“Who are you trying to impress?!”
What’s with that question? There have been a few occasions when I’ve been getting ready to go out somewhere, I’ve gone all out on my beauty regime (shaved my legs, exfoliated, moisturised and have basically got my silky smooth vibes going on) or even just decided to put in a some effort into my appearance and I’ve been asked “who are you trying to impress?” To be fair, it doesn’t happen all that often, but it begs the question; do we automatically have to be trying to impress someone if we try to make ourselves look good or put effort into our looks? And what does it matter if we are?
I’m the kinda gal who does like to do her make up and I like to put together a decent outfit. I’m no make-up artist or model, or anything remotely frigging close to that, but I do generally like to think that I put effort into my appearance.
I’ve been in a relationship for 6 years and as much as I love my other half, he’s not [always] the purpose of my primping, and before anyone gets the wrong idea, there definitely isn’t a bit of totty on the side I’m trying to tickle the fancy of. I’d like to say I attempt to look good for me and only me, but that’s not it either – or at least that’s not the only reason.
Here comes the taboo… I care what people think. There. I said it.
The two main reasons I put effort into my make up or try to make myself look presentable is because I really do care what people think and I want to feel good about myself; I want to look good for me but I also like it when other people think I look good too. I’m all for the idea that it doesn’t really matter what other people think, if you feel good about yourself that’s all that matters; but realistically if someone else thinks I look good, I feel better for that appreciation – even more so when it comes from someone I admire or respect. I genuinely love it when a friend or someone I care about it acknowledges when I’ve put in effort – it makes me feel great! And if it makes me feel good to get that acknowledgement, is wanting that acknowledgement so bad?
I’m not a particularly confident person (although most who know me will agree I put up a pretty good bravado) and like most girls/woman, I have things about myself that I don’t like and which I focus on far too much. And truth be told I care how other people perceive me and my flaws. I’m well aware that in reality most of the general population really don’t focus all too much on how I look, and 9 times out of 10 they probably don’t actually give a flying fu*k. But when I’m out and about I’m a people watcher, and I find myself looking at other people and can appreciate it when someone has made effort. I look at other women and cant help but compare myself to them (yes, yes, I know I shouldn’t but I bloody well do), I look at their outfits and their hairstyles and judge myself if I feel I’m below par (which is pretty much most of the time) but equally when a woman looks good I can appreciate her style and often draw inspiration from her. So if I do that, do lots of other people do that too? And if other people do that too, is it wrong to want to be one of those people who can be appreciated for the effort they put in?
Lets face it, it may not be completely right but we live in a world where looks matter; although we try our best to be better people and be above all that superficial sh*t, it’s pretty much instinct to judge a book by its cover. It might suck but it’s true. It is for this reason that I want to at least feel like I look good just incase someone judges me by my looks. I’m all for “bo-po” (that’s body positivity for anyone not sure, though I’m not even sure if I’ve got that right myself) and loving yourself the way you are [and generally that’s a really good perception to have] but equally I think it’s nice to feel appreciated and I don’t thnk its wrong to have pride in your appearance and put in effort if it makes you feel better about yourself.
I personally think it’s probably best to have a balance between not giving a crap what anyone else thinks, loving yourself the way you are and wanting others to think you look good, whether you know them or not. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe that it is whats inside that counts overall, but generally it’s what’s outside that gets the first focus and I for one want my first impression to be as good as possible. If that means I’m shallow so be it. I guess I’ll just have to embrace that. Whats more, I do think it’s possible to be happy in yourself/ with yourself and still like others to appreciate it when you put in effort. That’s my goal anyway.
Ultimately, the main reason I put in effort is for me; I might want others to occasionally appreciate my makeup/hair/style etc but at the end of the day I put in effort because it makes ME feel good about myself. Actually, in reality, if I feel like I look good, I feel more confident and then I probably care less about what people think anyway!
So to answer the question “who are you trying to impress?” I would say no one in particular and everyone in general. OK? Good, glad we’ve cleared that up.