When I was about 11 my step-mother called me vain. This was because at the bottom of my bed was an old fashioned chest of drawers with a mirror on it. The mirror wasn’t very stable and used to slip, so that it appeared as though it was angled at me when I was in bed. In fact she didn’t just call me vain, she wrote it in red lipstick on the mirror.

Since that day I have hardly bothered with things like make-up, clothes, my hair, indeed even my appearance as a whole. As long as my hair is clean and brushed and my clothes not too wrinkled, I am not bothered.
However, what is happening to me now? I find I am dying my hair to hide the grey, I am trying to grow my nails so I can paint them. I have a manicure and pedicure approx once or twice a year. I find that I like wearing jewelry, I find I want to make sure my skin is moisturized and even though I have a whole bag full of make up I still don’t wear it.

Where has this femininity come from? Is it because my boys have moved on and I am no longer surrounded by as much testosterone? Is it because I am finally being suckered in by all the articles I see in the papers? Or is it because I have more time to look after me? Was I really vain and my vanity is coming back to get me big time?

I still hate clothes shopping (even when I was a size 14 I hated it with a passion, now a 24/26 well it isn’t going to improve is it?). I am still happiest in jeans and a rugby shirt. I am still in awe of those women who can look immaculate and co-ordinated just to do the shopping. I never feel properly turned out, all wrinkled and crinkled even though I have ironed my clothes to within an inch of their lives.

I like my lines and wrinkles, I like that they show that I have laughed, cried, loved, smiled, scowled and cheered. I welcome them as a sign of maturity (what is maturity anyway? Is it when you can add the two digits of your age together and act like the age it makes you? eg 53 = 8) I am fascinated by the faces of other people who look as if they have had an interesting life when you look at them. I wonder what their life has held. I look at the veterans and see the lines on their faces, I look at the homeless and the workers, the older people in our country, then compare them with people in other cultures and countries. The differences are vivid. I look at other people and think that my life, as hard and as difficult as it was before I married and as easy (in comparision) as it became when I married my darling hubby is nothing to what other people have gone through. I wonder what lines my face will have when I am even older than I am now.

I find it difficult to justify spending good money on my hair, my nails, me, but oh boy, I do enjoy being pampered every now and again, I love meeting my friends and having coffee and cake and a long chat.. This is my inner girly girl, what is yours? or if you are a man reading this, what is your inner blokey bloke? Do you feel pressured by magazines or other people? What is your idea of a perfect moment just for you?

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