Thursday, August 13, 2009

Comfort Outranks Beauty

We’ve all heard that saying, “beauty is pain”. As women, we learn this lesson rather early in life. Although our mothers and sisters may not necessarily sit us down and outright say it, we learn the lesson nonetheless. There is the first time that we nick ourselves shaving our legs because we are in a hurry and the skirt will just look awful with stubble. And let’s not forget the attempts at getting that perfect spiral curl set in our hair that leads to a nice hickey looking burn on our necks. These are accidents as we aim for smoother legs and trendy hair and we learn ways to avoid them as we get more experienced with tools of beauty and become older. Once we get older, the “beauty pain” becomes worse. It becomes consciously inflicted pain. It is no longer an oopsie pain, but an on purpose pain. We know it hurts. We know it stings. We know how much better we will look once the pain (and bleeding) subsides. We pay professionals a nice little sum every month to wax, pluck, tweeze, laser, stick and prick (acupuncture you perverts), all in the name of beauty. Two words: Bikini Wax.

And then there are the garments… Waist cinchers. Underwire. SpanxÒ. Oh the myriad of products out there to help us lose the appearance of an inch or two. Last, but not least, there are the shoes. Ah, the shoes. More specifically, heels… There is the kitten heel, the flat heel, the wedge, the chunky heel, the cone heel, the Pompadour heel and most let’s not forget, the stiletto heel. If you look way back in history you will see that both men and women wore high heels. Besides a fashion statement, women wear heels to make them appear taller. Men wore them to signify opulence and authority. Do you think Napoleon wore heels? I’ll have to Google that. Heels have been around for centuries, which means achy sore feet have also been around for centuries. Women are willing to suffer through the pain that a trendy shoe inflicts all in the name of fashion and beauty.

I have a nice size shoe collection, my husband can attest to this. I would say that I most likely have 30+ pairs of shoes in my closet. Now keep in mind, I only have one pair of feet. (That’s a shout out to my dear husband that stated this obvious point while asking me why I need so many pairs of shoes). I look at my vast collection of shoes and can tell you what outfit each pair of shoes can be worn with. I refuse to tell you; however, the last time I wore certain pairs of shoes and conversely certain outfits. The number of times a pair of shoes has been worn is distinctly related to the comfort level of said shoe. I can tell you that my bluish-purple heels with black patent trim have been worn less than a handful of times regardless of how much I love the long sleeve purple swirl wrap dress that is complemented perfectly with these shoes. I can tell you that the reason I’ve only worn the shoes so few times is that the back of the shoe rubs a nice little blister by the end of the day. And my black satin shoes with silver trim? Yes, the buckle digs into my ankle quite nicely, thank you very much. And then there are my versatile blue strappy sandals that look great with skirts, pants and jeans; however, my pinky toe suffocates by the tightness of the strap. Did I know all of this prior to handing over my credit card to the store clerk and brought these treasures home with me to live for eternity?

Well, yeah! But I was willing to sacrifice my comfort for the sake of fashion.

I said all of that to say this. I turned thirty last year, which is supposed to be some milestone birthday for women. It’s supposed to be the “all downhill from here” birthday for us females. I had a few moments of “gasp” when that big day got closer and closer, but for the most part I feel I handled it quite well. In two weeks my numerical age will increase by one. I will be IN my thirties. To top it all off, I’ve been shopping for orthopedic shoes. At first, when my physical therapist insisted that I get them, I resisted with everything in my being. They are ugly. There is no way I have any outfits to go with these practical and practically ugly shoes. They are not cost effective and will never wear them after all of this plantar fasciitis hoopla is corrected. Those thoughts quickly began to disappear like skywriting in the clouds. With each painful limp, I began to think that investing in my comfort was not such a bad idea.

I initially encountered my purchase like I did any other shoes. I was going for style. After a couple of hours in these shoes, I realized that the trendy Mary Jane style was hurting the top of my foot and I would not be able to just suffer through the pain. As I was in the store exchanging my “cute” ugly shoes for “ugly” ugly shoes, I thought about the verses that our pastor touched upon this Sunday morning. 1 Peter 3:3-4 states, “3Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.” A beauty survey commissioned by the British beauty brand
Nephria found women spend almost three years of their life getting ready to leave the house, according to Marie Claire magazine. And that doesn’t even include the time we spend shopping for the “perfect” outfit, make up, and time at the beauty and nail salons. Where are the statistics that show how much time we spend on our inner beauty?

That’s a different subject, and maybe blog, altogether. What I have learned in my old age is that comfort has now become way more important to me than beauty, style and trends. Practicality has a bigger emphasis on my buying decisions than admiration of the product. Don’t believe me? Look at the horrendous boats that I call shoes. And I’ll let you in on another little secret… I’m actually eyeing another pair of orthopedic shoes that aren’t even that cute either.

No comments:

Post a Comment