Growing up a redhead, curly hair (most often frizzy due to humidity), freckles, and ridiculously white skin that never had any intention of turning into a tan, one could say I had no choice but to develop a personality first. As I hit puberty, I looked to beauty magazines to advise me on how to embrace being a redhead and a multitude of areas that I seriously needed help with. But the girls in those magazines looked nothing like me, and the advice I read about was completely useless. Honestly, by the time I followed their makeup guidelines I looked like a clown, and I would inevitably rub it off before an hour was even up. One time I rubbed a lemon all over my face and arms to “lighten” my freckles, as recommended by one of the magazines. I ended up with a nice thick layer of pulp, I was sticky, and best of all...my freckles got even bigger once I stepped outside. I was certain I was doomed to be single for the rest of my life. (All of that advice on getting a boyfriend was clearly a joke at that moment in time!).
Looking back, yeah, it was pretty awful. And no, I wouldn’t want to do it all over again. I mean, OMG that was rough! But here’s what it taught me on how to embrace being a redhead: 1). I’d better be able to laugh at myself, because it was going to be important. 2). I was never fixated on my looks. Turns out, that’s a good thing. 3). Confidence. Period. I didn’t become successful by flirting my way to the top, and nobody could accuse me of it! 4). I actually became pretty without ever even noticing. Imagine that. 5). Red, frizzy hair could be tamed. 6). Sunless tanner (Q.T.!) was the best advice I had ever gotten from a beauty magazine. Sure I got carried away with it,(even my sheets turned orange), and I didn’t want to stop putting it on since I had never, ever seen my legs any other shade but clear white. That was indeed an exciting time for me! It’s the little things.
Without realizing it, I was looking to magazines for fashion tips. How do I accentuate the positive? Obviously, I didn’t want to wear super tight shirts if my chest wasn’t all that impressive, right? They taught me how to crop the shirt, which accented a much more impressive rear end. But how are they going to help me with my nail biting, acne, cramps, etc? I had a list of things (still do) that I needed to improve, but one step at a time. I had a tan, sort of, and my hair was actually manageable. I felt more accomplished than I had ever been, looks-wise. No reason to start being needy now! Baby steps.
If ever there was a magazine, or somewhere for girls like me to go for advice, what a gift that would be. No, it doesn’t help to know that those pretty girls on the covers of magazines have bad hair days, or that they bloat, have gas, or morning breath. (C’mon, everyone has that). Do you know why? Because they certainly aren’t talking about what you should do about it! They are talking about the absence of food that they eat, the strict exercise program they go through to maintain that body, blah, blah, blah. For all of the girls like me who don’t wake up looking fabulous, who are just too funny (because that’s our go-to move when all else fails), who struggle to put ourselves together every single day, it’s nice to know that you aren’t alone.
I can honestly say that I have worked a lot on myself, always looking for improvement as years go by. It never stops! As women, we are never satisfied with our looks, though. For instance, there is a young lady who works at my doctor’s office, who is nothing short of stunning. She has it all, and I am actually intimidated by how pretty she is every time I see her. Long, dark, thick hair hanging to her waist, huge brown eyes that she perfectly accents with makeup, and a clear understanding of how to dress to impress. However, I noticed the last time I saw her that she had gotten breast implants. She’s a tiny person, so it’s very obvious. Those weren’t there before. Now why would this gorgeous girl need larger breasts? Because in her own mind, she’s not perfect, even if she is to the rest of us. (Breast implants are a story for another day. But I have thoughts about them as well). I was surprised and somewhat taken aback. We all have something about ourselves that we want to improve on, and she was no different. She was never a girl like me. She’s been used to being told she’s pretty her whole life, and it just got better, but inside I’m guessing she couldn’t see past this imperfection (in her mind). Maybe we all suffer from being a girl like me from time to time after all. Huh. Viva la females.
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