I grew up a pseudo- Tomboy.
I was raised on a farm and started participating in athletics when I was knee-high to a grasshopper. (Yes, I’m basically still that tall, so let’s move on. ;)) This kind of up-bringing didn’t exactly cater to being runway- ready. I also grew up around strong and hard working women who got gussied up on Sundays and for other random events, but didn’t have time to fuss about it 24-7.
I am a product of my environment, so looking good while I was working
out hard didn’t really make sense to me.
Until recently, that is.
Before I get into why I had a change of heart, let me explain my past rationale.
Back in the day, I confess to rolling my eyes at the women who clearly spent a good deal of effort on their appearance before hitting the treadmill. I’m a morning exerciser and a realist, so slapping on some makeup just to sweat it off, shower, and put it on again simply did. not. compute. Ain’t nobody got time for that!
When I go to the gym, I am there to WORK. I am focused and on a mission when I walk through those doors. I used to wonder, “How is looking good going to benefit my goal of serious muscle burn?”
If I’m being completely honest, this also might have been my own small act of feminism. It’s no secret that women are objectified far too often in gym settings and I really had no interest in fueling that fire.
Fast forward to seven years of marriage and the Body Image Overhaul called Motherhood.
This is why I now spend 5 quick minutes to put on some blush, mascara, and lipgloss before I hit the gym…
Ok, ok. I can hear you laughing, but hear me out. Any girl will tell you that she FEELS different after putting on a little makeup. It gives her a little more confidence and quite literally brightens her smile. Any fancy scientist or fitness enthusiast can tell you that lifting weights and exercising is in large part MENTAL. If I’m feeling good about myself and gain a little strut from my eyeliner, you better believe my deadlift is gonna rock.
2) I Want to Be Consistent
It’s important to me that Lil’ AC sees me care for myself. I want her to know that my health is a priority, that I make time to exercise and to do the things that make me feel good. Putting on makeup is just another way I am sending her the message that I enjoy taking care of myself and care about my appearance.
3.) I See Dead People
Ok, not ACTUAL dead people, but our world could use a little LIFE, couldn’t it? If a few cosmetics give me a boost of courage to engage with a stranger or ask my squat rack buddy how her day is going, then it’s worth it in spades. Do I NEED makeup to spread a little love in the world? Heavens, no. But see point number one. If I see someone who could use a little pick-me-up, the only thing I want to be thinking about is how quickly I can make her smile.
4.) Hubs Works at the Gym
This may not apply to many of you, but SC just happens to be employed at my exercise establishment. He also works crazy weird hours, so more often than not, the only time he sees me in the daylight is when I’m sweating my arse off.
It’s important to me to continually date and court my husband. I’m fully aware that God created men as visual creatures and I want him to enjoy looking at me. He would tell you that I make his eyes happy whether I have makeup on or not, but if I have the option, I’m gonna leave him with a come-hither look. (Can I get an Amen?!)
I know that there is a ton of emphasis placed on appearance these days. I’m fully aware that the focus on body image, makeup, and clothing can take a turn down the self-absorbed road. When this is ALL we talk and think about, it certainly can be destructive.
But I’ve also noticed there has been a lot of shaming toward those who like to look good and take care of themselves. This isn’t ok, either. Like most things in life, applying balance to this area is incredibly important. I believe that with a little self-reflection, we can achieve our own personal middle ground.
Whether you go beautified or bare-faced to the gym- OWN IT.
THAT is true beauty.