Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 103: First Guest Post... From Fairy Godmother

My relationship with Marilyn is kind of like this...Except
she'd tell me I look beautiful just the way I am, and then she'd
remind me that Michael doesn't have the fashion sense to
know whether or not this was a "hot new look," anyway.
This VERY FIRST GUEST POST didn't start out as such, but here it is.  A cherished family friend wrote me a touching personal email on Tuesday morning, in response to my "3 Reflections on 100 Days Without Mirrors" post, and I felt that it deserved sharing (with permission, of course).  The first time I read it I laughed; the second time I got a little choked up.

** NOTE: In addition to being my much-loved "Unofficial Secular (Fairy) Godmother," Marilyn is, more generally, one of those fabulously witty, wise, and comfortable-in-her-own-gorgeously-makeupless-skin women whose quirky-calm perspectives on life and womanhood make me look forward to "growing up." :)

From: Marilyn
To: Kjerstin
Email Subject: Advise/comments wanted/welcome?

Why? I can't help but believe that most of your comments are tongue-in-cheek writer's creative rhetoric for the reader's enjoyment/interest/pleasure/curiosity re: your blog & process.  The whole mirror/non-mirror thing is a journey.  The success of the journey does NOT depend on whether you actually look in a mirror but rather all these thoughts that go into it.  You are an amazing person who deserves to look (or not look) in a mirror whenever you feel like it.  It does not make you more or less attractive, it does not make you think you are MORE or LESS attractive (ok, well that part I cannot really address; but can only hope that YOU come to terms with the fact that you are truly a beautiful person inside and out and looking in a mirror/or not does not change that).

You've got to understand that these comments come from a person who wears makeup for special occasions only:  Kjerstin's bridal shower, Kjerstin's wedding, baby showers, other persons' bridal showers & weddings.  AND, further, that my "makeup" consists of looking in the mirror and quickly applying mascara so that my eyes look more "open", then doing other things for 5-10 minutes before glancing quickly in a mirror once again to make sure that either the upper or lower lashes did not leave "spots" on my cheek or brow.  If it is the dead of winter there might me a small dash of cheek color applied (so that I don't look like I woke up out of a coffin), but other than that I've completely abandoned eye shadow, lip anything, and have NEVER used much in the way of foundation.  In fact, I have a multi-beige cream/lotion in a squirt bottle right now that I mix in with my face moisturizer mostly because the moisturizer that works best on my face does not have sunblock in it, and the multi--beige cream stuff has SFP15, so I think I am being kind to my face by performing this act.  It does require a mirror because I hate to wash my hair daily (every other day at best) and I get annoyed when I find that I have applied face cream or beige-mix-SFP cream to my hair!!! (You get the picture, I am sure).

By the way, your sister Hanna does have an awesome butt - but she definitely works at it!!! I don't have a butt at all, but then, I don't work at that - something for me to think about!! My daughter, Sarah, and I have "talked about" going to a local place that just opened called "Levity" that advertises "bar exercise" (I don't think there are daquiri's involved); however, with Sarah's ballet history and my need do stretch and increase my flexibility and sense of balance, we will be checking this out THIS WEEK (having said that, it will be more motivation for me to actually follow-through and do the checking out).

So, where was I going with any of this?  Uh, something about whether you should look at yourself in the mirror on your wedding day:  my weigh-in on that one (no pun intended) is:  YES, look in the darn mirror if you want to - do not refrain from looking because of your project; only refrain from looking if you do not want to see what you look like (it doesn't make any difference if you look in the mirror or if you take a digital photo then look at it) - translation is the same.

You DO care what you look like - simply from a neat, sanitary, consideration for others & yourself viewpoint.  Not because you have to look perfect, or because you are worried what "others" will think (at least I hope that is not why most people look themselves over in the mirror)... I KNOW that if I THINK that I look put together and neat/clean/dressed nicely, etc., that I FEEL better.  If someone then confirms that by making a nice comment, well then, that's just gravy on the mashed potatoes - not really a requirement for MY meal/appearance!

I used to wear t-shirts all the time, and, I'm not really crazy about seeing myself in pictures in t-shirts...and while maybe I'm not 100% satisfied with what I see when I see pictures of myself "dressed up", it is a major improvement over the t-shirt look!  But no matter how I look, it's OK, I have the power to change it, and whether I change or not, that's OK, too. 

I'm not sure at all where feminism comes in to any of this.  I've always thought that your mom would probably fit into that category, that my husband definitely does not fit into that category, and that I have no idea what your dad really thinks because he just wants your mom to be happy, and that I'm just ME and I do what I want and think what I want, when I want, and mostly I want everybody else to be happy and that in itself makes me happy!  By now you are possibly thinking that I am a total whack job!  But that's OK too.

Really looking forward to your wedding when the time comes.  It will be fun to see everyone again and to get dressed up, look in the mirror, hope that you will think I look like I cared enough to pull it together and not drink too much that I make a spectacle of myself!  Everyone will be there to celebrate your love and happiness.  You WILL BE a beautiful bride whether you look in a mirror or not, and whether you BELIEVE you are beautiful or not; Michael will know you are beautiful and he will know that he has found an amazing and wonderful person who wants to share their life with him. You found each other and that in itsself is a challenge and a pleasure.   Take comfort in all of those things.  Be happy.  Enjoy your relationship.  That's really all we have to get us through - each other.

Much love,

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  1. Is there emoti-applause? Seriously, well said. I have been thinking of what I'd say to your question from yesterday and was struggling with the exact feeling I had and why it was (or my fear, wasn't) important to share with you. But Marilyn really nailed it!

    And, you are very lucky to have her as your fairy godmother indeed :)

  2. Yes, and Marilyn is my fairy godsister! Her guest post reminded me of what Anonymous wrote on July 2nd:

    She said, ". . . My only comment relates to dieting as an evil. There may be social standards that reward thinness, and dieting may feed into those standards, but there is a much more important reason to eat less and maintain a healthy weight - it improves how your body and metabolism function. As a consequence it reduces disease risks and improves the quality of your life. In other words, you should not feel conflicted about being a feminist that improves how she eats. They are only incompatable if the goal is to be skinny rather than healthy . . ."

    So, when your no-mirrors project is over (and as your mom I hope on your wedding day too), look in the mirror to see your SELF - and believe me, you will see beauty!
    July 2, 2011 12:29 AM

  3. Is there a place in your wedding party for "goddess of honor", for Marilyn would fit the bill quite well, indeed.

  4. I like it! I'm going to email her your suggestion. :)

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