JC Confessions #18

In the first few seasons of The Late Show, Stephen Colbert did a recurring skit, now a best-selling book, called Midnight Confessions, in which he “confesses” to his audience with the disclaimer that he isn’t sure these things are really sins but that he does “feel bad about them.” While Stephen and his writers are famously funny, I am not, so my JC’s Confessions will be somewhat more serious reflections, but they will be things that I feel bad about. Stephen’s audience always forgives him at the end of the segment; I’m not expecting that – and these aren’t really sins – but comments are always welcome.

JC

I do not know how to apply make-up.

Other than the fact that I couldn’t teach my daughters how to do it, this has not been a hardship in my life. I’m comfortable with my natural look.

My main experience with make-up dates back to high school, when I was in some musicals. We had to wear make-up so that we didn’t appear washed out by the harsh lights and distance to the audience. This generally meant very heavy eyeliner and some blush, which looked good from far away and comical up close. Once, when I was playing Sister Sophia, one of the older nuns in The Sound of Music, I sported black lines on my face to make me look older. I remember getting comments that I looked good that way, which I chose to take as compliments of how I would look as I aged rather than criticism of how I looked at seventeen.

The thing about not wearing make-up that does bother me sometimes though is the association that many people make that if a woman does not wear make-up, she is “letting herself go.” While it’s true that I don’t wear make-up, I am not unkempt. While I understand that many women will not go out in public or attend video meetings without wearing make-up, it doesn’t mean that those of us who choose to present our natural skin to the world are less competent, committed, or caring than they.

Make-up is also touted as a way to “look younger.” I prefer to look, well, how I look. Admittedly, I am not good at guessing how old people are. I’m now sixty, so this is what 60 looks like for me.

I wonder if my long-ago teen classmates would think that Sister Sophia was sixty and I look like her now…

SoCS: Crowning Glory

For most of my life, my hair was, well, just my hair. Not much of a topic of discussion. It was brown and wavy and thick and heavy and a bit cowlick-y.

Of course, there was always discussion with my hairdresser, because that is their business. She was not a fan of my decision to let my hair go grey naturally. “Men with graying temples look distinguished, but women look old.” This was not helped by the fact that I started to have stray silver strands as a teen, with a lot of acceleration in my thirties.

When I was mostly silver, I decided to let my hair grow longer. The natural thinning that happens with the change in hair color actually worked to my advantage, because I could let my silver hair grow longer without having it get overly bushy, which it did when it was mostly brown.

What I hadn’t expected was that my long, silver waves would become such a topic of discussion. Friends, acquaintances, even complete strangers often comment on my hair. They tell me it is beautiful and that if their hair looked like mine, they would stop coloring it. I tell them they should try and see, as some don’t really know what their hair looks like naturally.

I even wound up writing a poem about my hair when Silver Birch Press did a series called My MANE Memories. You can find the poem, entitled “Crowning Glory” here. My husband took the photo that accompanies the poem. I liked it so much that I started using it as my gravatar.

So, maybe my hair does make me look older.

I prefer to think it makes me look more beautiful.

At least, I have lots of people tell me so….
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Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “hair.” Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/02/03/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-feb-417/