Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SMEAR (03/10/16)
- TITLE: I Must Look a Sight . . .
By Judith Gayle Smith
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ADD TO MY FAVORITES
"If you fell on your face you would slide for six city blocks."
Blossoming into a woman - what a trip. Suddenly my eyelashes were too sparse, too short and not at all curly. I was doing fine until the television commercials and magazine advertisements accosted me with unimaginable "needs" to improve on my "unfinished face."
My youthful complexion - unimpeded by acne (Mom kept me far from submerging myself in decadent chocolates and greasy yummy French fries), was, most unfortunately - freckled. I did not view this as a "cover it up condition" until I was seventeen. Yes, I was a late bloomer.
So many choices to hide my freckle-faced visage. Clearing pores? Cleansing facials? What was the correct perfect skin-care product to make me look like a movie star? Cucumber slices and tea bags, mud packs and self-tanning lotions? I literally had to look anything but like myself.
And so the experimenting began. I became quite adept at over-tweezing my eyebrows just to use eyebrow pencil to fill them in. sigh. Don't get me started on eyeliner and mascara. When I didn't poke an eyeliner pencil and/or mascara wand in my eye - well, it was a good start to the day. The smudges! I spent too much time wiping the black, most often teary-smeary gunk off my cosmetics-abused face.
Forget the pricey stuff - whatever was cheapest and had the best ads. Spending mornings rewashing my face multiple times, I finally perfected "the Look" I craved. I was full on gorgeous - glamorlousy.
Then I discovered "cover-up" to hide my freckles. Strong stuff - sometimes urging (gasp) pimples to make me aware that clogging pores was not wise. And then blue eye shadow, violet, green - even dark brown eye shadow, meant to be smudged.
While I'm thinking about it, white lipstick - to help me look dead? At least when it smeared on my teeth, my teeth looked whiter. Speaking of smeared lipstick, it was appalling when, thinking myself a sexy camper, make-up perfected - to have someone gleefully comment: "You have lipstick on your teeth."
No, this isn't a smear campaign against the major cosmetics companies. I still use eye makeup, eyebrow pencil/liner - and lipstick guaranteed to last all day (good thing because I am such a kissing bug) - but I have different reasons for the fuss. I have fifty-five years experience in makeup perfecting - and wear it to look like I'm still somewhat alive.
I am vain. I could never willingly go out without my "face" on, my hair styled so . . .
Truth time. I am getting very lazy. I jam my leopard cowgirl hat on my "bed-hair", slap some color on my lips - smear-proof, so I have no surprises when I smile. But I soon return to old messy habits, and experiment with all the new impossibly "glamorfying" mascaras, eye-shadows and eyeliners. Never mind that I arrive at my destination with mascara running down to my chin, burning eyes, and a frustrating sniffling nose sympathetic to the whole mess.
Dumpy is a term I never wanted to self-apply, so I self-applied enough colorful improvements - literally slathered them on, that when I first met my hubby, he made the unforgettable comment at the very start of my lament.
Fifty-five years of vanity - "all is vanity and vexation of spirit." Mom was fond of saying "you can always find her by the flash of her mirror." It was highly improbable that I looked at myself the way others saw and probably still see me. I am not quite ready to put my hair in a severe bun, wear old lady clothes and shoes. But I find myself ignoring what I should be checking in that rotten truth-telling mirror. Do I see myself as others see me? As God sees me? There is a middle road, and maybe I'll look into hypo-allergenic products, tame my wild cat lady look, and spend more time reading what God wants to see me as - in His Word.
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