Thursday, October 14, 2010

Vanity, Vanity?

Today I got a haircut. It's always so wonderful to walk into the salon, sit down by myself for a few hours and just be quiet. And the best part about it is that I get to walk out looking much better than I did when I walked in. Don't you always wish you could do your hair like your stylist does? I do. But I never can. And it's always the case that I don't get to go anywhere after that to bask in my post '"hair did" glow since my trip to the hairdressers already required a sitter...and there ain't any time left for another adventure. Bummer. Today I got to go to Safeway quick. That'll have to do. Although going out to dinner with my hubby would make me feel more like a princess indeed.

But anyway, the lady who does my hair is well known around these parts. She's good, she's fast and she's cheap. She's everything my mommy friends and I, who are all on a tight budget, need. My friend lovingly calls her "The Secret Weapon". Today was no exception. The weapon was fully loaded and operating smoothly. I had a wonderful trip to the salon. The launch from the home front went off without a hitch and I even got to drive my mom's car (a souped up version of our own beloved Pilot...gotta love that leather). I sat for twenty whole minutes (HUGE) under the "dryers" while my highlights were ruminating and an extra bonus: I read Sunset magazine while sipping an ice cold Diet Coke. It was quiet and peaceful. That was worth the money right there. It was refreshing. Too bad I don't go more often. I usually make it, on average, about twice a year.

Which brings me to the point of this post. For awhile now Steve and I have been dialoguing about why it's important for women to beautify themselves. He's been asking me some tough questions-some of them I haven't had any good answer for. For example, I have a lot of gray hair. Thanks to a renegade gene, my older brother and I have a "dusting" to put it mildly on our heads. It's not just a bit. It's a lot. I hate it. My solution is highlighting my hair. Steve has asked me a few times why I don't like the gray and why I feel I need to cover it with highlights. If he doesn't mind it, then why do I? I don't know. I just don't like it. He then has asked me if I'm just afraid of getting old. Because if I am, he says with a twinkle in his eye, that he actually can't wait to grow old with me. Cute...but I still want my highlights.

Here have been some of my responses.
-Yes, the Bible does say that gray hair is a crown, but I'm not old yet. When I get there, I don't mind acting the part. But I don't want to now when I'm not even thirty (I've got six months people).
-One of the innate things God has put into the heart of a woman is the desire to be beautiful. Some things we can't change like our noses or eye color, etc... But the things we can, we should at least losing weight if need be, buying some new clothes, wearing make-up, etc...Interesting post on that topic here.
-I just like doing it (not a good argument but it's still true)

Now let me be fair to the hubbs. He's not asking me to hole myself up and be frumpy. He also NEVER denies me anything when it comes to material things. I hardly ask. I'm just not that type. But whenever I do, he obliges very willingly. He always wants to bless me. So his point is not how much money is being spent or anything like that. He simply has wanted to know why I feel a need to alter myself all in the name of beauty, especially when he thinks I'm beautiful without it. Awwww...okay. I also might add, he really likes to get me to think. Which is a good thing. And this little dialogue has been yet another discourse I've had an opportunity to just sit and think about. But after thinking about the highlights, it didn't dissuade me much as I still made that appointment.

So that's the question. Where does this all cross the line into vanity? How can a woman keep it balanced? If she doesn't, she'll find herself wanting implants before long since she'll never be satisfied with her appearance. And frankly, I think that's ridiculous. But aren't there some things that are fine for women to do to themselves in the name of beauty? I guess it comes down to balance and motives but...where is the line? Also, of course beauty is just "skin deep" but there is virtue in a woman trying to keep herself as lovely as possible. Not in a gaudy or excessive way but in a classy way. How does that all work out?

Obviously for me, I still got the highlights. No guilt there. And let me tell you...I love them. And for that matter, so does the husband.


  1. now i don't have any gray hairs yet so it is hard to be sure, but i am inclined to just let it go and not dye it away. i don't think women always look older with gray hair. i feel like i stubbornly want to believe that my gray hairs are a good thing. like i want to fight for that.

  2. Good thoughts! I'd love to ponder them more... If there were all the time in the world, and distance wasn't so distancing... I think we'd be good friends. :-)

  3. I used to color my hair on my own. Never had it done in a salon, just trimming or styling. I finally decided to see how long I could go before I colored again. I haven't yet. I have a lot of "snow on the roof" (from Colonel Potter on M*A*S*H), but it sits pretty nice actually. I can "hide" it when I want with a clip here or a part there. But I get compliments. And I'm NOT old either. My body may feel it, but I'm working on that, mainly for my own health now that I have some issues. I can say I'll never do botox or have any type of "fix-it" surgery because I don't see how that really improves over the years, esp. since I've seen people who have it done, but are never satisfied. Then they keep doing it and look worse - they look fake. But that's me. I think you look beautiful, Nikki. And I think it's fine to do what you can to keep yourself beautiful, for yourself and for your hubby.

  4. I think about these things a lot. Great perspectives and food for thought!