation that is coming over me. This is the first time ever that I've really had to seriously consider my appearance! I'm such a newbie.
Haircut comes next week, new specs soon after (with the next credit card cycle!) and I hit Reitmans with a discount voucher yesterday and got some of their amazing jeans - the fit for me is nothing short of fabulous.
Then I'm off to hit Value Village for summer wardrobe sometime in April ....

PS: AMber - i'd love pink hair too. Luckily (?) mine is heading to white pretty quickly now (the grandmother I take after in the red hair dept was all white by the time she was mid thirties) so I'll be able to take the plunge in the next decade. I'm thinking maybe a Toyah golden pink look ?

Bex said...

Hi big sis. I feel for your dilemma. I remember you once saying that no woman over a certain age (I think at the time it was a massively old 30 but we were much younger then) should be seen without make up. At the time I thought you were bonkers, but now that I'm over 30 (ahem!) myself, I whole heartedly agree. It's not vanity, it's confidence. Make up makes me feel more confident about myself and allows me to be the me that still feels 25, without worrying about the fact I look a lot older. That lipstick you bought at MAC was amazing and did more for your skin (which by the way is perfect, I'm jealous) than any amount of make up could ever do for mine.

And btw, I think the pic of you in the middle looks amazing - maybe bangs is the answer!

Go girl, be as fabulous as you are and feel that way!

pomomama said...

Thanks Lil Sis - I remember the make up statement, and wow was it at a young 30?? Seems a lifetime ago.

Yes, it's been a white knuckle ride of discovery recently, thrilling but unsettling. Frustrating cos I don't exercise a lot of control over much of it but strangely satisfying when I do manage to make an iota of change ..... but gah! it certainly doesn't come quickly .... and I'm relinquishing after-school care this week too!

Never mind - getting "banged" on Thursday!

Anonymous said...

I have worn glasses most of my life and my favorite store is It allows you to upload a photo of yourself and virtually "try on" glasses before you purchase them! What an awesome idea!

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