One of the things I’m concerned about now that I know I’m having a little girl is my complete lack of knowledge where make-up and hairstyles are concerned.

So I’m spending a bit of time this weekend rummaging through my sorry little make-up case and reading Carmindy’s 5 minute face to see if I can actually get a handle on these things. Except foundation – I’m not even going to start with foundation – that’s just too complicated.

I have only worn substantial make-up and gotten my hair done (beyond a cut and blow-dry) once in my life, and that was for my wedding (twice if you count the trial).

That day was very strange for me. My make-up artist and hairstylist were both very good and very cheerful, but I still felt like I was playing dress up. When I think back I wonder what people thought of the dress that I loved but was a bit too traditional, a bit too lacy, with a big red bow on the back and a train that played havoc when I tried to dance. When I look back I feel as though I looked ridiculous in my white lace dress with the big red bow, and the athletic socks that I wore with my bright red converse, and the hair that got messy almost as soon as we left the mall and waded out into the wind and the rain. On the day I had no concept of being goofy, not that I remember anyway, I was just excited and I wanted to see Joe and get the whole thing over with.

The fact is that my wedding day is such a strange memory for me because I long ago gave up on looking like anything but myself. I long ago realized that I would always be slightly off the mark. I was the girl who’s hair wouldn’t lay flat and who always had a stain on her clothes. I was mostly happy until I realized that I was supposed to be trying to get attention from boys, that I was supposed to be pretty – something I’ve never felt.

I think that if I lived in older days I would be described as a handsome women. I never wanted any more than that really – I got the lesson that smart girls can’t be gorgeous, I was also fat and I started wearing glasses when I was 13 all of these things combined to make me an undesirable geek. And then combined to give me my own sense of self. At some point I stopped really caring, or part of me did anyway – I got out of high school and I started finding people and places where you can be what you are – no matter how goofy or unkempt. The best of these places was the student paper in university, for the first year at least, and now the best of these places is my marriage.

I hope I can teach my little girl some of the lessons I learned from being the never perfect one. I hope she has the same scars on her knees and school pictures with her hair sticking up (which I also used as my high school grad photo). I want her not to read the same stories in Seventeen magazine and feel the same pressure. I want her to be the athlete that I wasn’t because I didn’t want to try and fail. The girl who isn’t too scared to take voice lessons or dance classes if that’s what she wants. And the girl who isn’t almost 3o and still afraid to try foundation by herself.

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