She spent the better part of 45 minutes getting ready.
Hair, perfect. Makeup, done. New dress, on.
A busy working mom, she didn't really have time to "go all out," but she did on an average Friday because she wanted to look nice at work.
The minute she got off the elevator, her co-worker gave her that "up and down and all over" look.
"You look tired," her coworker replied. "Real tired. Been working late, hon?"
My friend's self esteem sunk.
With those three little words, a morning lost its glow. My friend's self-esteem hit the skids. She went all out. And all this woman could say was, 'You look tired?' What was the point?
It's funny how our beauty self-esteem is tied up in the reviews of other people — and the whole world is a beauty critic.
Just like movies get reviewed every Friday, we get reviewed almost every single day. You walk out of your house with a spring in your pumps thinking that you have that little extra edge and that lady you like at the supermarket deli counter says, "Kids been keeping you up all night again?"
Self-esteem starting point: 10
After getting sliced turkey: 2
BEAUTY CONFIDENCE BUILDING WHEN OTHERS ARE SNARKING
This probably started on the playground when we were little girls. We loved that green dress mom bought us for our birthday and proudly wore it to third grade where two little dweeb boys took one look and said, "You look like a big booger." (Not that I'm writing from experience, but still…The reviews start EARLY.)
We get ready to go on a date in our teens and the jeans are tight and right. But you can tell that your date's appraising look isn't a rave. Suddenly, your hard won self-esteem plummets. Your mind said five stars. His said two.
What about in midlife?
With busy, stressful schedules, it's harder than ever on some days to stand in the bathroom and "do the whole deal." Just blow-drying takes 15 minutes and then you have to do the whole makeup routine. Just trying to get the perfect eye-liner right seems to require a Ph.D. I have a friend who considers it a good day if she puts on perfume and mascara before getting three kids to various schools and doing that little daily thing she does called...a job.
I don't know about you, but I usually feel pretty happy when my makeup comes out just right, which is a combination (for me) of watching top makeup artists for years, too many store makeovers, and the moon being in the right position on the lunar chart. That's how random perfect is when it comes to beauty.
Why does all of that hit the ropes when someone in your life says, "I hate to say this, but yellow really isn't your color?" (I was told this when I was on Fox news and didn't wear yellow for a decade...not that i dwelled on it or anything).
"Wow, your hair color looks really light. Wow. Did your hairdresser leave the dye on for too long" (For the record, no. I was doing the Jen Aniston thing and went too far.)
"Are you still going to the gym? Still taking that Pilates class? Don't worry. Everyone gains weight during the holidays." (That's not me...okay, it was, but I'm working on it.)
"It's so great that you feel so comfortable wearing no makeup...Oh, you have makeup on. Really?" (I'm not the one who said nude lipstick was a color when it's called nude for a reason.)
Even Brooke Shields, one of the most gorgeous women to walk the earth, once told me that there are days when she doesn't feel so hot. Literally. "There are days when I'm in no makeup that people are saying, 'Is that really her? Nah. Brooke would never look like that,'" she said.
Yes, even Brooke gets snarking. I love her more for it.
IMPROVE SELF ESTEEM AND BUILD BEAUTY CONFIDENCE IN A CRUEL WORLD
My favorite story happened recently at the supermarket when I ran into the ex-wife of a business associate. I tried to duck her 1,000 questions about how her husband was really fairing after the divorce.
Obviously, she was peeved at me for my ducking and weaving, so she did the one thing that all women will know was hitting below the designer belt.
Since this ex was a hairdresser at a half rate salon (meow), she knew how to hit low.
"Sweetie, if you come to my salon, I could really do something about your dry hair. It doesn't have to look that way," she said.
Of course, I didn't mention that I had been on the run all day, did a school drop off and just came back from a spinning class. Heidi Klum, I am not after one hour of getting up and down on a stationary bike while we pretend we're making a trek across the Alps. Didn't she know that biking across the fake Alps in spinning class was drying?
"Thanks for the kind offer," I replied. Three weeks later, I was still doing extra deep conditioning because she said that one thing.
In the end, how can we stop allowing others to wreck our beauty self-esteem with their off-handed reviews?. It's tough, but you have to let their comments slide. Without being a word that's nasty, I'm sure they're not looking so great either. Maybe they're looking very tired. Or purple jeggings were a fashion mistake.
When others are snarking, it's best to just turn the other cheek even if you forgot to put blush on it.
Don't say, "Oh, forget your glasses today." Do say, "With the fiscal cliff, global warming and the season ender of 'Homeland" coming up, there isn't enough time to focus on accessorizing."
Got any answers for those times when someone else wrecks your beauty self esteem? Reply below and I'll post them in a future blog.
PS: You look gorgeous today. Really!