Friday, May 05, 2006

Girls! Girls! Girls!

Last night, I had to smear permethrin from head to toe to treat the scabies that still haven’t gone away since I picked up a mangy stray a month ago.* Applying the cream took for-ev-er. And admittedly, I have quite a bit of body mass to cover.** But this got me thinking, “How do women do this type of thing every night?” Because some women go through a similar routine every night. They slather on creams and lotions and exfoliants every night. It’s got to take them at least an hour to get ready for bed. I need about 10 minutes: wash my face, pluck a few stray hairs, brush my teeth.

Now, growing up, I considered myself to be kind of a girly girl. I wasn’t super feminine---more like super feminist!---but I didn’t play sports (mostly because I sucked at them), I liked dresses and ribbons and makeup, I had crushes and posted pictures from Tiger Beat on my wall. I hated Barbie but I desperately wanted a My Little Pony. I spent my allowance on Bonnie Bell make-up kits and puffy, sparkly stickers for my sticker book. I wanted to be a ballerina or a model.

But I’ve grown into a rather low-maintenance girl. I get my hair cut every six months and only have two styling products. I like pretty clothes, but I hate shopping, and I usually stick to classic, comfortable styles (of course, with my weight right now, I hate all clothes because nothing looks good). My highest heel is about 2-inches, and I haven’t worn those in about four years. The closest I come to cleavage is a v-neck t-shirt. I admire pretty underthings, but I can’t bring myself to get them because they seem so impractical and I can’t really justify the price (it’s not like anyone else is seeing them). I don’t understand the thong. I do have a rather crowded make-up drawer (although I’ve got nothing on LostInTexas!), but mostly from samples or leftovers from misguided attempts to make myself into something I’m not. My morning routine is straightforward and simple: wash my face, brush my teeth, put on a light foundation and blush, and pull my hair back into a ponytail or a messy bun. Most days I manage to add eyeliner and eye shadow to that mix, and some days I slap some generic lotion onto my legs. I use a 2-in-1 shampoo and whatever shower gels I’ve gotten for Christmas (I usually get enough to last me a year). Please just don’t even look at my nails or my feet. They are woefully neglected.

Living in Austin lets me get away with a very casual wardrobe, so most days I wear a t-shirt and jeans, shorts, or a denim skirt with flip flops or mules. I can’t remember the last time I wore dress slacks---or a dress, for that matter.

But last night got me wondering: Am I normal? Have I given up on looking nice? Have I gone butch (not in that way---I still prefer boys)? Should I be doing more? What do other women do? Is this the reason I’m still single? Do men want a high-maintenance girl?

Part of this comes from my year in Africa: When you have nothing but cold showers for weeks on end and have to do all your laundry by hand, you change your outlook on hygiene. And when you see that much poverty, you change your mind on how much you’ll pay for shoes that will be out of style next year.

Part of me wonders, though: Am I too low maintenance?



*The stray is now named Nino and living with one of my coworkers. He’s growing like a weed and having a great time playing with a couple of kids in a backyard.
**Just indulge me in my pity party. I’ve been in a funk all week and got very little sleep last night thanks to a crazy storm and an itchy rash.

11 Comments:

At 12:31 PM , Blogger Carolyn said...

High-maintenance is too much work.

The less time wasted getting ready the better. Life is too short to spend hours in front of the mirror.

 
At 12:46 PM , Blogger Lora said...

You know, it does seem that some men do prefer high-maintance chicks, but I don't know why. They've never been the kind of guy I go for and I have a similar girly rating to you.

You certainly have't given up on lookih nice. Althogh you keep your routine simple, I'm sure you take great atttention to what is important to you.

 
At 1:09 PM , Blogger LostInTX said...

When Mike and I first started talking on the phone I would tell him about my 'routine' when I get out of the shower. His immediate reaction was "why are you doing all of that? You don't need it and it seems like a lot of work." I replied that I do it for ME, not for guys and not to try and be something I'm not. It makes me feel good to spend time on myself. I don't meditate, I'm always on the go, and the only time I really get to relax is when I have the time to take a nice shower and then pamper myself. It doesn't take me that long, really. I exfoliate in the shower once a week and as soon as I get out I put on my moisturizers and creams from head to toe. It's all a matter of perspective, I think. We all do what we can to get by. This week I've gone most days with no makeup (as only bronzer and chapstick - and you know that's nothing for me), and today I finally put on mascara. I have had a poopy week too and sometimes I don't have the energy either but as soon as I start massaging my legs with lotion all my worries start to fade.

I also have a theory that if I look good when I shop I'll feel better about what I'm trying on and how I look. I've gone to the store in torn up jeans, a tshirt, flip flops and looking like a mess and found that I actually get depressed when I start trying on clothes because as soon as I look in the mirror I start criticizing everything about me. It sounds silly but it works! Let's get together this weekend and get us both out of this funk.

 
At 5:51 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

I don't think you're too low maintenance at all. I'm kind of creeped out by all the teenagers in my hometown who are dressing super slutty. I hope a more natural look comes in soon ;)

 
At 5:52 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

I don't really understand the thong either.

 
At 5:54 PM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

I don't have much of a routine either but I notice if I don't have lipstick and concealer on, I don't feel good. (One of my comments posted twice before)

 
At 9:43 PM , Blogger Mike said...

Haha, should I even be reading this post? Well, as a guy I have no makeup type worries, but I have to admit that I take great pride and care when I shave my legs. It makes me feel good, and it's part of the winding down after a race or ride. I get bummed if my legs are too stubbly. That's as close as I can get. Of course, my face is another matter, right Steph?

 
At 6:36 AM , Blogger LostInTX said...

Mike: Yes it is. .but we are working on that. Heh... Hey, I don't want your face looking like a leather belt when we're 80.

Lisa and B: Yo- the thong is the shizzle. I know at first it can be intimidating but I've been wearing them for like almost 10 years now so it doesn't even phase me. Once you get used to them (because there is a little breaking in period) you don't even know they are there. It's wonderful. And I love having no panty lines.

 
At 8:42 AM , Blogger Bearette24 said...

Lost - if you say so ;)

Mike - LOL, i'm glad you take great pride in shaving your legs ;)

 
At 4:13 PM , Blogger Elsa said...

I totally understand where you're coming from. I used to be into makeup, styling the hair, high-heeled shoes, dresses, etc., growing up. But now that I'm, (cough, cough) 39, it just seems to be too much. I have a similar routine as you, although, once in a while I'll splurge on a manicure or pedicure for fun. And I like to wear eyeliner and blush - otherwise, well let's just say, I'd cure you of your hiccups! :-)

 
At 4:16 PM , Blogger Elsa said...

And it really comes down to what you feel comfortable with. I think when we're younger, we're more insecure and "need" to look a certain way. But as we age, we are more comfortable in our own skin and this can translate into not putting on all the make-up or not wearing the high-heels, etc.

 

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