Thursday, 11 August 2011

Baring it all

It's funny how things change. Recently, as I approached and turned 30, instead of feeling more paranoid about my age and the evidence of such in my face, I've actually become less worried. It might be the fact that I think I look better since taking up running (not that I've been able to run properly in three weeks, thanks to two niggling injuries in a row, dash it all), all that exercise and fresh air has done wonders for my skin. I've started to eat better as well - more protein and fresh things tend to improve one's complexion. It might also be that long days working as a film extra surrounded by hundreds of people of all ages without a scrap of makeup has made me less concerned about others seeing me without my slap on.  But whatever it is, I am going easy on the cosmetics at the moment, and I'm also spending the odd day without my hair done, as you've seen here before. Yesterday was (another) one of those days! That morning I put on one of my earliest dresses, a lovely, ruffly 1930s feedsack housedress, and decided to channel my inner carefree farm girl, all wild hair and fresh-faced. Well, OK, I did have eyeliner on. And eyebrows... shh.


I know I've spoken on here about how I treat lipstick and high glamour as my warpaint, and as I've said before, I'd never go out barefaced and unstyled if I was feeling down. This look is a byproduct of feeling content. Happiness is fleeting - it comes and goes for me as it does for everyone. Contentedness is more enduring. I am feeling pretty damn serene, and I think it shows in my face.



Our faces tell a story. If you look at mine closely, you can read many tales. Freckles from a childhood spent in the sun, a raised mole inherited from my moley old dad, old acne scarring from when I came off the Pill in my early twenties. A few spots from coming off the Pill again recently (bloody synthetic hormones, I tell you. Good riddance!). Chicken-pox scars from when I caught it at two years old, and my birthday party had to be cancelled. I must show you the hilariously pouty photo taken at the time! You can see the beginnings of frown lines, and smile lines in my face, and sometimes they do concern me slightly, because really, who wants to grow old? But I do know I'm a long way from actually being old, and even when I am, I hope I'll be too busy living my life to the full to care. Wrinkles give character, and faces with movement and energy are so much better than the smooth, waxen visages of celebrities, don't you think?

My hair tells its own story, too. The perm I had eighteen months ago still gives me a loose curl, and dry bits. The heartbreak I suffered last year and the dramatic change in my appetite and eating habits shows in the wispy ends, my recent health-kick in the regrowth. The blonde streak I put in for my 30th birthday and dyed out soon after glints through in the sunshine. You can, of course see my previously mentioned, scarred earlobes from my days as a metal-loving teenager!


The whole of my body is like a novel already, with its scars, tattoos, stretch marks, cellulite, toned muscles, beauty spots, tan-lines and white bits. Just think of the stories it will hold in twenty, forty, sixty years! When it's my time, I want to pass away, quickly and peacefully in my own home please, powers that be; and for people to marvel at my flintlock pistol tattoos and wonder. Well, actually, since I will of course be have achieved notoriety in my field and have penned several scintillating autobiographies detailing my fascinating life (the one I haven't quite embarked upon yet), they won't be that surprised...

But that's the reason I have never and will never regret the tattoos and piercings I've had, and may even get more as time marches on. Your body is always going to look old when you're old, whether your skin is virginal or rainbow-coloured. That tired old argument put forward by parents and tattoo detractors has never held water with me!

My message for the day is to love yourself not despite, but because of all your 'flaws'. But don't pander to them. If something about the way you look, or about your life is making you deeply unhappy, and you have the power to change it, then do. You don't have to be a workaholic high-flyer, but neither should anyone let themselves be a layabout with no ambition (for anything, work or life). Myself, I am making my dream career happen through dedication and diligence. And I've come to accept that while I'm tall enough, I'm never going to have supermodel proportions; nor will I ever let myself get too overweight or unhealthy. I can be toned and athletic instead of sylphlike and delicate. You know, I may have big, muscly runner's calves, but I have lovely slender ankles. Could be worse - could have cankles...!

