Tuesday, December 7, 2004

My Beauty History

My beauty history is peppered with tragedy. It all began when I was about ten. As was the custom at the time, my friend and I went to the mall on Saturdays to get our pictures taken in one of those booths and to shoot spitwads through straws that we got at the restaurant that used to be on the third floor of ZCMI in University Mall (remember that restaurant? Remember ZCMI??) We happened to be returning from aforementioned restaurant (straws and napkins in tow) when we passed the Clinique counter, where they were advertising their new top-of-the-line skin care quiz. You may have seen it there. It has a bunch of categories, and you slide the little silver ball over to "oily" or "burns, then tans," etc. As the budding young women that we were, we thought it would be a good idea to begin seriously thinking about skin care. "Let's take the quiz!" I squealed, and we ran over to the counter.

When asked if my pores were "invisible, somewhat visibile, or large" I needed some help from my friend because I didn't know what a pore was. She looked deep into my face, her nostrils flaring, and said "oh, you have LARGE pores. I can see every one of them." At the time I was still operating under the assumption that I was the most beautiful ten year old in history, so I thought "large pores" were a good thing. Little did I know...

Things only got worse, for that was the same year that I wore a bolo tie in my school picture. There's nothing more unfortunate than an 10 year-old with chapped lips wearing a bolo tie. The following year, I was involved in a freak leg-shaving accident (and by "accident" I mean that I lost my innocence, shaving once on a whim, never to return to my childhood again). So I engaged in an elaborate scheme to only shave a little bit, so people would still see some hair on my legs and not think that I had started shaving prematurely. Too much information? You be the judge.

Then I went through a difficult bang-cutting phase (which, apparently, I am still in the middle of), as well as a navy-blue-rubber-bands-on-my-braces phase. Why would anyone in their right mind choose navy blue rubber bands? I constantly looked like I had swallowed a blue Bic pen, and there was still ink on my teeth. This was also during a time that navy blue and forrest green horizontally striped rugby shirts that are two sizes too big were in style (at least, I thought they were). On top of the wall of uneven bangs across my forehead, the blue teeth, and the rugby shirts, I also decided to get a perm. Big mistake. I usually spent the mornings ironing my hair as a direct result of this awful girl telling me that "you look like you stuck your finger in an electrical socket."

Even after my junior high perm fiasco, I was still in an unfortunate beauty situation well into my 20's. High school was a blur of combat boots, opaque black tights, and mini skirts. This was also the pre-mascara time in my life. Never wanting to look "too made up," I opted only for concealer and powder, rendering my face stark white with no color or contrast whatsoever. I looked like a mime without the black eyes. Thankfully, I had no more braces, but was missing a tooth, and had a fake tooth on my rainbow colored retainer that I could remove at will for a "hobo look."

And my first years of college involved a lot of blue eye shadow (which can be done tastefully, according to "Real Simple" but I didn't know how). It was only recently that I realized how unbecoming overalls are (on me, not everyone), and started to realize the benefits of a little blush. I have thrown away my black jeans (and my white jeans) and my green and blue rugby shirts.

Am I beautiful now? No. Case in point: an old friend saw me the other day and said "wow, you look really good today. I have no idea why." It certainly wasn't because I had recently cut my own bangs. I know this because I said "well, I just cut my bangs," to which she replied "oh, it's NOT that." Oh well. I think I have at least come a long way, but my pores are still large, according to the Clinique beauty quiz.


  1. Sounds like a rude person, not an "old friend." And I wore the bolo tie in a picture too. People would have killed for that bolo tie so don't be ashamed.

  2. This is really funny because I remember you as the girl that looked good even at Young Womens Camp.

  3. I love this post. I mean, it's right in my frame of reference. Although, it's not really true...except for the polo shirts. I agree with Rebecca, you really didn't look like a mime or any other large pored individual. On the contrary, I look back at those years as being good to you, but maybe because I was many times right beside you insisting to NEVER blow-dry my hair (despite all them bumps) and also fighting poor braces rubber band choices. But ah to look back at previous fashion. I love it.

  4. I mean, I have only known you since college but I have always thought of you as having a great sense of fashion. I remember thinking in Italian class, "I would never have thought to put those items together, they look great." And recently while getting dressed to go out I was looking in my closet and was trying to think outside the box. I thought "What shirt would Carly where with these pants?" I then selected a sweater and went to dinner. After dinner I asked Ashley what she thought about my sweater/pants combo. She said she never would have thought about putting those two together, but it looked v. cute. Great. Exactly the Carly look I was going for.

  5. You rogue. It's a tired phrase but it serves well: LOL.

  6. I am going to copy this idea... and then we'll see whose got the worst history... 'cause that's the kind of contest I can win!