I remember an old “look better, feel better” breast cancer campaign that helped women cope with chemo by providing a makeover and a new ‘do. While nobody was suggesting any of these cancer patients needed a personality overhaul, in my case this has proven to be a welcome side effect to improving my appearance.
Looking one’s best can boost spirits. What I didn’t realize was just how much I genuinely behave differently based on what’s going on with my hair. Turns out the degree to which I am put together is directly related to how sufferable I am. And sadly, looking like an insomniac beast person can make me act like, well, an insomniac beast person.
While I am mostly nocturnal I am not actually a beast person. In fact, I am all girl. I delight in dresses and makeup and pretty things. You wouldn’t know this though, because most days I am at home, braless, in faded track pants, the shirt I slept in and a messy ponytail. When someone unexpectedly knocks at my door I turn into a stealth but frumpy ninja so they don’t know I am home because I don’t want to be responsible when they see me and turn to stone.
My poor, neglected pretty things.
Lately, I have been leaving the loft in this half-assed state of I Give Up and Please Don’t Talk to Me, deciding I don’t have energy to invest in my appearance AND in going out. On my last such venture I noticed myself being a cranky pants right from the start. I was pissy in the car with The Banker and I didn’t really know why and
unwarranted pissyness is THE WORST kind of pissyness.
I felt better at the theatre during the show where it was dark and nobody was looking at me. After, when there was talk of going for a drink, I knew there was a problem because I was back to being pissy and I didn’t want to go. And that is super not like me because I love drinking.
There was a connection and I decided to test a theory. The next time The Banker and I went out it was to a dingy comedy bar. I didn’t need to dress up for this crowd but I did. A little. I put on a simple knit dress, a chunky necklace and some gloss. What came next was
Cinderella level TRANSFORMATION.
Suddenly I was sunshine, smiling at everyone and ready to party. Completely distracted from my weary and uncooperative body. I was being pleasant. Not only was I not acting like a beast person, I no longer felt like one. Could lipstick really do this?
Looking better makes me feel better and by extension you will feel better because as it turns out I am moody and kind of a jerk without accessories. The good news is that unlike MS there is a cure for my bitchiness and it is called mascara and a properly fitting bra.
So, am I vain? Obviously. I’m not proud of it. But if there is a connection between what I present to the world and how I feel about myself then who am I not to harness the awesome power of what’s in my makeup bag?