I met a girl. Someone I could be friends with. When I first saw her I have to admit I was thinking, "My goodness, what a slob!".
Now, I'm certainly not always put together, tucked and tidy, makeup and hair in order. No Sir-ry, I am not!
But I'm talkin' out and about in the drabbiest, slouchiest clothes, hair greasy and unkempt, teeth clearly unbrushed.
And the first impressions part of me wrote her off. And I learned how terribly superficial that was because this girl is really a wonderful person, super nice, friendly, a good mom.
I want to say I learned my lesson - that first impressions don't matter. But they do! I want this girl to realize how wonderful she is. I want her to care about her appearance so that people don't look at her the wrong way. I'm a firm believer that we outwardly reflect how we feel about ourselves on the inside. And sadly, if you don't care about you, then how can someone else care about you?
I know I can't go up to this girl and say, "Ok, you seriously have got to do something about that hair...those terrible mom jeans...the yellow teeth." I just can't.
But I do know what works for me, even when I'm not having a great day:
1) I try to take care of my skin. I cleanse, I moisturize, and I use SPF. I don't do tanning beds (although I did a few sessions to prepare for my wedding). My daily makeup routine is simple and natural looking. I always make sure the makeup is scrubbed away before bedtime.
2) I keep my hair and nails clean. No, I don't always wash my hair every day, I don't need to. You may need to. My nails are not done in a salon or tipped in the most fashionable of polishes. But I like to do a nice hand scrub, keep my nails evenly trimmed, and use clear polish. And if it's sandal season, my feet are scrubbed, nails trimmed and polished. Am I perfect at this ritual? Absolutely not. But are my hair and nails dirty? Not unless I'm in the middle of digging in the veggie garden!
3) I get dressed in the morning. Story: When I had my first baby, I thought how easy it would be to sit around all day in my comfy pj's. I decided right from the start that THIS - this mommy thing - was my new job. Just like I had to wake up and get ready for the office, I now had to make a point of getting dressed for my daughter. There were days when it didn't always happen right away, but it really helped me feel better on the "down" days. Even if I felt sad, I didn't look sad. Was my hair always "Done" - No! Did I break out the dress pants and button-down shirts? - No! Ponytails - yes, lots of 'em! Comfy yoga pants with a decent shirt - yes, lots of that too. But was I out at the store in my pj's with a giant 80's scrunchie in my hair - absolutely NOT!
4) I Smile. I brush and floss and rinse. I visit the dentist. Do I do checkups often enough? No. But I do recognize the importance of having clean and healthy teeth. I don't have what I call "nice" teeth, they naturally have grooves and yellow quite easily. But I try to do the best with what I have.
5) I don't wear the hubsters clothing. I don't care what shape you are, there is apparel out there for you that will fit...in the womens section! Saggy-assed jeans and square-shaped Reebok t-shirts are a huge no-no unless you are painting your house! I went through a grunge-phase in grade 9. I snapped out of it. End of story!
I don't think those things are hard. They are common sense and most basic to me. I'm not the most stylish. I don't have the most funky updated haircut. I don't visit the spa for treatments. I don't purposely buy brandnames. Do I have a problem with people who are/do all these things? My goodness, no! I even envy them sometimes... because do I need major overhaul once in a while? Definite YES!
And I also want to note that going crazy in the opposite direction with TOO much emphasis on "looks" puts one at risk of seemingly lacking in confidence as much as the girl who doesn't give a crap what she looks like. Because let's face it, beauty IS only skin deep and layers of makeup and the latest fashions can only cover up so much.
But at the end of the day, I like who I am. I like how I look. I like what I wear. Not always - but mostly, I feel good about me. And I hope it shows. What about you?