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!