Friday, April 15, 2011

(Updated!) I Already Wear My Trousers Rolled (Because I’m Kind of Short)

How did I not notice this? I HAVE GONE SILVER. Or white. Or gray. Or something really old-sounding.

When I look in the mirror, to me it looks more or less the way it has for the past five years or so — that is, light brown faded to dishwater blond in front, white streak across the crown, medium brown in back with a few highlights thrown in to minimize the Belted Galloway look. But I came back from vacation recently and the photos, to my shock, revealed what I show you here:

I’m not sure I can explain how I missed this, except to say that I am not a person who spends a great deal of time on her hair. I learned to use a blow dryer in my thirties, and I still don’t know how to use a curling iron.

My grandmother went snow-white in her early 20’s, and I always hoped that would happen to me. It was so dramatic, and my hair was always so boring. So I was thrilled by the emergence of my white stripe. It awakens! But the rest remained a disappointment.

Oddly enough, I didn’t feel especially attractive until I reached 40. It wasn’t until then that I really settled into my face, and though my body wasn’t significantly different from when I was in my twenties, something changed to make me feel much more comfortable in my own skin. Maybe I got shaken up by the experience of losing and regaining my body with pregnancy? And there is no doubt that much (if not most) of attractiveness lies in how attractive you feel.

But now … I am in my (big reveal!) mid-forties, and I begin to notice the slide. A softening and settling. I’m trying to wrap my mind around it and adjust my self-image. I’m trying to resettle into my skin. And actually I’m starting to enjoy it. Well, the hair, anyway.

And I’m really glad I run.

Update: I am inspired by Anon to say: I would love everyone (especially women, but men too) to be able to brag on themselves, or at least to acknowledge what they have that they think looks good. (I did not actually mention what I like about my body in this post, but I certainly have elsewhere in this blog.) The better you feel about what you have, the more attractive you are, and that spreads happiness in general. So give it up, and don’t be shy: What do YOU rock?