My Fresh New Happy Old Look
By Kristyn, age 17, Texas
It's tough these days, being a girl and all that. We're expected to cake our faces in makeup, squeeze ourselves into tight jeans, and punish ourselves with high heels and nose-clogging perfumes. But why? WHY do we do these things? Yeah, yeah, some of us say we do it to make ourselves feel good, but I'm pretty sure I know the real underlying reason.
We do these strange, time-consuming, and sometimes mildly painful things because we want to be impressive, breathtaking, and absolutely stunning when that cutie walks by and flashes a smile. I should know ... I do it myself.
My typical morning is spent staring at myself in the mirror wondering if maybe, just maybe, if I glare hard enough at that pimple, it will shrivel up and die out of sheer terror ... Or with a toothbrush hanging out of my mouth, as I attempt, for the umpteenth time, to figure out how eyeliner is supposed to look when I put it on ... Or cursing when I trip over the cord to my straightener that I hardly ever use. To be totally honest, I'm perfectly happy being a jeans-and-a-t-shirt kind of girl. The only reason I even enter the nightmarish realm which is makeup is because I figure that the guy I like won't look at me twice unless I've got something colorful smeared across my face.
But one morning that changed.
I got really tired of waking up in the morning and realizing, first off, that I wasn't good enough for anyone unless I drenched myself in perfume or otherwise acted contrarily to my personality. I dragged the brush through my hair, hauled on a pair of comfy jeans and an old t-shirt, slipped my feet into some beat up sneakers, and felt more comfortable than I had since the beginning of the school year and the whole boy mess got started.
A more formal occasion, but still me!
Staring myself in the mirror, I took in brown eyes that were unrestrained by makeup, lips that curved in an easy, happy grin, and brown hair that hadn't been sizzled into submission by a straightener or wrangled into curls by a curling iron. I looked pretty all on my own, standing there and smiling at the happy girl who was smiling confidently back at me. It was a good feeling, and I practically skipped out of the front door and to my car. That morning I sang along with the radio as I drove to school.
Sitting in my first period class and basking in the joy that was not having to freak out over my lip gloss smearing, I made direct eye contact with the boy who had been my constant nightmare and heavenly daydream. He seemed a bit shocked to discover my new (or should I say old) attire, but even so, smiled and waved all the same. He even went so far as to compliment my hair, and ask if I'd gotten it cut. And, for once, instead of trying every flirtation tip in the book, I just grinned, laughed, and had a normal conversation that didn't consist of me constantly trying to hint that I was practically in love with him.
I felt better than I had in such a long time. So much better, in fact, that I actually gave the guy a hug as I left for second period. By the end of the day I was feeling like a whole new person, even though all I had done was revert back to my original - and natural - appearance and ease of personality. My friends noticed the difference in me, and to be honest, I think even their happiness to have me back was only eclipsed by my own happiness to be back in my own skin, comfy and content.
When I got home after school that day, I checked my email to see if in my absence anything new had come my way. Turns out that my favorite guy liked this fresh, happy old me, too.