Every morning I spend a few minutes looking at my reflection in the mirror. Sometimes I like what I see, other times not so much.
I’m 50 years old and I have multiple sclerosis. There are great fluctuations in my health status and, therefore my appearance. Sometimes there is a spring in my step, sometimes I need to use a cane, sometimes even the cane is not enough; sometimes I am physically unable to complete my morning beauty routine; sometimes I could pass for 10 years younger, sometimes 10 years older.
I’m not a classic beauty. I don’t think of myself as pretty and no one has ever accused me of being cute. Still, I can honestly say that I am an attractive woman — and I’m not even going to say, “for my age.” I’ve never caused anyone to scurry away in horror. I look just the way I’m supposed to look. I look like me.
I view myself in much the same manner one would view a piece of fine art. If I were to concentrate on nothing but the individual parts that make up the whole, I could make quite a list of the flaws. My nose is too big, my skin is too pale, and my thighs have lost their former firmness. My weight is just right for my height, but I take only a smidgeon of credit for a healthy lifestyle and thank my ancestors for their genetic gift.
I know that I am not alone in my resistance to the standards and gruesome hard work of acceptable beauty. There are others –† many others — who believe as I do.
We ask ourselves why other women continue to subject themselves to torture. Is it peer pressure? Is it for the men? I think a lot of men are as perplexed by it all as I am. Do the insecurities of adolescence remain with us forever? Is it because “they” say we should? That’s the worst reason of all. Who the hell are “they” anyway?
We must come to terms with our inner beauty — our intelligence; our sense of humor; our wild and crazy and passionate selves.
Young women, please take note. Life is an accumulation of our experiences. I’ve lived the good, the bad, the ugly, and even the ridiculous. Hopefully, there’s a lot more to come. It all shows in my face, in my mannerisms, and in the way I carry myself.
Rather than attempt to cover my tracks, I prefer to embrace all those experiences that got me here. Physical beauty is fleeting. I primp, but the mold I use is purely my own. I’m satisfied with that.
Photo: copyright PhotoXpress.com