You know those people who always look really put together and awesome every time you see them? I am not one of them.
Secretly, I’ve always wanted to be one of those girls. I know they exist, I’ve worked in offices surrounded by them. I see them floating gracefully across train platforms in ridiculous shoes. I’m just utterly unsure as to how these magical creatures (I believe they are called ‘proper girls’, or at least that’s what I have always called them) manage to move through the workday, the office, and indeed life itself looking so put-together and coiffed. For me it’s like observing some fascinating and utterly avant garde tribe, but instead of having lip-plates or large holes through their septums speared with wild boar tusks, they just have really, really perfect hair. I’ve long studied these women, but I’m at a total loss to see how they manage to stay so flawless.
I think that my default state is scruffy. My hair is always frizzy, my nails are often ragged and no matter how much I scrub them, the dirt always sneaks back underneath. My clothes are always ripping or springing spontaneous holes, usually around the butt area and I only notice after I’ve walked up large flights of stairs. My feet…oh my feet. My feet are like leather – I could probably walk across a boiling hot roadtop littered with razorblades and oystershells without feeling a thing. My makeup melts off my face (when I can be bothered to wear it) and I seem to attract dirt and stains like some kind of large, girl-shaped filth-magnet.
I start out with the best intentions and looking smashing. Then, as the day wears on I start to… the only accurate descriptor I can think of is to fall apart.
I know that in reality, these women devote a great deal of time to their visage, and truthfully – that is not something I’m willing to do. It’s only the rare ones that manage to look amazing on a daily basis effortlessly, and that’s not something that can be taught or attained – that’s just an innate thing. More often than not that smooth-skinned, shiny-haired, well-put-together type has spent a great deal of time and money to look that way. And when I think about it like that, it doesn’t seem as important. I would rather use that time and money for other stuff. To have adventures! To write blogs and see friends and earn black-belts and make awesome food. For me, the time it would take to attempt to wrangle my messy, dishevelled self into a state of put-togethered-ness would mean I’d have to sacrifice other things. And I’m not willing to do that.
I think the epic quest for aesthetic perfection and the pursuit of adventure and general awesomeness are two mutually exclusive paths. I’m not saying that someone who spends time trying to look nice is wasting their time – everyone wants to present a decidedly non-hideous picture of themselves to the world, and prettying yourself up can be a whole lot of fun (especially if you are with friends and there is cider involved.) But focusing too much on any one thing is unhealthy, and I kinda feel as if devotion to one’s exterior can sometimes lead to the neglect of one’s interior. Instead of spending all my time trying to look perfect, I’d prefer instead to attempt to scrub up my personality and try to be the best person I can be. And that requires enough bloody time all on it’s own…
It’s a natural thing to envy what you are not and see your own flaws in too minute a detail. It doesn’t help that we get bombarded with images of perfection in magazines and on billboards and parading across the telly. I guess it helps to realise that a day-to-day human being just can’t compete with that, and nor should they have to. It’s not real and honestly, it’s not that important. It doesn’t matter how frizzy your hair is, how many humongous zits you have cultivating on your chin, how dirty your nails or how wrinkled (and cat-fur-sprinkled) your shirt is. If you are kind, fun, happy, friendly and have mad skills, then other kind-fun-happy-friendly-mad-skilled people are going to notice that first, not the blackheads on your nose (or the huge hole you just ripped in the seat of your jeans.)
Are you oftentimes rumpled, ruffled, dishevelled and in disarray? Do you envy people who are well-kept or have you accepted your imperfect state?