Vanity or Confidence?

I can’t disengage my thoughts on loving myself — including my own body — from a feminist perspective. When a woman engages in positive feelings about her own body I think we eye her suspiciously.

I admit I’ve raised an arched eyebrow at a colleague who I saw applying make up at her desk. But a man who straightens his tie and kisses the mirror? I’m likely to applaud his self esteem. For men, we call it confidence. For women? vanity.

The other day a colleague ran into my office to grab a note pad. I noticed that she noticed my curling iron on the floor.

“I am taking appointments,” I said. “Need a blow out? or an Up do? I can give you an appointment 10 am.” We giggled. (This is my way — deflect my embarrassment with humor!)

I wanted to launch into a diatribe about how I can barely get my teeth brushed in the mornig before launching my kids and myself out the door. Of course I curl my hair at my desk! But I resisted. I’m grateful I can get my teeth brushed at home and then have time first thing at work to brush my hair.

The curling iron is a symbol of how my self care (and grooming!) spills over into my work life (And when I check work emails from home on the weekend, that’s a symbol of how work life spills into my home life!)

I don’t have the answers, I’m just raising the questions.

I hope this Valentine’s Day, I do feel good about myself and my body. I hope that I can curl my hair at home before I get to work. (And since I’m not shampooing every day, I do need a lift!)

Oh, better yet, just lump it. Go into the morning meeting with straight hair, but first — kiss the mirror, straighten the tie and call it confidence.

me in the mirror

So, on this year’s Valentine’s Day, join me as I cultivate self-love (and not self loath!).

Send yourself flowers, chocolates. Or hold your own hand and take yourself out for a candlelight dinner. Whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Take a picture of yourself in the mirror. Then kiss your reflection. The mirror might feel a little cold, but dig the lipstick mark that you leave behind.

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2 Responses to “Vanity or Confidence?”

  1. I agree. We cannot truly love others until we learn to love ourselves in spite of our flaws.

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