When was the last time you felt beautiful?

"Age appropriate"  is a term that keeps popping into my head as I comb through blogs and books for wedding inspiration. As much as I love the gowns in the "Oh the dress" section of my blog, I don't think I would wear any of them. It's not that I think they're inappropriate...each of them are amazing, just not right for me. While I feel the industry ignores older brides, the juxtaposition is that we really have the freedom to choose for ourselves what we feel is appropriate.  As midlife brides, we can wear anything we want to, from blue jeans to a full-on gown, but I feel like I need a little more direction.  A blog or two back , I poked fun at a few midlife brides that were decked out in full bridal regalia (here), and while I stand behind what I wrote, I also embrace the right of each of us to look the way we want to look.  To feel pretty.

 I was talking to a friend of mine a few days ago - a midlife bride who will be tying the knot in May.  The one thing I kept hearing her say is she just wants to look pretty. Like all brides.  At midlife we are not going to resemble the models on the cover of Brides Magazine.  We really have nothing to guide us but our confidence, our own sense of style, knowing what is right for us.  It's kind of scary, navigating this road with no map.

So I ask...  When was the last time you felt beautiful?

 When my daughter got married I fought having my hair and make-up done professionally.  I thought that, for me, it was a silly waste of time and money, but my daughter really wanted me to join her and the bridesmaids and let the stylists work their magic.  I was almost manic by the time it was my turn. I wanted to look like myself for pictures, not the Mother of Frankenstein!  When they were done being coiffed and made-up, my daughter and the bridesmaids all looked beautiful, but still, I was anxious about what were they going to do with me.  More than once I was told to wait my turn and chill out.

Finally, they went to work on me and by the time they finished my hair, it was perfect -  it didn't move all night thanks to the massive amount of hair spray they used to keep it in place.  But the make up!  They literally soaked a brush in foundation and swabbed it on to my face.  I could feel it tightening like a mask and I started to object.  Again, I was told to chill out.  By the time I was done I couldn't believe what I saw int the mirror.  I looked fricking amazing, younger, fresher, but also sort of sophisticated and the best part was that the make-up stayed where they put it all night long.  

 

For me - for my wedding - I won't skimp on the hair and make-up. I got a lot of nice compliments at my daughters wedding, and I felt pretty.  I'm 54 years old and chubby - feeling pretty doesn't happen  all that often, so when I do - I need to remember how I got there

Whether it's make-up, the gown of your dreams or the love of your life standing beside you, feeling pretty on that very important day is so very essential.  Think about the last time you truly felt pretty and confident.  Practice re-creating that feeling, that look, for your day.      

Look at photos of yourself (I know - ugh!) and take note of what works for you.  I'm the worst fake-smiler ever and I have the photos to prove it, so I either find something that makes me laugh, or try to look sort of serious and dignified - which ends up looking totally goofy. None of us are going to make the cover of Brides Magazine, but, with a little effort and practice (and help from professionals) we midlife brides can look and feel our finest.

Allison

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