Marching to a Different Drummer at 50

It’s not easy to wave a freak flag when you’re told to conform from an early age. I know I wasn’t the daughter my mother expected me to be: gingham and giggly. Instead, I stayed in my bedroom listening to college radio and sketching fashions, reading books and writing in a diary.

As women get older, the pressure to conform is still there. Magazines like Allure and Vogue feature teenage models with tape-measure limbs and flawless faces. Celebrities hawk miracle creams and hope in a jar of happiness.

What happens when the happiness we seek from physical perfection eludes us? What happens when we realize our mental muscle is starting to turn to flab as well as our bodies? Do we keep seeking happiness outside ourselves via products and praise from other people?

The goal is to be self-confident: not to be swayed by our critics or our fan club either way.

I have a touch of shock like the rest of us now that fifty is here and I’m being sold a bill of goods of impossible perfection I’m supposed to obtain. Let’s face it most women don’t have a peaches-and-cream complexion or creamy skin without pink blotches or fine lines.

“On with it!” is my motto.

I decided to have a makeup lesson for my 50th birthday. It cost only $80 and I will bring my eye shadows and lipsticks for the makeup artist to review. Bobbi Brown in one of her beauty books calls this a “makeup facelift.”

Instead of buying endless products hit-or-miss I recommend booking a makeup lesson at a local salon. You’ll feel pretty and today with the outcome. Research a local salon that offers makeup lessons.

Hiding behind baggy clothes, slathering on hideous makeup like you did in your twenties, and not taking care of yourself are the easiest ways to make yourself ill physically and mentally. Read the Lauren Slater article in the Oprah magazine about how she spruced herself up to overcome depression.

Beauty is the birthright of all women.

Every person living on earth is beautiful.

50 is not the end it is the beginning of our new life.

Dare. Do three things on your bucket list by the time you’re 50.

Keep dreaming. Keep doing.

The best is yet to be.

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Author: Chris Bruni

Christina Bruni is the author of the critically acclaimed memoir Left of the Dial. She owns a resume writing and career help business. She contributed a chapter "Recovery is Within Reach" to Benessere Psicologico: Contemporary Thought on Italian American Mental Health. As well as an author and activist, Bruni is an artist and a fitness buff.

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