16 July 2008

ageless beauty

Last weekend I experienced my first family wedding. Our entire extended family was excited for months leading up to the big day. So much so that we had a big sleepover the night before so that we could all have breakfast and get ready together the day of.

I spent the morning of the wedding doing what I do before every major formal event: everyone else's hair and makeup. For some reason people expect me to be stressed out by this, but I continually tell them that in these moments I am in my glory. Beautifying others is far more exciting than putting the same colours on my same boring face, after all. My aunt Lena (whose house we were at) kept saying, "make sure you leave time for yourself!" and I reminded her that on the day of my own prom I did hair and makeup for 7 other people before my own.

I am so excited for the getting ready part of the day that I drift off to sleep visualizing which colour eye shadows, and which style of updo or curls I will choose for each person. In fact, when I'm at the gym, I distract myself from the tasks at hand (mostly running on the treadmill is when I'm most bored) by carefully visualizing outfits, makeup application techniques etc. Then, when I have an event to dress up for, I am totally, creatively prepared.

A few weeks ago, as a favour for my friend Amy, I did prom makeup for her little sister and a friend. I was shocked to realize that these girls had no idea what kind of look they wanted, what colours they preferred, or even celebrity fashion influences (to give me an idea of their own taste). Amy's sister's friend just stared at me blankly when I asked her any questions about her preferences, or whether she wanted a natural or dramatic look. I guess their nonchalance surprised me because I am SO certain about what I want and love and/or hate, that I would never let someone do my makeup unless we had discussed the look in depth. But I guess not everyone is a psycho when it comes to makeup.

Amy somehow finagled me into going to the pre-prom party to take photos, wherein I was the awkward stranger with the camera, but Amy's family seemed to appreciate it. Apart from being rather uncomfortable, the experience allowed me to check out what "kids" are wearing to prom these days. This was Oakville, so the dresses were all pretty high-end. Almost all of them were cocktail length, which was pretty cute actually. It looked young and fresh and fun.

Standing in the line of parents (beside Amy, who was yelling at girls to put down their coolers and Coronas for the photos: "you just look tacky!"), I began to feel the gulf of 6 years since I graduated high school.

At this past weekend's wedding, however, I looked at age very differently. I had as much fun ordering Shirley Temples at the bar with my 14-year-old cousin as I did drinking rye on the rocks with my brothers, snacking on wedding cake with my parents, and sipping white wine with my grandma and great aunt.

Speaking of the latter two ladies, both of them are so gorgeous and classy. My grammie, with her southern-influenced sassiness and penchant for bright colours; and Joyce ,who has my dream job working for a specialty chocolate company and about the best fashion sense of anyone I know, are both an inspiration to me. I would love to work towards having their sophistication.

We so often associate beauty with youth, with an unlined face and a taut body. At 25, I even feel my own anxiety sneaking up on my sometimes, in regards to my skin or my figure. But instead of worrying about moving away from my youth, I would like to think about what I am moving towards, and what kind of woman I would like to become. With role models like my older family members, it's exciting to realize that personal style only improves with age.


Anonymous said...

What a great post.

I don't know you personally, but I find your blog very inspiring. You are a beautiful writer and such a pleasure to read.

Thanks for that.

Dallas said...

Thank you very much for reading, and for your kind words!

Anonymous said...

Very glad you enjoyed the family function.

Be sure to question everything you know about beauty. I came across an interesting post on this topic entitled False Consciousness or the Funeral of I.

Jenn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenn said...

"on the day of my own prom I did hair and makeup for 7 other people before my own."

That is so you. You are one of the most generous and sincerely selfless people I know.

I really love this post, and that picture of you and Brian. You're so beautiful, just like your grandma and great aunt.