It's never too late to take up a new fitness hobby, beauty regime or change your eating habits to make yourself shine from the inside. Change what you can, and make peace with that which you can't. Find bits about yourself that you LOVE to blow the bits you don't out of the water. Your body is a canvas, and your future is an unwritten book. You can paint, shape and write it any way you like, all you need is inspiration and motivation! I know this is easy to say and much less easy to do, but every change begins with one small step. Decide what that is... you don't have to take it, yet. Making the decision to change or to find acceptance within yourself may be the first step!

And if, like me, you're addicted to glamour, try going a little more au naturel for a day. Let the wind blow through your un-shellac'd hair, kiss a loved-one with your naked lips. You might surprise yourself!


Fleur xx
DiaryofaVintageGirl.com

53 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post! You really do look wonderfully contented.

    I'm completely with you on the feeling less worried about it all as you get older - I wear far less make-up and am far more likely to leave the house without it at 33 than was ever the case at 23. It's part and parcel of feeling more confident and comfortable in my own skin - and it's a trend of feeling that I can only hope will continue.

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  2. You look great in your farm-girl style! I totally agree that whilst glamour is important, being make-up-free is NOT the same as letting oneself go if it shows a healthy glow and good lifestyle. I feel better in the sun with a bit of powder than with full winter war paint sometimes; at other times I revel in make-up!

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  3. Fleur
    You're a real bare faced beauty. I'm glad to see your becoming more comfortable in your own skin as you get older.

    On a separate note I'm starting a new monthly section on my blog Emma aime entitled Blogging Belles and would like to interview you regarding the inspiration and motivations behind your blog. If you're interested please message me back.

    Emma x

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  4. You're beautiful with makeup or without, and I love this post <3

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  5. Between your post and Bangsandabun's post on 'stop caring, start living' I feel like I've been in therapy with two awesome therapists!

    I never believed people when they said that 30 was actually not that scary and you stopped caring what people thought. But you know what? It's all true!

    Great post, I'm glad you've found some contentment. Hold onto it, however fleeting it might be.

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  6. I'm rapidly approaching 30 and have a number of hang ups about the way I look. The honesty and hope in this post has moved me more than you can know. So thank you.

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  7. Wow, you look much younger in this post! So beautiful! Love your bone structure!

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  8. Just want to say a big thank you for this post. I've been feeling a bit down (okay, more than a bit down--but trying to remedy that!) about life of late, and your words about contentment really touched me today. Sometimes it's best not to chase after happiness, but just to realize what I have to be content about--including how I look! (Especially in light that I've had an awful bought of acne this summer--first time since I was a teenager--that has left my face blotchy and me terribly self conscious about the whole thing. :p) So thank you for this. :)

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  9. Gosh you are so pretty! With or without makeup :-D Such great photos and a really great post!


    And - is that a Slipknot tattoo? ;-) I loved those guys back when I was 16 haha.

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  10. So pleased to hear that you are more contended in life now. Time for that stenching old black dog to go Littlest Hobo and wander off somewhere else. On to the motorway, say?

    Being war-paint free is liberating. I tend to do it in the morning on the commute when I am half awake and in a grump. I get in a grump more when ppl stare at me. Oddly enough - without the red lippy to "complete" my style, they keep themselves to their Metros. Hurrahs. Also means I can eat my breakky without chin stains (0h that sounds SO wrong)

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  11. Another stonking post. Thank you for your honesty, and for sharing your positivity.
    You are such an inspiration!

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  12. What a great & positive post - thank you. I shall try & take lots of it on board. You look radiant & possibly more beautiful without make up. Glad you ditched the pill, that did bad things to me & I had horrid mood swings, never again. have a wonderful weekend xxx

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  13. this post is too brilliant for words xx

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  14. No matter what clothes you wear, makeup or not,hair styled or wild, you are beautiful and don't ever let anyone convince you otherwise.

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  15. You look just as lovely with out make up. I feel I go the other way when I was in my 20's I rarely had on any make up. As I get older I tend to wear it a bit more but at 40 I still feel confident with or with out it. I think age does help bring many of us confidence and serenity.

