Day 15. Since Tuesday, when I got my own small-scale makeover — haircut, highlights, some new clothes — I’ve been feeling different about myself. It’s pretty easy to feel frumpy as a mom, especially with two little ones around. Some days, it’s an effort just to get out of my pajamas. And with the changes to my body, few of the clothes in my closet fit right, so I relegated myself to a jeans-and-T-shirt uniform, usually with my hair pulled back in a ponytail.
But I’ve been watching a lot of “What Not to Wear” episodes lately, and the women on the show give the same excuses I give myself. “I don’t have time.” “I don’t take care of myself because I take care of my kids.” “I can’t find anything in my size.” Etc., Etc., Etc.
I decided to nip those excuses in the bud this birthday and let my mom and grandma help me update my look. I’ve actually had fun putting on clothes this week as I’ve tried out my different outfits. Granted, I don’t have a complete wardrobe, but I have enough pieces to give me a few new things to wear to church or on a date with my hubby or just to the grocery store if I don’t want to feel like I just crawled out of bed.
So far, my husband has only seen my new look on the computer via a couple of Skype calls. Today, he complimented the outfit I wore to church. I’m excited for him to be able to see the new stuff — the “new” me — in person.
As long as I can remember I’ve been self-conscious about my looks. I quit wearing my glasses in junior high because I didn’t want to look “nerdy.” I still take other people’s thoughts into consideration when getting dressed to leave the house, sure they’re going to judge this book by its cover.
While I’ve gotten plenty of compliments about the new look, my husband’s opinion matters the most. Even if he doesn’t use words, there’s a look I look for — the kind where his whole face smiles when he catches sight of me.
OK, so that’s a little bit RomCom, but some of you might know what I’m talking about. On WNTW, many of the women admit that they don’t think they’re beautiful or have never believed they’re pretty. And when co-host Clinton Kelly (who is gay) compliments something about the way they look, it’s like they realize it for the first time. I bring up his sexual orientation only because I think it’s important that the women are hearing from a man, whether he’s interested in them romantically or not, that they are pretty.
Consider that a challenge, men: We need you to tell us we’re pretty.
I know my husband appreciates me beyond what I look like on the outside, and for that I’m grateful. ‘Cause this shell of a person is only going to get saggier and baggier as the years go on. And I know that when he compliments my looks, that’s not all he’s seeing. For both of us, it’s what’s inside that keeps us together day after day.
Still, it’s fun to feel pretty and have a little extra confidence. When my husband chopped off 8 inches of his hair two weeks ago, I saw him in a whole new way. I even told him he was “hot.” (Not the sort of language I often use to describe my husband because it seems like such a shallow word.) Small changes; hopefully a bigger spark to our relationship.
And Lord willing, 10, 15, 20 years from now, we’ll be that “old” couple who still think each other is “hot” and our kids will be embarrassed to claim us.