Where Is The Love?
On New Year’s Eve afternoon I went out with my mom to enjoy our year-end Starbuck’s coffee tradition, and to run a few errands before the night’s activities got started. The mall was one of our stops, Macy’s specifically. While browsing cosmetics we were approached by a ridiculously pushy saleswoman, representing a brand that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent.
This lady got right up into my face and looked with one part disgust and one part twisted satisfaction, as if my skin resembled something found stuck to the bottom of a shoe.
“Well,” she said, her smirk growing, “lets see all the problems we have here!”
Oh my. And this coming from a woman who was wearing five pounds of wild makeup, looking like she was channeling Kim Kardashian. Or she was confused and thought it was Halloween.
My instinct was to bite back hard, but I quelled my desire to tear her up and instead took the high road by simply walking away. But there is something I have to say:
Hey Pushy Mean Girl Sales Lady, it’s time for you to slow your roll.
This happened once before in my life. One day back in my twenties I spent an hour at the Chanel counter at Saks in San Francisco. The women there were great, very flattering and saying all the right things to make a sale. And that’s when it happened. A saleswoman from a neighboring counter and rival brand came over, stuck her nose in my business, and took it upon herself to tell me my eyebrows were unruly, and I really had to do something about it. The Chanel gals were speechless, and upset. I was, too, but I wasn’t about to take it out on the ladies who had been working so hard to make me pretty and sell me products. I looked right at the interloper and told her to mind her own business.
Okay, so I’m not perfect. But why does a woman go out of her way to point it out, when it really isn’t her place to do so? When her opinion wasn’t requested? Why knowingly say words that will be hurtful, when self-acceptance and love for one’s appearance is such a tall order?
I don’t want to explain why I don’t have my shit together. I shouldn’t have to, but here it goes. Illness does things to a person. On most days all I can manage, beauty wise, is running a comb through my hair, brushing my teeth and slapping on my daytime moisturizer. Lupus has done things to my appearance. My face is relatively line free and smooth; the red, painful rashes I used to get all the time seem to be a thing of the past. But what lupus has done is completely drain my face of that rosy glow I used to have. I also have dark circles under my eyes. Sometimes they aren’t there, but on the days they decide to show up they always seem to stay a while.
I think I still look okay. Yes, I have bad days when I want to smash every mirror in my house, but sometimes I think I look better than okay. I think I’m beautiful. And that is all that matters.
Sometimes I think this comes down to the way women are, and how we find it so difficult to support each other. This woman on New Year’s Eve decided to judge me, and she wanted me to know it. She thought I was lazy, uncaring, unsophisticated. It went way beyond her words. I could see it in her expression.
In looking at her, with all of the makeup she had on, did I assume she was vain? Insecure? Hiding something? To put it simply, no. At first, I saw a woman who was doing her job, representing a cosmetics company and in doing so had to look a certain way. Nothing more to it than that. When she decided to say something wicked, certainly I had a pretty mean inner dialogue of my own going on.
It was a pretty regrettable moment all around. All I can do is learn from it, and be honest about how I can be better in situations like that. And by the way, no offense to Ms. Kardashian, because makeup or no makeup, she’s lovely.
Let’s just choose to support each other instead of tearing each other down.
How about it, everyone? Are you with me?
Have a great weekend, friends.