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  16. I'm turning 26 this year and have already started getting wrinkles at the corners of my eyes from all the smiling I do. I love it, though- it means I laughed a lot in my past 26 years. :) You look lovely without makeup!

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  17. Such an inspirational post, thank you! You look so very beautiful.

    xo,
    Em

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  18. Lovely post! Thanks for the reminders that our bodies hold their own stories. :)

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  19. As much as I love your vintage do's I think you have never looked more beautiful than you do in these pictures, you look positively radiant! The pictures show your outer beauty but your words reveal your inner beauty also. This is one of your best ever posts and im am delighted that you are feeling so much more positive xx

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  20. I think you have provided some wonderful advise for women of all ages! I know that I have been feeling a bit down lately, and I need to change things around me to reflect and more importantly be who I want to be...

    You look stunning au natural as well as all dolled up!

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  21. Beautifully written! (and you look stunning!) I had the good fortune to learn these lessons at a fairly early age, and I wish more girls would learn to be happy and content with all of themselves. Our flaws are part of what makes us unique and while there are some that should be corrected, sometimes you just have to accept them and learn to appreciate how they have shaped you. This is an incredibly wonderful post. Thank you for it!

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  22. Love this post :).

    http://confessionsofavintagestoreowner.blogspot.com/

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  23. As a sometime dabbler in the art of portrait photography I have to say even without the "war paint" you are incredibly photogenic. I personally have my tattoos and my piercings still at 40 pushing 41, I have a phrase which I think suits giving any detractors about tattoos or piercings that I think you and your readership would get a chuckle from "My body is a temple, so I like making it pretty for my worshippers"

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  24. love this post,
    thank you, wish you all the best

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  25. You are looking fabulous :)
    xo

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  26. Inspirational as ever Fleur.

    Becky

    PS- Thank you for the email xx

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  27. Such a sweet post!

    I've really enjoyed your blog lately - I know you've had an ongoing struggle with depression and all that (I've known the 'black pit' myself - well, who hasn't at some point, I suppose), but it's so lovely to see you obviously feeling much improved, and it's reflected in your posts. So happy for you that things are going well, and I look forward to lots more of these infectiously positive posts :)

    xx Charlotte
    Tuppence Ha'penny Vintage

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  28. Thank you for this beautiful post; it really cheered me up today. And I so admire your honesty, taking on the nitty-gritty subjects beyond lipstick and pretty frocks.
    (Though I must add... that dress is amazing!!)

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  29. Fleur,

    Thank you so much for your positive and inspirational words. I've been needing that lately.

    xoCorinna

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  30. I've never been a huge make up fan and I have to say that I think although you always looks "perfect" with your make up on, you're absolutely beautiful without make up, it's definitely something that you should do more often as you have the perfect skin for not wearing make up.

    It's nice to see someone wearing less make up and it being a positive, thank you.

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  31. I agree with Geekachu, you look stunning with or without makeup. I wish everyone could be as comfortable within themselves,
    Thankyou

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  32. Thank you very much for this wonderful post. As I am turning 40 (!) this year, I can promise you, it will even get better and better. With every year your confindence and strengh will grow.

    "If - at the age of 80 - you want to be a nice old lady, you have to start with that at the age of 18."

    And referring to your black dog: If he comes back, pat him on his furry head and say: "Thank you boy! I know, you just want to take care of me, but I don't need you right now. I want to have a lot of fun today, and sorry - but you are disturbing me. So go on and play elsewhere ..."

    I have to apologize my english, but I am really out of practice since I left school, which is a while ago, as you can imagine. ;)

    Andrea
    (from Germany)

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  33. Thank you, Fleur
    for sharing this.

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  34. Gosh, you don't look 30! Actually I think you look younger without your full make-up - I feel the same way when I go a bit more 1940s. I guess because it's such a sophisticated look, it looks more mature?

    Anyway, most days I don't wear make-up (I'm lazy and tardy) so I'm glad you've not only embraced the challenge, but published it on your blog, too!

