Made Up: Realizing Skin Deep Perspectives

Confession time. There are times I get extra dressy and made up for my boyfriend. For what purpose I’m not quite sure. Some compliment fishing, if I’m honest? But mostly because I want to look special to show love and appreciation when we do something special, or to make a casual date something special.

Except that’s not how Josh ever sees it. Seriously, this guy doesn’t give me a second look over most of the time. And HE never dresses up for me unless it’s a dress code for the event. What gives? Doesn’t he know I suck at makeup and it took me a LONG time to get this put together? Doesn’t he know I fussed over what to wear today to tie to all together?
Once in a while, he’ll tell me he hasn’t seen my shirt or dress or something before and ask if it’s new. That’s pretty much the extent of it.

Do you see how fussy and huffy and full of expectations my last paragraph was? I can and have gotten flustered over it.

But it finally dawned on me after forever and a day why he doesn’t say anything, and it’s not because he doesn’t notice or isn’t a good man. It’s because he’s a good, honest, and simple man. It’s because as awful as I paint him in paragraph 2, that is just a biased perspective that isn’t being rational.

The truth is, Josh has told me multiple times I don’t need makeup, he likes me fresh faced just as much. He also compliments my physical traits at the strangest times. We’ll go on a rigorous hike or drive back to my place after the gym and he’ll glance over and say “Pretty Kitty” when I’m dripping sweat, frumpy, and could probably afford more deodorant. We’ll be three episodes into a Netflix binge and I’m in comfy clothes and day worn makeup and he’ll compliment my beauty.

That’s because, as shallow as I think of myself at times, my guy doesn’t see my beauty as conditional or situational. So why make a big fuss out of fancier clothes or extra beauty products? My lesson here is that in a relationship, dating or married, expectations are sometimes false perspectives on reality. What we expect of another person may sometimes paint them in a bad light and be a lie. That lie for me sometimes is that he doesn’t appreciate my extra efforts or doesn’t think much of my looks. But when that perspective is fully illuminated, I see that isn’t the reality of things at all.

Next outing I will dress nicely to feel nice for me, and take the extra effort to communicate verbally that I appreciate this time with him. That the two of us adventuring or enjoying everyday things are special to me.

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“It’s your body.”

I’m a people pleaser by nature and I also like getting feedback from people I trust and that know my fashion sense. The trouble with online shopping is imagining something on myself while looking at a picture of a size 12 modeling the dress – which fits her beautifully at a size 12 but may not work for my size 20 body type. Sure, I know what I look like in a mirror, but I may not notice that well how a fabric settles on me, or you know, deceive myself by unconsciously sucking it in while I try it on.

While I would never dress FOR my boyfriend [an in, exclusively to please him, or have him control what I wear], I do like asking his opinion especially for things I might wear on a date night with him. Other times, I’ll send him super ridiculous pictures of piercings, haircuts, or fashion statements, just in jest.

More often than not, his reply, first and foremost, is “It’s your body” or “That’s your choice.”

I shouldn’t be surprised by it, but I am every time. That’s the right answer, after all, even if it seems like an easy way out. It’s the best thing he could tell me. Sometimes he follows it up with a comment but sometimes he just stops there.

The only thing he really feels strongly about is my long hair. I get in moods where I want to chop it all off and when I mention a style change he says the same things above, then gently adds, “But I truly love your hair long.” or “Please don’t go too short?”

He doesn’t really identify or put labels on himself unless they are ‘Huge Wrestling Fan’ or ‘Los Angeles Kings Hockey Fan’ so I don’t think he makes it a big deal, but I see it.

I see the whisper of feminism there. Without it being formally mentioned. 

I am so appreciative of his support and love and that he wisely reminds me my decisions are mine. I try my best to likewise consider ways to lift him up and not put gender stereotypical pressures of being “manly” on him. He is a man. He is therefore, manly. He is a larger body type too, and I am working on complimenting his confidence with gifts of well-fitting apparel and appreciating his dress. He’s not a big shopper but I hope that the next time he asks for advice I can readily say as he does, “It’s your body”; “That’s your choice.”