My mom called me today. She told me she received the kids' school pictures. We mailed them to her last week. She loved them (of course) and thought they were great. (Grandmother DNA requires this.) I told her that I thought so too, but the girl didn't like that her hair was poking out of her braid. She said it looked like it was snagged on a hanger. The boy thought he was grinning too big for his braces. With a dismissive sigh she said, "Well, I didn't even notice those things. I thought they were great pictures." She's the grandmother and her grandchildren could be picking their nose in a photograph and she'd think they should be the next child models for Ralph Lauren. But what she said, "I didn't even notice" is the whole point. We are too hard on ourselves and the way we look but other people see the beauty in the things they love *about* us. It made me re-evaluate my own dialogue with the children to make sure I was not only saying positive affirmations about them, but also, positive words about myself.
Something else occurred to me when I was pondering this. A couple of summers ago, one of my friends said something that stuck with me.
"Gurrrrrl, I'm too southern to leave the house without makeup," as she adjusted her shades and floppy hat. "Puh-leeze."
Puh-leeze what, I wondered. I had asked her WHY she bothered wearing makeup to sit by the pool for our kids play date in 96 degree sweltering heat with 187% humidity. *Honestly* I was raised on grits and sweet tea too, but baking like an apple pie is bad enough without having all that make-up mess on me too. I run most errands without makeup. I put on some Oil of Olay, brush my teeth and hair and I'm good to go. It's errands people. The dry cleaner and the people stocking beans at the grocery store. Do. Not. Care. Why do you? I draw the line with pajama pants though. Why are people wearing those out of the house?
I know another lady who spent her first three years of marriage putting make up on before her husband woke up. She would set her alarm for an hour before his just so she could shower and RE-APPLY her make up before he got out of the bed. I did say RE-APPLY because she wore full make up to bed too. This went on for three years. Three. Her husband NEVER saw her without make-up. I'm not sure what made her stop but I bet it was children or sickness or reality.
You know that Marilyn Monroe quote where she says, if you can't handle me at my worst then you don't deserve me at my best?" I have some serious love for that mantra. Maybe because I had more guy friends than girl friends growing up, but I think being without all the extras - makeup, hair done, cute outfit, reveals your authenticity. If you don't feel comfortable in your own skin, then you only have confidence with having on a mask. It's a façade.
Don't misunderstand me, I can be a girly girl with best of them. I like my heels high, I go to the salon for color every 6 weeks. (okay 4, I'm gray) and if I could make my wardrobe look like the closet of any National News female morning team. I would *love* it. I like to dress up for church even though its casual. I like to wear something nice if I go out with my husband *almost never BTW* and I love new makeup and a Coach bag. I really do enjoy those things! But. Errands. And heat. And southern humidity. There are limits ladies!
Be true to yourself and who you really are. Your true self will attract the right friends. Not ones who think you need to be someone else or have something else on you. And besides, true beauty comes from within. You know that. It's a light that needs no diffuser. And Grandmothers see no flaws.
Seeds to Share:
Song of Solomon 2:1 - I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys.
Song of Solomon 4:7 - You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.