I needed to put up some profile pictures for this new blog and all my new social media accounts so I went thru our library of pictures that we’ve taken from our digital cameras and the photos I put up on Facebook. Going thru all those photos was beginning to be frustrating – I only have a few, not even a so-called “handful”, decent pictures of me! Oh sure, I’ve got a lot of pictures with me in it, but most of them were shot with me looking so pale and tired, not only because I don’t have any makeup on, worse, I don’t have anything on, period. Not even some powder, nor lipstick and the most dreadful of all – no eyebrows. If my face looked passable, my outfit was horrific – it was pulling at awkward sides of my body that made me look just that – awkward. I had the epiphany right there and then – OMG, did I really think this was acceptable? To look haggard, my eyes looking tired, my unflattering clothes presenting me at my worst? And this is the me I show in public?
I know people will say that its vanity talking. But truth of the matter is, the way you look outside, whether the naysayers admit it or not, does affect the way you feel about yourself. If you know you look good, chances are, you’re happy with the way you’re presenting yourself and that radiates outwards. ‘Looking good’ doesn’t mean you have to look like a movie star or that your clothes and shoes have to be expensive. Its just the knowledge that here you are, all cleaned up, groomed, in clothes that make you feel nice and this boosts your self-confidence and lightens up your spirits. So not just because you’re not as young as you used to be, it doesn’t mean that you should forgot to dress neat, fix your hair and look sharp. It doesn’t follow.
Ok, before my parents worry that maybe there’s something bothering me and that’s why I’ve let myself go, I’d like to state, for the record – I am very happy with my life now. I may be 20 lbs *cough* 30 lbs heavier than when I was younger, but I’m happy with the way I am and I’m proud of how far I’ve gone and what I’ve accomplished. The sloppiness crept in because maybe I was too happy to care about how I looked in photos… uploaded on facebook… seen by too many people… liked by 50 of them. Yikes!!!
Now really, I don’t always look bad. In fact, I love clothes. I’m a dressmakers’ granddaughter and daughter. Fashion is something I lived with for a long time. Its just that, just like everyone, I fall into the fashion don’ts, because they’re sold at a bargain or that I saw them on some hot actress or it was a fad. And unfortunately, those clothes stayed in my closets and I always have the bouts of amnesia and not remember how it felt or how it looked the last time, and then, I wear them again. Cursing and telling myself to get rid of them, until the next laundry time and they’re back in the closet. A vicious cycle, I have to admit.
And the make-up? There’s only one reason – I ran out of time. Blame poor time management for that.
For the many days that I do it right, I have the unfortunate luck of not being in a crowd where pictures were taken or, like I’ve already said, I made that funny awkward face again. Yes, my timing lately has always been impeccable.
I noticed another thing, too. All the good pictures I had where my face wasn’t in a tight ball of smile or a guffaw were taken when I was younger. My twenties. Back then, I didn’t pose with my eyes squinting for a smile, my nose in a crinkle, or my mouth opened wide in a laugh. I was always poised with my head tilted at a slight angle, a coy grin and I just let my eyes do the smiling. It made for good photos. Surely, I was a very young girl with problems with self esteem back then. Did coming of age and acquiring all these confidence give me the “I don’t care how I look” look? There must be a connection, right?
I know there has to be a balance between these two stages. The one where I could look very confident with who I am now and what I’ve accomplished with my life and the one with much reservation about how the world sees me. I guess, this blog will surely be my testing ground from now on in search of that coveted photo nirvana.
And now I begin by practicing to give that coy smile again by doing selfies (oh, God, those dreaded selfies!)
The once named “godmother of the Philippine Blogosphere”, Gigi Manaloto-Refugia, known by her pen name “Ate Sienna” has been blogging since 2002 in her old pansitan.net community where she housed famous bloggers. She now writes about being 50-something and shares her tips on fashion, makeup, skincare, travel, food and thrift-store diving.
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