FEBRUARY 1st. While I’m all for the romance and labing-labing and the whole falling in love story this month brings, I wanted to take this time often dedicated to the significant other to remind ourselves just how much better our lives are because of our friendships, particularly those who take us for who.we.truly.are. And while we’re at it, for realizing that the best friend I truly need to have, first and foremost, is my very own Self.
Just the other day, a very style-savvy, fashionista friend of mine told me ~
Chiqui, what happened to our “Lose Weight” plan?
She was deeply concerned. You see, just before Christmas, we fantasized about losing instead of gaining weight over the holidays. Who was I kidding?!? Me, that’s who! :p Ansarap kaya kumain pag winter noh. Paki abot nga ang toyo-mansi, with extra rice and homesick sauce please
Fashionista Friend geared up and continued ~
You need to look the part, mama! People expect to see you looking good – showbiz good! Not this normal, everyday version of you. People want to see you flawless and say: “Wow, look at her. I want to look like that, too!”
This thing she shared made me stop dead in my Kanadian (mag luto/linis/laba ka-na-diyan!) tracks and go into contemplation mode. It made me, a whole week later, run the whole dialogue in my head again and reassess what she said. More importantly, what it means to me.
The Audio Version here >>>
We already know the showbiz standards. Particularly the Filipino version of it. You have to weigh X-pounds, have skin like labanos na, porselana pa, thanks to Dr. XYZ and hair and make-up that may have taken two hours to layer on but you must look like you got out of bed that way.
In other words, you have to look perfect and effortlessly so.
Ang Problema, Eh!
Perfect and effortlessly so. That’s a problem for me because…
1) I’m not perfect. And as much as I keep insanely insisting I, with enough hard work and sell-my-soul-to-the-devil become it, I’ll never ever be so. Duh! It took me 40+ years to make peace with that reality and I’ll take peace over perfect any day.
2) I’m full of effort, anxiety and challenges of which I shall spare you the gory details and
3) Showbiz standards? Been there, done that, done with that! Thank you very much.
You see, I may be overweight in your eyes, Girlfriend, but I feel A-ok in this 140lb body. Yes, I can spread the make-up if I want to – there are certainly days when I want to play princess din noh! – and layer- on the clothes and accessories to go with my clown face but I’ve made up my mind on one thing: Comfort over Style is my style. And MY comfort comes first.
As for my skin? Yes, it’s beginning to sag. I can also play connect the dots with my age spots when I get bored. Yes, there are more and more lines joining the wrinkle party on my face.
But here’s the thing: I’ve made peace with all these dotty, spotty pieces. Un-showbiz as they are.
You can certainly have your Diamond Dermabration-nip-tuck-lift-chorvanation processes. I am in awe at how this really makes one so much smoother and plumper in places. She, incidentally, just had a full overhaul done and honestly, it looks good. Really, really $28,000 later good! But again, thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather vacation to Palawan with the whole family with that budget, sa totoo lang. I respect those who choose to put good money into plastics. Really, I do. If it makes you an honest to God better human being, that is, then I’m all for it. Again, it’s not my style. Takot ko lang sa needles noh, scalpel pa kaya! Now hang on a sec…what if they develop a procedure where it’s as simple and painless as teeth cleaning in a dental chair?!? Hmmm…ok. Retract. Retract! LOL
Here’s the thing – the Wow, look at her. I want to be like that, too! factor is something. It makes for massive ego stroking and can make you feel like Queen of the world floating on your own personal cloud.
But it doesn’t last.
Nor do the layers of make-up and plastic, cartillage, pumped fat on your skin and in your body.
You know what I learned lasts longer?
The slow but steady building of one’s confidence and self-worth. This from exposing our minds, bodies and hearts to whole, real, really-good-for-you things.
You know what else?
The slow and steady daily workouts that bring fresh, clean, good old oxygen into the lungs and make our bodies function the way it should.
And finally, if you’re lucky, this will last for a lifetime:
The slow and steady strengthening of connections with worthwhile peeps – one’s own Self included – with those who know where their true value lies. These are the lovely folks who see you for who you are, not what you look like or wear. Or weigh, for that matter.
At 47, this is what I believe: The Right People will see you and sincerely say this: “Wow. I’m glad she’s happy and healthy and wholeheartedly so. Good for her.”
And they will mean it with all their hearts and souls and smiling livers because they are happy, healthy and wholehearted, too.
Thank you very much for the deep concern, Girlfriend. By the way, you look good. Broke, but really good. 😀
Courage in Creativity,
P.S. *in fairness to Fashionista Friend, she wasn’t that blunt with her words. but YOU get the picture. 😉 Now here’s MY latest picture from this morning…
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