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  35. I just wanted to say thank you for your recent posts. They've brightened my day, and your honestly has been like a breath of fresh air.

    xx Fran

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  36. I love this post. The real me has stretched earlobes the same as yours (though mine look worse, lol), plenty of tattoos, scars, blemishes, the start of wrinkles, etc. It's a good reminder to us all to consider everywhere we've been and how it's reflected in our body. As I entered my 30s I became more comfortable with who I am and how I look. I'll continue to grow older in this body. How fun to be a little old lady with stories to tell about the things she's seen and done. And maybe not just all in her youth. No reason to stop having fun just because of an arbitrary number your age has reached. :)

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  37. Than you so much, I will be 30 next year and I feel so much better after reading this. /L

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  38. I just want to say that I've become quite enamored with your blogs and feel like I'm reading about a friend, but that was the most beautiful blogs I have ever read! You are beautiful au-naturell and every tale your body and face tells are epic journeys of discovery. Thank you for that piece of inspiring and heartfelt prose. We all need reminding of that sometimes!

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  39. Lovely post! It made me smile! :)

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  40. :-)

    sounds like you have found yourself xx

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  41. You look lovely and you have a fantastic attitude x

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  42. I just wanted to say that I have been reading for blog for about a year now, but I have never commented. And I found this post to be very inspirational, and it's made me some what teary eyed, because I find myself identifying with a lot of the emotions you wrote about. I guess that's me the sentimental type. But anyways thank you :)

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  43. What a beautiful post! You're so right about skin telling a story and wrinkles being beautiful. Glamour is wonderful, but the beauty that lies underneath is often only appreciated as you get older. I started an ongoing project this year where I'll take a barefaced photo of myself every year on my birthday to see how my face changes. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the differences that appear with age.

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  44. I am turning 25 this year and have grey hairs under all the dye, I've been going grey since I was 15 and have very slight under eye wrinkles and a frown line forming inbetween my brows :( ...but I revel in no make-up days, especially on a nice sunny day.
    Glad to see you so happy in your own skin and encouraging everyone else to be healthy and contented. You are so lovely.
    Ruth x

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  45. Lovely entry. I will be celebrating my 35 birthday this year and have yet to discover how to wear make-up successfully. I chose, through necessity to embrace the natural beauty I was graced with and embrace it. I think you look wonderful whether all glammed up or in this wonderful natural state. Men are not the only ones whom age gracefully. I believe we as women spend such an inordinate amount of time stressing over our age, we add lines to our faces before they are due. I applaud you for your current state of happiness and hope you are able to hold tight to it!

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  46. Ok, so 20-somethings going on about wrinkles need to JUST STOP RIGHT NOW! If you can see wrinkles at that young age then you're looking WAAAYYY too hard for them. Unless you're a recovering drug addict, have pushed out 5 kids already or just really unlucky, you have many years of fresh faced beauty left in you. Enjoy it while it lasts and put away that magnifying mirror.

    Sorry I actually wanted to say how lovely this piece was, especially the stuff about tattoos and piercings, but just got distracted by some of the comments. You should also check out Miranda Sawyers piece on ageing. It's beautifully written.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2011/aug/14/miranda-sawyer-midlife-crisis-mortality

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  47. I love reading your blog & seeing your fashion & of courseare now what people think laughing at the Vm exploits...Iam 52 & seriously life has never been better I dont of ter yearscare now what people think only my loved ones...yes I could be thinner but of worrying & fighting Im over it ...my daughter is a tattoo artist & has quite a few tatts including a whole sleeve, she told someone who asked that What about when you are old question at least I will know that I lived & did what I wanted & think of the stories I can tell !! ...

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  48. What a bloomin' marvelous post! I totally agree. Everyone has past scars and should love the skin they're in. I'm glad you're encouraging such self confidence!

    ~Vixen~ x

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  49. What a beautiful post! You are so becoming in these photos. So self aware at 30. I just turned 50 and lost my bony frame and grew a bustline for the first time. Can't wait for the next phase, truly. Thank you for writing such lovely prose.

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