I'm funny looking. Always have been, always will be. I also have no sense of style, preferring to live in jeans and flannel shirts when given the option. My hair is generally a mess. I made my peace with this at twelve, pretty much walked away from any thought of being feminine or pretty, and I'm ok with it.
Usually. Now I have fourteen year olds giving me a running commentary on my appearance every morning in homeroom. I don't care that they mock my slacks and cardigans. Nope, my shoes are not as cool as your Jordans. No big deal. I could, however, do without the daily updates on the state of my skin. Yes, my breakout has gotten worse. No, despite all of your mocking claims, it isn't herpes, just bad acne, probably exacerbated by the stress of dealing with you charming children every day.
It doesn't matter that it makes me look ugly, but I'm getting sick of looking so young. When I went to picture day, the photographer asked what grade I was in, even though I had my best no-nonsense updo and slacks and blouse that in no way resembled the school uniform. When I swung by the art teacher's room on prep period to get my face painted for homecoming, there was a chorus of complaint about his insisting I should cut in line until one of the kids I know yelled out, "Shut up, she's a teacher." Last night I went by Wal-Mart after the football game, and the checker noticed my school spirit t-shirt and asked if I "go there".
So every time I go to the store, I have to talk myself out of buying more soaps and potions, reminding myself that I already have plenty at home. If they were going to help, they would have. I've been tempted to buy make-up as well in some foolish attempt to look a bit more mature.
I was vehemently anti-cosmetics throughout my adolescence, refusing on principle to support an industry that can exist only by making women feel dissatisfied with their appearance. I was the only teenage girl I knew who had fights with her mother about not wearing make-up. Then when I started college my aunt marked the occasion by mailing me a box full of Clinique, and I began to relent and wear the darn stuff for interviews, weddings, thesis defenses, and other such occasions. I gave the mascara to my mom, but the tube of lipstick and tiny trial sized blush and eye shadow got me through four years and aren't quite out yet. I discovered that a dab of concealer, a quick swipe of powder, and some lipgloss could make me look a bit more presentable on ordinary days when I was feeling blah.
But, alas, I left all that at home when I moved. Buying everything I want to replace would easily run $25, and I can't justify spending that on vanity, not when my retirement account has lost almost a quarter of its value. I need to suck it up, accept that this is what I look like, and get on with my life.