My Hate-Hate Relationship with Makeup and Hairstyling

I am so bad at being a girly-girl.

It’s honestly never been a strong suit of mine. I’ve always been too busy reading or playing sports or out there living life to take much notice of it. Sure, I wore skirts in high school, but that’s because they were a mandatory part of my uniform. And in general, I like wearing dresses from time to time – they make me feel pretty. But I seem to have missed the classes (er, years) that were supposed to teach me how to braid my hair and apply eyeliner. I went to an all-girls’ high school, where many of my friends came to class sans makeup and with sponge curlers in their hair if something special was happening that night. So I was under the impression that for the most part, they didn’t care much either back then.

Facebook and real life have chronicled that pretty much all of these people – the same ones that came to school in “illegal” sweatpants under their plaid skirts – seem to know how to look pretty now, how to put mascara on without stabbing themselves in the eye or how to properly wield a curling iron. But not me. I’ve given it many a good shot, buying the hair goop and having friends explain to me – again – the four (four?) steps to applying eye shadow. But it never seems to stick.

I have a couple hypotheses as to why not. One is simply that I’m pretty blind – and I say that with little exaggeration. Without my glasses, I have to get less than an inch away from a mirror to see anything – so even trying to put on eyeliner is very difficult and rather scary, since an eye poke is pretty much inevitable. It takes me a long time to do it too, with many mistakes and frustrated “Oh please don’t cry and ruin this whole thing” moments, some of which I know would go away with practice. Another reason is that I really don’t think I need it. I get really self-conscious if I’m wearing any makeup at all, even if it’s just lipstick. I truly like the way I look without it better. A third (and admittedly lazy) reason is that I value sleep and other morning activities wayyyy too much. If I don’t have to spend half an hour wrestling my hair into a 24-step ‘do, I can spend that time reading or eating breakfast or waking up in the shower. And finally, I don’t feel like I have to. Maybe it’s a little anti-feminist, but I’ve already wowed the people that are important to me. The love of my life (who I’m married to) loves me without makeup. My siblings don’t care, and neither do my friends. They do occasionally razz me about it, then proceed to apply the makeup for me and help me style my hair – which I’m totally fine with. Sure, I want to occasionally impress strangers, employers, my husband, heck even myself sometimes – but most of the time, the battle with the makeup bag and hair dryer just isn’t worth it. Besides, if you’re going to judge me before you know me for my lack of wearing makeup, I’m not sure I want to be your friend anyway.

I felt inspired this week to try doing something new with my hair. Almost every day for the past (eesh) eight months or so, I’ve pulled my wet hair into a tight bun soon after getting out of the shower in the morning. It works, but even I know it’s the epitome of lazy. So onto Pinterest I went, searching for easy hairstyles (I mean, if it involved braiding or excessive amounts of bobby pins, it was out). I saw hundreds of them and tried a handful out – and none of them seemed to look any good at all. It goes back to the embarrassment aspect – I just don’t like trying to dress myself up by doing something new to my appearance. I’m at a bit of a loss at what to do for work tomorrow. I think I might just blow dry it (I do know how to do that… kind of) and pull it into a side ponytail. That’d be different.

But even in trying, I felt all of this anxiety. I felt the angst and the nervousness and the resignation of pulling it up in a bun again and calling it a day. I don’t think I want to be a girly-girl, but I do wish I knew a little bit more about this stuff.

So there it is. My hate-hate relationship with makeup and hairstyling. Most of the time it doesn’t bother me, but every once in a while, it creeps up and makes me frustrated. We’ll see what happens with my hair tomorrow. Honestly, anything out of the norm will be a victory for me.

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