Confession: I’m still coming out of a huge hermit phase in the fashion and beauty department. This past year I became a mom of three, and I lost 100 pounds. Summed up, my days pretty much were consumed by 1.) the less than glamorous “daily grind” of mommydom, and 2.) designing and implementing the BIKINI BODY MOMMY CHALLENGE workouts that had me sweating more profusely than I’d ever sweat before.
As you can imagine, that did not inspire a lot of enthusiasm for fancy clothes or make-up. My kids could care less if I went out of my way to dawn fabulous smokey eyes while I threw together their PB&J’s. And heading into my daily Bikini Body Mommy workout sessions with even the slightest hint of eye-pencil or mascara left me looking more like THE JOKER from Batman, than the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Model I was using for fitspiration. Same with clothes. Wearing heels after doing 100 lunges? Ha! Working out, only to breast-feed, get thrown up on, shuttle kids around and do homework; was hardly worth dressing up for.
Now don’t laugh, but I think another reason for me not giving a S#*! about how I looked for a while, was also the subliminal belief that that my appearance didn’t matter while I was undergoing my “metamorphosis.” Fat caterpillar to Butterfly... my inner beauty would shine through regardless of my outward appearance, right?! Well, while I still believe inner beauty matters more than the later, for a while, I also thought this ‘excused’ me from not putting much effort into my appearance.
That was until about half way through my 100 pound weight loss transformation. Once I slowly begun to feel better about myself, BOOM! I had a huge paradigm shift...
I realized that:
ONE: I felt better about myself and felt more comfortable in my own skin if I spent a little time and effort on my appearance. This realization came when I was still FAT and trying to hide it under layers of baggy clothes, but figured I might as well begin to look the part of “who I was trying to become” the best that I could, because I knew if I did, I would feel more inspired to act upon the person that I believe I was trying to be.
TWO: Taking care of yourself and how you look sends a signal to yourself -- about yourself. The message is: ‘Hey. I’m worth exercising, and dressing up for to feel good about myself!” To me, it’s a form of self-love and expression.
THREE: Not only does that little extra time and effort result in a more attractive you, but it also creates a more confident you. And it helps to be a more confident you in all sorts of different situations. You’ll be bolder, more outspoken, more outgoing and just plain raise your inner-AWESOMENESS to another level. If that needs a new sports bra and a layer of lip-gloss, I don’t really see the harm in it.
FOUR: People like looking at pretty things. It makes them happy. It sounds simple and slightly superficial, but it is true. So, in keeping with the whole “trying to be a positive force in the Universe,” and all that... I know what an impact spreading your own happiness can have on brightening up another persons day. So, if I can influence someone else’s mood in a positive way by simply putting on eye makeup and lip gloss in the morning -- I might as well do it.
FIVE: Whereas my appearance is only a fraction of the impression I leave on another human being, it is the first thing people "in the real world" see of me and who I am. I’d like that first impression to be inviting and pleasing to the eye.... Not leave someone walking away wondering if I’d slept in a week, or if they’d just contracted the flu.
Rest assured, I’m far from being a crazy trendy fashionista who walks around with perfect make-up and not a hair out of place. Far from it. I am still horribly incapable of applying liquid eyeliner, I still need to re-learn how to walk in high heels, and I still have many days where I live in my drawstring sweatpants and don’t dawn an ounce of make-up — which is fine.
But I LOVE smudged eyeliner, smokey eyes and walking around with bombshell hair. Sometimes I'll create a sleek ponytail, sometimes a messy bouffant. I even wear false eye-lashes every now and then, because I think they’re sexy. I know what clothes and colors look good on me and with a little effort, I love going out the door knowing I look nice.
I decided to routinely implement a few fashion and beauty tricks in my daily routine because it honors who I am, because it makes me feel good about myself, and because I've found it can be fun.
Putting on make-up in the morning and loving the way certain clothes make you feel, does not make you a superficial person. I think it’s important to take care of how you look. It’s just another way of saying ‘I’m worth it’ and I don’t think you can say that enough to yourself — so you might as well. xx,-B