Okay, I couldn’t help myself…ever since I watched “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” last week, that Carly Simon song has been stuck in my head. I don’t even really like that song, but it’s sort of catchy.
Of course, it is somewhat appropriate for today’s post.
I think we all sometimes worry too much about how we look to others. Even though what’s really important is how we feel about ourselves. We might be self-conscious about not looking pretty, handsome, thin, young, fit or stylish enough, behind closed doors. But doesn’t everybody feel a little less spectacular from time to time?
The other day, I was hanging out with my mom and I finally realized something I should have noticed a long time ago. She spends a good amount of money trying to make herself look better and younger, on a consistent basis.
She’s not even that old, she’s only 52 years old. But for the last 7 years or so, she’s been spending more and more money on these things. I really think it all began when I had my daughter and my mom was officially a grandma. That would make anybody feel old, wouldn’t it?
So many dermabrasions, peels, laser treatments, wrinkle creams, over-priced make-up and various skin care items. I just don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’ve never been her age and felt the pressure she feels to age gracefully.
Honestly, I don’t think she looks nearly as old as she sees herself in the mirror. When she gets all these treatments done, I don’t notice a difference. So does that mean she’s wasting money? What if she thinks there is an improvement and thus feels better about herself?
She’s not in debt and isn’t going to be broke anytime soon, so shouldn’t she be able to spend her money on whatever she wants? Or is it being vain to spend so much money on making yourself look or feel better?
Made of Plastic
Then of course we have the ever popular plastic surgery. I can fully understand getting plastic surgery when it’s necessary You know, stuff like your earrings were too heavy and ripped your earlobe, breast reductions to ease back pain, broken noses that never looked right again and so forth.
But there’s a big difference between necessary and vanity plastic surgery. Your nose is just a little bit larger than you want it, or your boobs aren’t sufficient as a C and you must have a DD, or face-lifts.
Where should the line be drawn? What if these little (or large) changes make somebody feel more confident, is that a bad thing? Or should we all just be grateful for what we were given? I think that it really depends on the person, their reasoning and the extent of the surgery.
I feel pretty, oh so pretty
I’m not innocent in this whole thing, I do it too…but on a smaller scale. I used to wear make-up every day, but I would only buy it from Nordstrom and pay the inflated prices. Sure some of the more expensive make-up is higher quality and for certain skin types and yada, yada. But really, in my experience, the difference in cost compared to the difference in quality just don’t add up right.
I’ve swapped out a few items for inexpensive make-up that can be found anywhere. You know what, it still does its job and looks just fine. Of course some of the items were color specific, so I just decided to stick with those and use them less often. Seriously, I rarely wear make-up anymore and my skin is much happier with me about it.
I dye my hair, but I do it at home to save money.
I skip out on the manicures and pedicures and do them myself. Except for once a year, I try to go in for a nice relaxing pedicure if I can afford it.
Instead of buying lots of jewelry to match up with different outfits and occasions, I have streamlined my jewelry box. I used to have over 50 necklaces and 20 or so rings. Now, I have 1 signature necklace that I wear almost every day, 1 fancier necklace in case I need to really dress up, and a few favorite pieces that I save for special occasions.
As for the rings, I saved 2 thumb rings, 2 pinky rings and one extra ring. I know where they all go and they look great no matter which combination I choose to wear. It makes getting ready so much easier and quicker.
I did splurge a bit on my glasses though, I figured if I have to wear them, I might as well get some gorgeous ones. Of course, I never really wear them anyway. I’m supposed to wear them for reading, watching TV, using my computer and similar tasks, but I don’t. I even paid to have the anti-glare coating put on them because I always spend so much time in front of my computer.
I don’t know if they make contacts for people who don’t need to wear glasses all the time or not. It does seem like it would be more of a hassle to put them in and take them out all day, so that wouldn’t really do me any good.
On the other hand, I have always been interested in those color contacts that make your eyes a different color. My eyes are green and it suits my skin tone, but I’d love to brighten and enhance them. But I’m not so sure about putting things into my eyes, I can’t even use Visine.
I browsed around and found some good deals on colored lenses, but I’m too much of a chicken to give them a try. Would having brighter, prettier eyes make me feel better about myself? Most likely. Is it worth it to spend money to feel better about yourself?
I think it really all comes down to responsible spending. If I was up to my ears in debt, it might be best to hold off on luxury spending until things are under control. Even though we’re working hard to improve our finances and get on track, we’re nowhere where we need to be, so some things will just have to wait.
What kinds of things to you spend money on that make you feel/look better?
Do you consider them money well spent, or a waste of money?