Inner Beauty or Outer Shell

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Normally when I have a life crisis, my Inner Bitch is there to set me straight.

You know damned well your coworker is a passive-aggressive witch.  You know this, so knock that shit off about your feelings being hurt.

My Inner Bitch does not mince words.

Until lately, that is.  I’ve recently stumbled across a dilemma that I cannot make a final decision on and it appears that even my Inner Bitch is waffling.  Which is unacceptable, seeing as her one job (you had one job!) is to provide the needed guidance to resolve major life problems.

You know, by telling me to shut the fuck up and move on already.

My unresolved dilemma is this:  I want to be pretty.

What the hell, Jill?  Talk about your First World Problems.

I know, right?

But here’s the thing.  I have never been the “pretty girl.”  Ever.  Oh, I could pass for “cute” years ago, and before life pinned my ass to the mat, I definitely pulled off “perky” and “fun.”  Ah, the good times.

But I’ve never been pretty.  I have one of those generic faces, nothing extraordinary about it, that causes folks to scrunch their foreheads and ask “I feel like I recognize you.”  To which I shake my head and explain that I look like everybody.  No, seriously, I am a fucking Everyman (or woman, although I bet my face could pass for either gender in the right light), absolutely nothing memorable about me whatsoever.

Get to the point, Jill.  We don’t have all day, you know.

When you’re not the girl who stops traffic, when you’re never the girl that guys do a double take to see, when you are the plain Jane that no one really remembers (except of course when you remind them of someone else), you end up adopting the whole “beauty is within” shit that’s not really shit at all but it feels like your coping mechanism.

Beauty is within, Jill.  Of course it is, you are a beautiful person inside.

You might as well call it like it is….she has a great personality!  But I do believe that, I do.  We all know girls who may not be “classically beautiful” but because of their personality, they become beautiful.  We all know those people.  And I am one hundred percent on board with the inner person being more beautiful than the outside shell.

Then what’s your fucking problem, Jill?

I want my outside shell to be pretty.  Is that shallow?

Yes. Yes it is.  Is this your mid-life crisis?  If so, I really am off on my predictions.

Probably.

But the blame lies squarely on a coworker of mine.  She’s the one who put ideas in my head, albeit unintentionally, but it’s still all her fucking fault.  I see her in person about once a week, I suppose, obviously more on social media.  She’s a bit younger than me, a bit overweight, tall, and loud.  She is a perky, chatty, loud laughing person with enough confidence that she doesn’t even fucking cringe when she barks out a loud laugh that is heard two states away.  You kind of hate her already, don’t you?  Yeah, sadly she’s also a genuinely nice person too.  She wears her own brand of trendy clothes, kind of a mashup of latest fashion trends and whatever the hell she wants to pair it with.  She accessorizes like nobody’s business, usually wearing enough bangles, sparkles, or floofiness to…well, not feed a third world country, but that’s where I was headed with that comment, so just…you get the idea.

Jesus, Jill.  Good to know you’re making sense.

A while back, she began actively selling that fancy-ass makeup that doesn’t even disguise itself as a “skin regime” but it’s just flat out “How To Be Pretty in a Few Hundred Thousand Dollars and Four Short Hours Each Morning.”  The first time she posted a tutorial video of her starting from scratch, from a clean face to the end result, I was shocked.  SHOCKED, I tell ya.  Turns out she is one of those people who looks completely different without makeup.  I mean, splotchy pale skin, no cheekbones, unremarkable eyes (and she doesn’t even intentionally look sad when she starts off these videos, as most “before” photos do…nope, she’s all bubbly and perky and damn, I want to smack her)…basically….she’s me.

Well, she’s me plus a personality.  I’m not sure I have that going for me these days unless “bitchy-ass 40something” has somehow become a thing.  Ha, there’s a hashtag for me…#bitchyass40something – it has a certain je ne sais quoi to it, no?

Ahem.

Anyway, I started following her tutorials just to watch the transformations.  And then I see her in person, and it’s all I can do NOT to touch her face and see if I can wipe it off.

Boundaries, Jill, boundaries.

I want to spend the money and have her show me how to be pretty.  I want to be pretty.

But every time I almost make that decision, almost send her a message saying “will you make me pretty” (because also #40isthenewawkward13 apparently), I feel a wave of guilt crash over me that I am walking away my lifelong fucking mantra of “beauty is within.”  Like I’m personally abandoning all the other women like me, who also have adhered to that as they too slap on minimal makeup because it really doesn’t do anything special for them.  Those of us who spend our lives glaring at Photoshopped faces, and silently judging the girls who plaster the makeup on.

I’ve also been a proud supporter of the “look at me, I’m not a fake, what you see is what you get” hashtag too.

You accepted the fact long ago that were never going to be a runway model, so why start pretending now?  You do realize, right, that just because you slap on the fancy-ass makeup, you’re not going to suddenly be perky, bubbly, loud, floofy and her.  Right? You realize that, right? 

Yes, I’m fully aware that my great personality will remain largely unchanged.  But, and I don’t think this is an unreasonable argument, what if part of the reason she’s so bubbly and perky and all that is because she likes how she looks?  How is the makeup different than the fourteen bangle bracelets she wears on a daily basis?  What if all of that is merely a booster to her ego, which then lets her strut her stuff?

Strut your stuff?  Jill, the day I see you strut your stuff will be the day you no longer need my bitchy ass.

Sigh.

You understand that if you choose to go this route, this is a morning commitment EVERY SINGLE MORNING or else you risk everyone asking you “are you sick?” because your face isn’t perfect that day?

Gah, yeah, I thought of that too.  And allergy season.  And I’m a crier these days too.  That shit would have to stop.

Go for it.

Wait, what?

Eh, it could go either way.  Feel free to hold onto your mantra of “beauty is within” along with your charming personality (#bitchyass40something) or you buy all this makeup and be a fakey faker.  You’ve done the former all your life, go for the latter.  Maybe?  If you think you are okay with abandoning your lifelong beliefs about beauty.  But maybe it’s time to try something new, so maybe go for it.  I mean, you are allowed to want to look your best, and like you said above, how is this really any different than a pushup bra or high heels? So yeah, maybe go for it.

Maybe go for it?  That…was not helpful, Inner Bitch.

You’re welcome.  But it’s your life, and if you want to be pretty and if this is how you think it’s going to possibly happen, give it a try.

I…don’t know still.  First World Problems, indeed.  And we continue to waffle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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