As some of you may know, I celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary last week.  What none of you know is that the husband posted a facebook notice about it.  The sentiment was sweet, and he posted two pictures of us. One pic was actually quite nice- we were dressed for opening night at Carnegie Hall.  Beautiful dress, make-up artfully applied, hair not only combed but styled. (for the record, we don’t usually attend opening nights of anything- the last one we were invited to was when they opened up an Arby’s down the street)  Then there was the other photo.  The one with me in a bathrobe.  A big, white, fluffy bathrobe that hotels artfully hang in the bathroom.  And before you think this was a provocative shot, I  assure you it was not.  Let me give you a mental picture.  Imagine a tall, willowy model showing off a bathrobe.  Now squish her down so she’s a foot shorter and half a foot wider.  That’s how I looked in this robe- anti-provocative.  And think about this- if you’re wearing a robe, are you wearing make-up?  If you’re me you’re not.  And is your hair neat?  If you’re me it’s not.  Yeah- good times.

When I saw the post- all I could think about was – really?  This is my visual legacy to the future- this picture of me unadorned in a white bathrobe?   Looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man?  I thought about asking the husband to take it down.

As I was about to call him, I thought about what I would be teaching the daughter if I took down this picture because I didn’t think it was a flattering portrayal of me.  What would that mean?  Was I ashamed to be short and curvy?  Was I ashamed of being seen without makeup?  Shouldn’t I be proud of my body and my appearance no matter what?  So I didn’t ask him to take it down.

I never thought of myself as vain.  I don’t obsess about what I wear. I use make-up because I like it.  My hair is in a simple, no fuss style.  I exercise and take care of my skin for the health benefits, not in a manner of trying to look younger than I am.  So why did I freak out about the picture?

I was proud of myself for overcoming my anxiety about my outer shell.  I felt good.  Who needs make-up?  Who needs a brush and hair product?  Not me.  I am happy with my appearance.  I look great just the way I am.  I am setting a great example to the daughter!   Long live the shot of me in a bathrobe!

When I saw the  daughter that night, the first thing she said to me was:  “Can’t believe you didn’t tell Dad to delete that picture.”


6 thoughts on “Vanity: Thy Name is Middle-Age

  1. I think we are related ! God knows I’ve posted so many unattractive photos of myself on FB – however, as I mentioned in my blog, I just can’t get all worked up about my photos anymore. At least I TRY not to get all cringy!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Whenever I bemoan my extra pounds and curves, my husband responds with, ” But you look so much lovelier, I loathe skinny women. Why can’t you just enjoy the fact that you are womanly?” And maybe he has a point, its only the last 50 years that women have been brainwashed to try and be all that is not womanly, stick thin, a clothes horse and not a real human being who enjoys food, wine and all things sensual. Finally at 64 I am beginning to love me for what I am and there’s a great deal of truth in that saying ; today is the youngest/ slimmest/most beautiful that we may ever be…so revel in it!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This post made me laugh! We do try so hard to accept ourselves the way we are, but we don’t always succeed. And just when we get to that comfort level….. But I’m still glad you didn’t ask him to take it down!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. The struggle is real! I just posted about this, too, and how the mirror doesn’t reflect what I feel inside. So, I don’t know if it’s vanity as much as it is about reconciling that disparity.

      Liked by 1 person

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