As some of you may know, I celebrated my 16th wedding anniversary last week. What none of you know is that the husband posted a facebook notice about it. The sentiment was sweet, and he posted two pictures of us. One pic was actually quite nice- we were dressed for opening night at Carnegie Hall. Beautiful dress, make-up artfully applied, hair not only combed but styled. (for the record, we don’t usually attend opening nights of anything- the last one we were invited to was when they opened up an Arby’s down the street) Then there was the other photo. The one with me in a bathrobe. A big, white, fluffy bathrobe that hotels artfully hang in the bathroom. And before you think this was a provocative shot, I assure you it was not. Let me give you a mental picture. Imagine a tall, willowy model showing off a bathrobe. Now squish her down so she’s a foot shorter and half a foot wider. That’s how I looked in this robe- anti-provocative. And think about this- if you’re wearing a robe, are you wearing make-up? If you’re me you’re not. And is your hair neat? If you’re me it’s not. Yeah- good times.
When I saw the post- all I could think about was – really? This is my visual legacy to the future- this picture of me unadorned in a white bathrobe? Looking like the Stay Puft Marshmallow man? I thought about asking the husband to take it down.
As I was about to call him, I thought about what I would be teaching the daughter if I took down this picture because I didn’t think it was a flattering portrayal of me. What would that mean? Was I ashamed to be short and curvy? Was I ashamed of being seen without makeup? Shouldn’t I be proud of my body and my appearance no matter what? So I didn’t ask him to take it down.
I never thought of myself as vain. I don’t obsess about what I wear. I use make-up because I like it. My hair is in a simple, no fuss style. I exercise and take care of my skin for the health benefits, not in a manner of trying to look younger than I am. So why did I freak out about the picture?
I was proud of myself for overcoming my anxiety about my outer shell. I felt good. Who needs make-up? Who needs a brush and hair product? Not me. I am happy with my appearance. I look great just the way I am. I am setting a great example to the daughter! Long live the shot of me in a bathrobe!
When I saw the daughter that night, the first thing she said to me was: “Can’t believe you didn’t tell Dad to delete that picture.”