I stopped reading beauty magazines a couple of years ago when I realized a couple of things. First, I always walked away from them feeling kind of bad about myself. I mean, I’m not a size zero and while I have been described as “hauntingly beautiful,” it’s usually as a joke. Secondly, I can never afford anything they’re advertising inside, so if I happen to fixate on something, which, trust me Toy-With-Me-ers, happens pretty much any time I do anything, ever, I get all misty-eyed and despondent, because, no, actually, I cannot afford a six-thousand dollar purse and next to it, the two-hundred dollar knock-off looks cheap and crappy. My hopes of somehow become an heiress at age thirty are rather dismal, and while I’m still hoping to be swooped up by some millionaire, it’s probably not going to happen. PROBABLY. MUCH. MAYBE. I DON’T KNOW.
Let’s just say, if you’re a multi-millionaire and you’re reading this and you find me charming, GO AHEAD AND EMAIL ME. bats eyelashes
Part C, the nail in the coffin for these “magazines for women” is that they’re really all about “pleasing your man.” Which, okay, I mean sometimes it’s helpful to get some blow job advice, but frankly, any man I’m with should be so lucky to be with me that he should be figuring out how to please ME. I don’t need advice month after ever-loving month about how I am supposed to give him a better orgasm. Because, hi, what about MY fucking orgasm? And what if I’m gay and don’t have a man to please?
Anyway. I’ll stop myself now before my head explodes into a pulpy mass onto my computer screen.
In my whole “stomping away from beauty magazines because they’re blatantly sexist” thing, I’d forgotten the one key thing that the beauty magazines I’d read when I was a teenager taught me: when you look good, you feel good.
See, Toy With Me-ers, it’s been a long time since I had to bother trying to look good. In the past couple of years, I’ve popped out two crotch parasites and now I stay home with them. Maternity chic gave way to nursing mother chic (if I never see another v-neck shirt, I will be happy) which gave way to *sniff sniff, is this clean? chic. And what I do for work can be done butt-naked, wearing a sarong, or a gorilla suit in any location, anywhere, providing that I have internet access at some point, so dressing nicely has never, ever mattered. The three people who see me on a regular basis don’t even care if I have legs, let alone if I’m wearing a full face of makeup.
So I let myself go.
Not in the I-dove-headfirst-into-a-box-of-Little-Debbie’s, because that’s not my thing, but while I’ve been sloooooowly removing the baby weight, I really haven’t bothered to do the things that make me feel good about being, well, me. Where my children have always had shiny new clothes, I’ve made do with the ratty-ass things I had in my closet, not because I don’t love clothes—I do—but because I didn’t want to spend money on buying anything in a size I didn’t want to be. That’s a vicious cycle right there. You look bad, so you feel bad, rinse repeat.
Like half of the internet, including Toy With Me (woohoo!), Your Aunt Becky is going to that great big conference, BlogHer, in New York City on Thursday. I’m even speaking there, if you can believe it (everyone say it with me now, “poor, POOR, BlogHer”). When I realized that I’d be not only meeting friends who’d lived entirely in the computer before but in front of people who would probably snort at the gigantic holes in my clothes, I realized that something had to be done. Something…drastic.
I had to start taking care of myself, even if I wasn’t precisely the same level of dead sexiness I’d wanted to be. So I did. I went shopping, didn’t actually gasp when I saw the numbers on the pants (!!) and began to try on some clothes. While I may have been aghast at the resurgence of 80’s fashions, a funny thing happened as I swiped my credit card again and again (besides the credit card companies rubbing their hands together greedily): I began to feel…good.
Certainly, many of the things I would have liked to have bought didn’t fit properly (but when DOES it, really, now?), but as I walked from store to store, I wasn’t…weeping. In fact, I felt better than I had in months. With every sparkly thing I acquired, I felt, well, PRETTIER. Could the beauty magazines that I had forsaken been right? I almost didn’t believe it until I went home and twirled in front of the mirror in my new duds. I wasn’t exactly singing, “I Feel Preeetttyy!” but it would probably take a frontal lobotomy for that to occur. Thank God.
It dawned on me, as I’ve been trying to make sure that The Good People of the Internet do not think that I merely crawled out of a hole in the ground like a mole person, that all of those times I picked up an extra SOMETHING for my kid, I could have been doing something nice for myself instead. I’d appreciate it a hell of a lot more than they do. And from now on, I’ll be doing just that, because as soon as I realized how much better I felt when I didn’t dress like a hobo, I went through my closet and threw away everything that either didn’t fit, made me look like an ugly misshapen lump of oatmeal, or was holey (and not like a priest).
I’ll probably never be one of those people in the grocery store at eight in the morning with a full face of makeup mostly because I’d rather chew off my own toenails than go to the grocery store at eight in the morning, but from now on, I’ve got to remember that occasionally, beauty magazines might have something to offer me. Besides how to tantalize my man in bed. Because trust me, Cosmo could learn a thing or two from me.
So what do you think, Toy With Me-ers? Are you good about taking care of yourself? Am I an ignorant slut for ignoring myself for so long, or, you know, just an ignorant slut? Have you noticed that you feel better when you look better?
Photo by aopsan