Beautiful Girls

I need a haircut.

No, I really, REALLY need a haircut.  Unfortunately, I am always trying to extend the time between haircuts because I’m cheap.  And I’m in denial.  And I wear my hair short so once it is, by my definition, by even an eighth of an inch, NOT SHORT, I can tell even if nobody else can.   I’m also basically lazy and I love being able to shower, shake my head like a dog, and leave the house.

I suppose I should also color it, but I refuse to start doing that.  I don’t want to have to go in and have my roots “done” once a month.  This sounds like wayyyyy too much work to me.  Lucky for me, I have kind and tactful friends and family members so they don’t mention the fact that I have gray (grey?) hair.

I am terrified of needles.  So I have wrinkles.  And my butt is a little farther south than it was ten years ago. When I use the super turbo  hand dryer in a public restroom, I’m fascinated by the way my arm skin waves when the air hits it.  I think it would be cool to stand on my head just once to see if the force moved my butt back where it used to be. However, if anyone walked in on me, I don’t think I could explain my research.

I was with friends recently when the conversation turned to cosmetic surgery. One friend said she’d considered it. The reason?  She hates the laugh lines under her eyes. I, on the other hand, adore those tiny lines of hers.  She is a joyful person. Her laugh is infectious.  Those lines signify this for me…I would miss them.

I have friends who diet. I don’t.  When I needed to lose weight, diets never worked for me.  I’d buy all the right foods….eat them for about a week…and then I’d end up reverting back to the same foods that had made me fat in the first place.  I hit a set point about two years ago and now, no matter what I eat, I stay a fairly constant weight.  People who wonder how I stay slim want my secret. Here it is…

Have gallbladder surgery.  Then, try to eat the stuff that you used to eat before your gallbladder disappeared. Then, get sick.

Not fun. Not fun, at all.  But effective.

I was recently at a school concert.  As each group came on stage, I looked at all of the young women.  Tall, short, heavy, thin, blue eyed and fair, dark eyed and ruddy.  Each one unique and  lovely in her own way.   I wondered what was going on inside each girl’s head…what conversations was she having with herself during the concert that was focused on her appearance? How many of those conversations were negative?  At that age, I wanted to be petite instead of long legged.  I wanted dark hair, not light brown.  Brown eyes, not blue.  As females are we programmed to be perpetually dissatisfied? At what point to begin to measure ourselves against each other?  Who, or what is the standard of measurement?

I’m a mom of a young woman.  She is a student and a scholar and a good friend.   She is a wonderfully giving person.  She is honest, and moral, and funny, and strong.   And while she is quite lovely, she cannot take credit for this, nor would I want her to.   She can celebrate the rest, though. She’s working hard to build the woman behind the smile in her photographs.

I am proud of her for understanding this much earlier than I did.

When women of any age are defined only by how they look,  it’s not pretty at all.

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