When did changing skin cream require courage?

How suspicious I’ve become of a plastic bottle of goo. Two years ago I was decisive – in and out of a store in minutes. Now, I squint at the tiny font, comparing ingredients lists to lists of toxic chemicals to avoid. Sheesh, I can’t pronounce most of the chemicals offered to make my hair shine and my skin not.

I give up on all of it. The beauty industry is going to have to earn its gazillions’ profit without my contribution. My bare, chemical-additive-free face may not be photogenic, but I’m now going au naturale into the world.

Here’s my list of unenhanced body bits.

Hands, smooth and red tipped – not.

The feeling’s back in my fingers after the side effect of peripheral neuropathy, dried hands and bruised nails. My hands may be plain, but they’re useful and getting stronger.

Hair, long and blonde tipped – not.

Yes, I was a natural dark blonde. My hair returned dry and steel-gray but it returned. My bald head got cold in winter and wool hats are itchy on bare scalp.

Lips, plump and soft – not

When I could barely eat or speak, I didn’t care about cracked dry lips. Now, it’s lovely to smile, kiss and laugh again, which are the best uses for lips, whatever their condition.

Breasts, perky and tipped up – not.

Scars from armpit to sternum to armpit are an improvement over constant testing and medical investigation of various lumps. I can pass the scars off as tattoos – very Goth.

Age, young and tarted up – not.

I was mistaken for my daughter’s sister, and cruelly giggled when someone asked my sister if I was her daughter. Now, I look my age ++. I’ll settle for aging over decomposing.

Changes happen. I’ve listed the visible ones; the invisible places often need healing too. It isn’t always easy to strip off the makeup and pretense, to walk around as a naked authentic soul for people to see, scars and all. This is the real person I am, unembellished with nothing to hide behind. Scary? Yup. Until I behave like I’m happy to be here. Then no one notices how I look.


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