photo by Sheri Dixon

Monday, January 28, 2013

Beauty Through the Decades

I hate mornings in Houston.

Mostly because we're not at home where the only sounds are the birds, the wind in the trees, and the Biteys barking every leaf into place on the entire 12 acres of forest.

Also because if we're waking up in Houston, that means a day at the cancer hospital, and that's always a thrill. Or a royal pain in the ass. I get those two mixed up sometimes...must be why I stayed married to my two ex-husbands for so long.

But here's what I really hate- when in Houston, the only morning TV unless we want to watch Cartoon Network (and all the good cartoons are only on at night) are the perky, helpful, trendy, ridiculous morning shows.

So we were watching one of the morning shows.

And one segment was "Beauty Through the Decades".

For women, of course.

There was a really long table set up with all sorts of crap that we need in order to be beautiful. Arranged by decade from the 20's through the 60's.

The 20's and 30's were an assortment of makeups- eye shadows, eye liners, concealers, foundations, blush, lip color, lip liner, mascara, brow pencils, bronzers, shimmerers, you name it, it was there- all colors and shades, all types and kinds.

All absolute requirements in order to be beautiful.

Here's where it gets weird.

Every decade after that? 40's, 50's, 60's?

No makeup.

No colors.

No shades.

The entire rest of a woman's life is supposedly dedicated to wrinkle creams and hair colors.


Apparently, once we hit 40, the whole 'beauty' thing is behind us, and our main goal in life is to just make sure we're as un-wrinkly and un-gray as possible.

In order to be not horrifyingly disgusting and make people throw up just at the sight of us.

Here's the thing.

In my 20's and 30's I did wear makeup. Never foundation though- it always felt like something suffocating my face. But I did the whole concealer, blush, mascara, eye shadow, eye liner, lipstick thing. And finished it off with compact powder.

When I hit 40, I started having trouble seeing to apply my makeup. So I said, "Screw it" and stopped using it. The only thing I use now is mascara. Only on the upper lashes. I can still do that without skewering my eyeballs with it.

I was afraid that if I stopped wearing makeup my skin would be blotchy and horrid looking and my eyes would disappear behind my glasses. Oddly enough, after being liberated from the stuff that had been smeared on it, my skin evened out on its own and tans in the summer. My eyelids have an actual color and my under-eye area isn't as dark as it was when I was rubbing it with concealer every morning.

Weird, huh?

In my 40's I developed an allergy to any face cleanser- any brand. So I started using my own homemade soap- goats milk (yes, from our goats), olive oil and just enough lye to make it soap instead of an amorphous gelatinous blob. And aloe vera cream as a moisturizer.

That's it. My entire beauty routine.

I did ask the people I live with if I looked OK without all that mess.

Here's the funny part.

The people I live with said I'm beautiful with makeup or without makeup. On accounta they love me.

Some women adore makeup and enjoy wearing it and that's great- if they're doing it for themselves.

But to be schooled on what products we NEED to use to 'be beautiful' by some chicks on the TV?

And then to be literally discarded after age 40 with a "You're not beautiful anymore so don't even try- just make an effort to not be totally old and gross looking, m-kay?"

That's bullshit of the highest order.

And I've seen some mighty high quality bullshit in my day.

See husbands one and two as Exhibits A and B.

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