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Break out the Lipstick Ladies!

June 9, 2010

I, for one, will wear lipstick until the day I die – and my kids better paint me up before I have visitors in the old folks home. After all, I am a woman — first and foremost — and believe you me when I’m not wearing the shiny stuff that differentiates me from men, you’ll know I’m feeling poorly — about life mostly. Makeup is a rite of passage for females, as is having our hair done. My hair, makeup and the way I dress are always a reflection of how I feel about myself — and I dare say that’s true of the rest of you lovely ladies. I have pretended otherwise as well.

I strode through the 60’s in bell bottom jeans, combat boots, T-shirts, frizzy long hair, tinted glasses, and no makeup. Somehow I even managed to snag a boyfriend along the way, but I was a whole lot younger then and most 20 somethings only look for what’s under the clothes anyway. BUT, once I survived those tumultuous years, I realized that telling myself that “appearances” weren’t important was just a myth I’d perpetuated because first, I was a part of a generation that loved rebellion (and still does I might add) and second, I wasn’t so sure I liked being a girl — a sexual object, a second class citizen and all that went with it.

One day I looked in the mirror and didn’t like the way I looked. I wouldn’t have dated me. I wouldn’t have walked right by me. I was a eunuch — I’d given away one of the best gifts we women have — the right and privilege of looking female and enjoying it. Why shouldn’t we play up our best features! Men just get to grow old naturally and are stuck with whatever defects produce themselves. Women get to cover their age spots, reduce their wrinkles, cover their gray and feel young and vibrant a whole lot longer. What a gift! I have no intention of ever being gray and I will fight my wrinkles and cover my age spots just as long as I can. Why not? It makes me feel better about myself. In the process I will embrace each new wrinkle with the pride of a mother ~ I have earned them! and I am a far better person because of it!

Let me tell you a story. My mother had a wonderful friend, who became a life saver for her while living in the retirement community. Her name was Katie…she was 92 at the time.  When I knew her, her husband had only recently died and she was in the throes of bone cancer. She was in  pain much of the time and the chemo has created sores in her mouth that made it difficult for her to eat and impossible to wear her dentures. In spite of all of that physical and emotional discomfort, there was rarely a day when she did not appear, even just long enough to visit my mother and pick up her mail, driving  her little scooter, dressed to the 9’s with makeup and lipstick – despite not having any teeth. She felt a whole lot better about life than if she had schlepped up and down the halls attired the way she really felt. Trust me, many people did and do! The people who encounter Kati felt better about life as well.

I used to think we should be honest and live without pretense — and while that is still an important concept in many respects, we run the risk of being so honest as to make ourselves feel worse — not to mention those around us.

The bottom line is this ladies…look in mirror…it’s safe…you are beautiful. After all you are a woman, and all women have an inner beauty that when released reflects itself in outer beauty…it’s just the way God made us…put on a little makeup (I’m not suggesting a Dolly Parton look); call up the hair dresser and add a little color back into your hair. Do you feel better about life? I bet you will. And oh, don’t forget to smile at yourself and say “I look fantastic! and I feel fantastic!”

I’m just saying! It works for me!

14 Comments leave one →
  1. June 9, 2010 6:28 pm

    How true! But I must also wear my earrings. I have run out quickly at times and found myself gasping for air in the produce department; for in my mind I felt totally naked (and that is quite a sight – even in my mind). I had my ears pierced on my daughter’s 12th birthday – 35 years ago – (she’ll shoot me!). It was her gift and I stood in line with her and made her go first so I could see how much it hurt. So her orders for me is make sure I have on some lipstick and my earrings – even if only my studs.

  2. June 10, 2010 6:16 pm

    All I can say is “Bravo!” Great post. Agree with Elizabeth that earrings are another essential, even if I”m just sitting at my computer for the day. Gotta go now and put on more lipstick!

  3. Annie permalink
    June 10, 2010 7:14 pm

    What struck me was your addressing never being grey. My Mom had a gorgeous salt and pepper head of hair; I thought that since I had many of Moms’ features, I’d let me hair grow out to it’s natural color. Well, have you ever seen mousy brown? I vowed then and there that I’d always color my hair until such time as I’m of an age where really mousy brown is fashionable; by then my natural color will be what Mom really was when she matured: gorgeous, thick, WHITE!

    • June 10, 2010 7:54 pm

      You are so right Annie. There is gorgeous gray hair and tired, worn out gray or mousy which is what my mother had and I suspect I might have (if I let the color grow out!). My father had gorgeous salt and pepper gray and then turned white – even when may mother was 97 years old her hair was just washed out mousy brown. Even then, she cared enough to have her hair done every week and despite her layers of wrinkles she’d put on a little blush and a little lipstick and she was beautiful. In all honesty, inner beauty shines through it all and is where our real focus should remain.

      I like earrings too!

      Thanks so much for your comments ladies!

  4. June 12, 2010 10:50 pm

    Great thoughts! My mother-in-law had a great saying re lipstick.

    “I think better when I wear lipstick.” When I heard her say that the first time, as she dug through her purse for her favorite color, I thought: huh, that’s pretty funny. And, who knows, maybe it’s even true!

  5. June 14, 2010 1:35 pm

    Great post. I love lip gloss. My grandmother used to say: Even an old barn looks better with a little paint on it.

    • June 14, 2010 3:57 pm

      I love our grandmother’s quotes! Do you suppose we’ll leave any behind?

    • Annie permalink
      June 14, 2010 11:35 pm

      Mary, I, too , love your grandmother’s ‘quote!’ I’ll have to remember that when my hubby gives me grief that we’re running late because I’ve got to put on my ‘war paint;’ Actually, he loves the rare times when I put on make up, but he doesn’t like that it takes more than 2 minutes. Annie

  6. June 14, 2010 7:08 pm

    Hey glad I found you!

    I couldn’t agree more with this post.

    But as i type this I am not wearing makeup,my hair is not done and I’m in my pj’s. Yes, I work from home but more importantly i’m very sick today. So my outside is reflecting my inside for sure!

    • June 14, 2010 9:17 pm

      I’m glad you found me too! I’m sorry you’re sick! That is absolutely no fun at all! Get better soon and drop back by when you get a chance.

    • Annie permalink
      June 14, 2010 11:47 pm


      I’m sorry you’re not feeling well; stuff like make-up can make you feel better. (what’s hard is grabbing the energy to PUT ON the make-up). If you can muster the energy, put on a bit of blush and lipstick, or just a tidge of lipstick and you may feel better: emotionally, anyway. Maybe physically. Annie

  7. June 16, 2010 5:45 am

    Thanks for sharing..resources like the one you mentioned here will be very useful to me!
    This is what makes the web so great. We can find so much info on things we like. 🙂

    Sy “Kitchen Improvement“Reza


  1. To Cleave or not to Cleave, that is the Question | Aging Abundantly | Women Over Fifty | Empty Nesters | Caregivers | Aging Gracefully

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