This post was inspired by someone – who doesn’t know me very well – calling me “vain.”
I immediately denied it.
And then I realized… maybe this acquaintance knows me better than I think.
I used to be a young woman who relished the fact that she didn’t feel pressure to wear make-up. So she did not. She may have put it on for fun, or if she was going to some fancy restaurant, or attempting to look her age, since otherwise, she looked 5 years younger and without a bachelor’s degree.
Ahh, a carefree life.
Fast-forward to today. At least five days a week, I apply layers of paint to my face, eyes and lips. I blow dry my hair (my hair is already straight) and then take a straightening iron to it (my hair is already straight). All to either trot up to the anchor desk or head out to report on a story.
You may be thinking, ‘Well, that’s what professional women do. Big deal. I apply lip gloss when I head to work as well.” A legitimate point.
However, two weeks ago I volunteered to help clean up a local museum that suffered much damage from Tropical Storm Irene. At 8 a.m., as I stumbled to throw on something that could get muddied and dirtied… a ray of clarity shone into my sleep-deprived mind.
I needed make-up.
Being a public figure has its perks. At this point in my life, I get recognized once in a blue moon (though I do believe wearing YNN gear around town has increased those odds). But what lowers my chances is the fact that I don’t wear make-up out in public. I’ve been told I look completely different on air when I’m seen in person. And I’m not so sure that’s a compliment when people say that to my clean, make-up-less face.
So the carefree nature I used to have when it came to my appearance… is a faint memory of the past. I feel a need to maintain the person I am inside that box in your living room… wherever I may meet you otherwise.
To some extent, I am resigned to being mirror-obsessed, image-conscious person. As you can guess, this does wonders for my self-esteem. But even while I may not be the fairest person of them all, I can at least say I’ve learned how to put that hated make-up on properly. And those days where I can hide the make-up bag from myself? Completely blissful.
Since you are the public, you certainly should have an opinion. Feel free to answer!