Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Mom Was Right

I asked my own mother once, 'What are we supposed to be?'  
She said 'You're supposed to have nice hair and nice clothes and look pretty.'  
She really said that to me.

 - Shirley MacLaine, in a recent interview

As a teenager, I remember talking to Mom more than once about wearing cosmetics, or rather that she rarely used make-up. I was an insecure teenage girl who didn't dream of leaving the house without a face full of make-up and perfectly coiffed hair that would stand up to hurricane-force winds (Thanks, Aqua Net!), so I couldn't understand why she didn't put in the effort to make herself "pretty." She just chuckled, smiled, and assured me that one day, I would understand her perspective. I never believed her.

Janes, Mom is ALWAYS right. And she was spot on - I have officially "arrived" at her place. Let me be the first to say that it's nothing short of fucking GLORIOUS.

I used to be a person who, no matter what the occasion, had to look perfect. I spent at least an hour in my bathroom per day striving to capture that perfection... at least 7 hours per week making myself look "pretty." I went to work as a night shift nurse, working with brand new mommies and babies while looking glamorous. Grocery shopping was the equivalent of a fashion shoot while I inwardly chuckled at those fellow Janes who dared to shop in ratty sweatpants and messy hair buns. If there was even the slightest chance that Mr. ZJ and I would get freaky, my time getting ready was instantly doubled to ensure that he wouldn't find so much as an errant hair anywhere on my body. Hell, I even put on make-up for our first day in Finland, where the -20 degrees F temperature resulted in my frozen lashes/mascara melting into spectacular raccoon eyes as soon as I walked into our heated cabin.

I can't really pinpoint the exact moment my "I don't give a fuck" attitude kicked in, but I just tired of the monotonous beauty routine every single time I wanted to do anything. So I stopped doing it. And you know what happened? Absolutely NOTHING. I still provide awesome nursing care to those mommies and babies. I pick up my groceries without any disapproving glances (and even get some smiles from my fellow sweatpants-wearing Janes!). Mr. ZJ is just as willing to fuck me even if I miss my shaving session. The following six days in Finland were equally amazing while my make-up bag collected dust in my suitcase. And I even have an extra hour each day now to use as I please!

Now, there's nothing wrong with going all-out for a special occasion. But I'm here to say to all the Janes... DON'T fall into the trap of thinking you look "a fright" without that hairstyle and those cosmetics. You don't. WE don't. And you know what else? It's fucking liberating to be free of that routine, and it has the added benefit of letting the world (especially young women) see that beauty does NOT equal all the added enhancements. Remember those one-day campaigns on social media calling for women to post photos sans make-up? Fuck one day... I'm doing it on ALL days. I dare you to do the same.

Thank you, Mom. Thank you for showing me that a beautiful soul has nothing to do with fancy hair, fabulous clothes, or a bathroom full of cosmetics. You were beautiful as you were... and you knew it.

Need a great playlist for spring break?? Click here!!

It's time to get rid of the negative vibes. Lent is a great time to take stock of what is important and get rid of the things that are holding us back. Click here to read about one Jane's Lent journey.

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