I think I need a new look.
Most of the time, I feel like I can rise above the pressure modern culture puts on women and its preference for youth. Most of the time, I am reasonably satisfied with how I look. Most of the time, I see the gray hairs and marks of childbearing as evidence of life experience and therefore contributing to my own natural beauty, such as it is. But there are times when my own weakness and vanity comes through - lately, every time I look in the mirror - and I just wish I looked better somehow, spiffier.
Mostly, this isn't a body issue. I feel good. I am healthy. I run regularly, especially in the part of the year with longer daylight hours, I swim in the summer, I bike the kids around when it's not too cold. Eventually, I managed to lose the baby weight, even after a second pregnancy, though there's some postpartum redistribution around the middle I'm not crazy about, but whatever.
No, the problem is my hair, my face, my clothes, all the stuff that makes me appear shallow and vain to care about. I'm most comfortable in jeans and running clothes, so that's what I wear. I own exactly one tube of lipstick that might be a decade old, plus some foundation powder that I only use if I am performing or if someone's getting married. That's about it for make-up. Those things aren't going to change, at least, not until I get the kind of job that pays money and doesn't involve wiping butts and doing laundry for most of the day.
And then there's my hair. It's been sprouting gray, wiry bits around my temples since I was 25, with considerably more frequency since having children. Also it's thinner than it used to be; I'm going to blame pregnancy for that, too. it's straight and limp and I've had the same haircut for a really long time, just in varying lengths. Now it's long enough for a ponytail. I want something different, but I don't want to have to color it or style it. (We didn't even own a hair dryer until two years ago when my husband had to buy one because the car doors were frozen shut and he had to thaw them open to get to work.)
I'm just not sure what to do. Most likely, I'll get over it. But I'm tempted to get my hair cut. Something new and different. With bangs, maybe, or shaping or layers, something I'd eventually regret because it would make me look ridiculous or require me to spend more time on it than the 10 seconds I currently use to run a brush through in the mornings, 10 seconds that I consider optional certain days of the week.