How Much Energy Do You Spend Making Yourself Presentable?

How Much Energy Do You Spend Making Yourself Presentable?
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“She smelled amazing!” I commented to my oblivious husband as we walked our muddy dog back home after our daily walk. “Did you smell that lady as she walked past us?” 

Unfortunately, the lady was too far gone for me to awkwardly run up and ask what perfume she was wearing. 

I hadn’t worn perfume in ages. I only wear it when I go out, and I hadn’t been anywhere. My husband is the same way. Why do we only wear perfume or aftershave when we go out? 

This got me thinking about society and why we do the things we do in general. 

Applying makeup

Makeup is the same. Why do we apply it? It requires so much energy to put on, take off, and touch up throughout the day. 

Some people with multiple sclerosis experience unusual symptoms that may affect their ability to do hair and makeup. Damage to fine motor skills can also make it tough to put on makeup at all, yet some of us still feel the need to wear it. 

My husband often tells me he loves me just as I am, with or without makeup. So, why do I spend the little energy I have putting on makeup when I go out? Do I care that much about what others think? 

It made me realize how much fatigue I was causing myself. And for what? Strangers who don’t even know me?

Letting go of our standards

I think we all have a standard we set for ourselves. I realized that mine is looking presentable, smelling nice, wearing makeup, tidying my hair, cleaning my teeth, etc. Your standard might be different, and that’s OK. Each person’s standard is different. 

Since I was a teenager, my skin has been bad, and makeup makes it far worse. In the last few months, I decided to give up trying to cover it and found I’m far happier as a result. I’ve stopped caring. I’m happy to let the hormonal acne shine through, because I know it’ll calm down faster than if I tried to cover it up. Some may disagree, and that’s OK. 

(By the way, if you want your acne to heal faster, I highly recommend putting pure honey on clean skin for 10-20 minutes, then washing it off with water. Its antibacterial nature works like a charm, and pimples disappear much faster.) 

Why do we make the effort?

Have you ever consciously thought about how you present yourself to the world, and why? I’m getting deep here, I know. 

For example, as women, do we do our makeup and hair for ourselves to feel more attractive and confident? Do we think we would look awful otherwise? Or are we afraid of what others might think if we didn’t do our hair and makeup? 

Do we need to go through the effort that we do? Or could we be using our energy more productively elsewhere? 

Sometimes I’m so tired that I don’t bother. There are more important things in life. But what about when we’re feeling well? 

Building our self-esteem

Maybe we use these products because we have low self-esteem and don’t like the way we look. What if we worked on our confidence instead of painting over our flaws? What difference would it make in our lives if we were comfortable in our own skin? 

If you want to work on that, I recommend a book I just read by Jen Sincero called “You Are a Badass.” If you are someone who doesn’t feel good enough, it is perfect for you. It helped me work through some bad feelings I had about myself. 

Let me tell you this: There is nothing more beautiful than a person who’s not afraid to be who they are. Plus, life’s too short not to be happy, right? 

If we took the time to look inward and discover why we are the way that we are, we could reduce our MS symptoms, because we wouldn’t be using energy worrying about others’ opinions or applying makeup and hair products. Plus, we could live a life that’s more true to us.  

Sometimes, we need to ask ourselves deep questions, because only then can we grow. 

Today, think about why you do the things that you do. 

***

Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.

Jessie is the host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast and author of the “ENabled Warriors Symptom Tracker” book. She’s also an illustrator working with MS charities and magazines worldwide. She’s interviewed paralympians, radio DJs, chronic illness bloggers, marathon runners, and more. Jessie, based in the U.K., was diagnosed with MS at 22 years old and was told by a doctor to “go home and Google it” to find out what MS was for herself. Her own experience of being newly diagnosed so young was negative and scary, so she fills the internet with positivity for other anxious MS Googlers to stumble upon.
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Jessie is the host of the DISabled to ENabled podcast and author of the “ENabled Warriors Symptom Tracker” book. She’s also an illustrator working with MS charities and magazines worldwide. She’s interviewed paralympians, radio DJs, chronic illness bloggers, marathon runners, and more. Jessie, based in the U.K., was diagnosed with MS at 22 years old and was told by a doctor to “go home and Google it” to find out what MS was for herself. Her own experience of being newly diagnosed so young was negative and scary, so she fills the internet with positivity for other anxious MS Googlers to stumble upon.

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8 comments

  1. Cynthia MacFarlane says:

    Thanks
    I could have written this myself !
    I agree !
    I am one of the few who doesn’t care about wearing a mask …. It covers a lot of flaws ( and wrinkles)
    I also have taken to wearing really simple and comfy clothes ….the days of getting “all dolled up ” are a thing of the past !
    I like to think I still look neat tidy and somewhat stylish .
    But the days of working at it have long gone…. It just takes too much time and energy !
    Cynthia

  2. Nancy says:

    I have alopecia and I’m just not comfortable going out without a wig, false eyelashes and drawn on eyebrows. It takes me almost 2 hours to get ready and by then I’m pooped. I just can’t find the inner strength to go out without all my tape/glue/drawn on extras. I’m retired and I don’t go out often so I’m lucky in that respect. Things could be worse.

  3. Charles Lumia says:

    I’ve never been too concerned with how I look. I do exercise but these days it’s mainly because I want to try and better my balance than look good.

    I do do the cologne when going out thing though. I guess it’s just an attempt to attract others that everyone does lol

  4. Cheryl Patterson says:

    I feel differently– having MS for 34 years. Doing my hair and putting on make-up each day makes me feel better, improves my mood. And there are methods, tools and products that make it easy and quick. Applying makeup takes 10 minutes, or less each morning. Not too much time to improve my appearance and make me feel energized to face the day. We have to wash our hair anyway, so do it, apply a little mousse, blow it dry, and use a curing iron or electric rollers to style it. I wash my hair every 3-4 days. Dispoable wipes make it quick and easy to remove make-up each evening– less time than brushing my teeth. So what are you doing with your time anyway? Looking better-groomed will help make you feel better and more optimistic to face the day!! It’s not so much how our husbands feel about us– I how we feel about ourselves. I am 67 years old.

    • Jessie Ace says:

      That’s awesome Cheryl! It doesn’t pay for us all to be the same, I’m just super lazy when it comes to that sort of thing 🙂 Have a great day! #StayENabled – Jessie

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