Monday, June 6, 2011

Style: Don't Be Invisible

If you have to be invisible, do it like Jessica Alba.

My husband, Steve, and I got on the shuttle bus that took us from the LAX terminal to get our car. A woman in a pink sweatsuit got on. I looked at her. Matronly, short haircut. Of no particular color, just ashy. Maybe some makeup. Maybe some glasses. And then I realized she was about my age. In her 40s. I felt overwhelmingly sad.

I turned to Steve. "Tell me please, if I ever become invisible like that."

Now I don't know any back story on Pink Sweatsuit. Maybe she's a fashion rock star by day and she just happened to get off a 24-hour trans-Pacific flight from somewhere exotic. I'm talking more about the complaint I hear more and more often from my 50licious and 60licious sisters. "I'm invisible." They feel ignored by society and passed over in public. They have to speak up to let people know they are there.

But then I think of the women I know who are not invisible: All my 40licious girlfriends. My aunt Corinne who looks exactly the same as she did in 1970, not a gray hair on her head. My cousins Elizabeth, Maggie and Siobhan, who are whip-smart, funny as hell and have never stopped turning heads. My mom, an ethereal being with her long white hair, quip for everyone and prima ballerina posture.

Maybe sometimes you want to be invisible, like when you have a cold and have to slog to the grocery store for some Nyquil. Or when you're walking the dog and going straight back to bed after. Or maybe you just had a baby and it's all you can do to put on your own clean underwear. Other than that, I can't think of any good reasons.

Here are some 40licious ways to avoid being invisible:
1. Take a second to put on lip gloss, even if you aren't wearing other makeup. Even if you are alone. I carry about six with me at all times.
2. Comfy clothes that fit well = good. Comfy clothes that are roomy enough to hold a family of wombats and their friends = bad.
3. For your hair, pick a color. Any color. Just pick something. And if you can't "do" something with it, add a cute hat, scarf or pile it in an knot on your head.
4. If your wardrobe and eyeglasses are from the presidential era of George H.W. Bush or before, you need to go shopping.
4. Stand up straight, make eye contact, and smile.
5. Exercise regularly, or start walking places. Your chi, or life energy, is your true beauty.


Laura Carrillo said...

Some people where 40 something in their 20's... Some people are 20 something in their 50's... Age is a perception or interpretation of how you feel inside. If you suffer from Arrested Development like I do, people perceive you as younger or more youthful. Some attributes to my condition would be single, childless, and eternally trying to find myself :-) Oh and kind of vain. I call it self love. I'm just as keen on decorating my home or grooming my cat as I am in decorating and grooming myself.

Kathlyn said...

Agreed! My 95 year old grandmother took three hours a day to "get ready" in the last year of her life, and her "style" was definitely not mine, but I love that she never stopped having a style. And man could the woman flirt. Talk about shameless.

When I was younger, I thought of her primping as vain (which it was, to an extent) but now I appreciate that she wanted to take the time to look her best before she unleashed herself on the world. And that she knew that being "visible" was mostly the result of the effort she made to let herself be seen.

Her name was Grace, by the way...:)