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  • Writer's pictureTina

Questionable Things I Do In The Name of Beauty

I have been contemplating this topic for quite some time. I believe I do a pretty good job at laughing at myself, but then there comes the line of over-sharing. I am throwing caution to the wind, and I'm going to share with you some of the ridiculous things I have done or still do in the name of beauty. If I cross the line of oversharing, my apologies. The following is a list of things that I will share to make you laugh, shake your head, or even question my intelligence/sanity. Please know, I in no way advocate for anyone to do anything I am about to share with you.

First, let's talk about shoes. I will ease you into the topic with something I feel like many can relate to and comprehend. When I was a spry twenty-something with a devil may care approach to, well, pretty much everything, I wore some seriously cute shoes. I had a bit of a shoe obsession. I had shoes to match every outfit; all of them included at least a three-inch heel...because I am short and cared about creating the illusion of not being short. My feet were so used to being at a slant; it was painful to wear athletic shoes. This practice went on into my thirties when I was teaching and had a nice wardrobe. Today, at closer to fifty than not, I have a serious bunion going on. Not only do I have a bunion, but I also have arthritis in my right big toe so badly the throbbing keeps me up at night. Now, I swear if I even look at shoes with a heel, my right toe sends an S.O.S to my brain, begging me not to even think about trying them on, let alone buy them. On the rare occasions I wear shoes with a heel; I cringe when I put them on and cry, literally tears streaming down my face when I take them off. Usually, the tears are accompanied by the f-word a duck! It is a sad state I have come to in my middle age...sigh.

Secondly, there is shapewear. This is where I am sure I will over-share, dear reader, so consider yourself warned. When Eric was working for Elynx and had to fly to Oklahoma to attend a formal dinner party every year, I had the opportunity to purchase much loved formal wear. I have always loved to dress up, but alas, with farm life, motherhood, and a husband who prefers never to leave the farm, my opportunities to dress up were limited. Every year, along with a new dress, shoes, and jewelry, I would also purchase new shapewear. The last year we attended the dinner party, I purchased a traditional corset. Seeing celebrities in all their high fashion glory wearing two sets of Spanx and a corset seemed like a pretty good solution to my ever-thickening waistline...said no one ever...except me...sigh.

My corset arrived, and I could not get all the tiny little hooks fastened, let alone pulled tight enough to cinch my waistline. My little bean, always helpful and with nimble little fingers, offered to help me get into my new torture contraption. I laid down on the bed, with my knees up, she sat on my knees, I pulled the corset to its tightest setting, and she used her nimble little fingers to fasten all those God-forsaken hooks. After forty-five minutes, I was locked into the torture chamber. I found I could not bend or move. The Bean had to pull me by my arms up off the bed. Once I was finally on my feet, I smoothed my hands down over my waistline and felt the desired curve. Then I noticed my little buddy looking somewhat confused and in wonderment at my underpants area. Because I could not look down to see my own underpants area, I asked, "What are you looking at, baby?" She replied with a tone of wonder, "Mommy, it looks like you have a fist in your underpants. I never noticed that fist in your underpants before." She then poked that fist with her tiny little finger and announced it was a squishy fist. Sigh...I started to laugh, waddled over to look in the full-length mirror, and found her description to be absolutely correct. It did indeed look like I had a fist in my underpants. We started to giggle uncontrollably, and I had to explain that I have extra chub. I also had to explain that the excess chub got pushed down by my corset, thus the look of the fist in my underpants. Jordan replied very seriously, "You had better get some sucker inner underpants too, mom." Sigh...enter The Bibbed Wonder. His remark was, "Do corsets usually come with jockstraps?" Sigh...this is what my world is reduced to, lucky, lucky me.

Let us next visit my habitual skincare habits. You see, dear reader, once a year, I do an acid face peel. This face peel leaves my skin angry, red, blotchy, and sometimes scabbed for two to three weeks. My face looks very rough, and it is moderately painful, so much so that my bibbed-wearing buddy says things like, "Oh buddy, you really need to stop doing that to your face." Now dear reader, most would go to a skincare professional or a dermatologist. Me being an eternal do it yourselfer, I do this at home. I was able to find medical-grade salicylic acid and glycolic acid from a reputable source on the internet. It came with clear instructions, a pre-treatment, an acid neutralizer, a post-treatment, and a serum to use on my face for the next few weeks. I usually do this treatment in January or February because the holidays are over, and I don't go out as much. I have thought it is once again time to do my peel and suffer through the next few weeks to have smaller pores, a smooth appearance, and brighter skin for the next few months. I am dreading the pain and recovery of the peel, though. I suppose in the name of beauty; it will have to be done...sigh. Drat, my naturally handsome husband and his eight years of youth. He doesn't care at all if I wear heels, Spanx, or have wrinkles. He encourages me just to be me and be happy. For the most part, I am satisfied with myself, although I feel like I need to do a little maintenance to stay pleased with myself. However, at this point, it feels like self-inflicted pain and torture and sounds a bit ridiculous.

To date, I cleaned out my closet and donated all the beautiful shoes that cause me pain. I also cleaned out my drawers and discarded all the shapewear that makes me feel like I will vomit. The face peel, I am on the fence. However, I do have my eye on a professional Microdermabrasion machine that is going for a surprisingly affordable price...I'm just saying...insert wink. Will I never learn? The answer is probably not. I hope you can laugh at my ridiculous attempts at remaining youthful and svelt. Although as time goes on, those attempts seem futile.

As always, dear reader, stay safe, stay smart; perhaps I should place more emphasis on the smart thing and wash your hands.

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