“A beautiful story”

I have decided to write about my feelings surrounding beauty. I have mentioned I was a tomboy growing up. I was teased a lot. I have a picture below of myself wearing the shoes I hated the most: saddle shoes! I still have trouble finding shoes I can deal with: I wear a size 13 women’s shoe.

I hated those saddle shoes!

When I was in the 8th grade, I remember my older brother allowing me to use his electric shaver to take off my armpit hair. My parents were surprised that I asked my brother. I don’t think they realized how much taunting I endured.

On top of that, it wasn’t until college that I started shaving my legs. I remember asking my friend, Cheryl, her opinion. I told her I thought my lighter, leg hairs didn’t show that much. She said to me, “Shave your legs!”

I married someone who hates makeup, so that has worked out really well for me. Whenever I have makeup on my husband says, “Take that off, already.” He hates perfume, too.

In high school, my idea of sprucing up my beauty was to buy baby’s breath at a florist shop and stick it in my hair. I love that picture where I’m looking up with a flower in my hair.

Unfortunately, being a beautiful woman when you’re older (or younger) requires an investment of time. Coloring my hair has been a major pain; I am fortunate that I have someone who comes to my home to do that for me. She’s a wonderful stylist and my friend.

I go crazy when I see my annoying, gray roots. I have two kinds of hair color: Dark when it’s first done, and orange after I’ve washed it for a few weeks. When someone says to me, “You’re going blond,” I realize it’s time to color my hair. Swimming also does considerable damage to my hair. I won’t go into sun damage to my skin from all those days at the beach.

Someday, I hope to be courageous and just let it be gray!

Lately, I feel young again. I’ve started wearing a little perfume oil like I used to before I got married. I love the smell of jasmine and honeysuckle. I need to be more careful because only a few days ago I accidentally spilled the entire bottle on my blouse.

I’ve been a nail biter all my life. When I was a classical guitarist in college, I did grow my nails to play. However, it didn’t last. Now I use a thumb pick.

I think my nails are about as low as they can get. Sometimes, they bleed when I bite them!

Yesterday, I was very excited to wear my new skinny jeans and sandals for my open mic performance. When I realized that my toenails would show. I surprised myself by driving to a nail salon for a pedicure. It would be the fourth one I’ve ever had in my life. I decided to get a manicure, too.

My husband had longer nails than I did!

My last manicure was for my wedding. I don’t even know why I bothered getting a manicure for my wedding. The wedding picture with my hands is still not flattering! By the way, my 29th wedding anniversary is coming up this month.

Yesterday, the manicurist had trouble finding any fingernails to even work with. Pushing back the cuticles did help. I chose a clear, sparkly polish. I kept thinking, would this manicure stop me from biting them?

Stay tuned. I’m a new person, so maybe this will go along with that.

My mother always encouraged me to wear makeup; she would enroll me in classes where there were tons of samples. I had my makeup done at Merle Norman’s for my wedding, and sometimes I still use that same blush. It is almost 30 years old!

Last night, I decided I wanted to look pretty for my performance. I decided to wear makeup! My mom would have been proud of me for rediscovering my femininity. When I left to perform, I felt wonderful. I was a new woman.

Unfortunately, within half an hour most of my makeup was gone. I never keep lipstick on because I do too much lip smacking.

I even put on mascara! I have trouble with those clumps on my eyelashes. When my daughter told me I had black smudges on my upper cheeks, I was a little worried. It was definitely a problem – my eyelashes hit my cheeks when I smile.

I noticed some dark circles under my eyes, because I only get about six hours of sleep every night. I tried to cover those. At least my lack of sleep these days has been due to enjoying what I’m doing versus having demanding children waking me up.

Because I’m so open, I am going to share something rather personal. It is now absolutely hysterical for me, and I have difficulty writing about it because I’m laughing so hard.

When I was in the sixth grade, my mother also enrolled me in “Charm School.”

Charm School in itself was not memorable for me; I wouldn’t say it made me any more “charming.” Just those words alone, have me thinking that it would be a perfect school name for kids with Asperger Syndrome!

The incident I’m about to describe was actually quite traumatic, because I was teased mercilessly afterwards. This charm school had a final performance where students were supposed to demonstrate what they had learned. I’ll never forget the “catwalk” part of our performance.

I was taught to have excellent posture while walking on the catwalk; it was important to carry an image of having a basket on my head. At the end of the walkway, there was a certain pivot step and then I would turn and walk back. The last move was a curtsey.

When it was my turn to walk, I was very concentrated on my routine. And then something horrible happened. I accidentally farted out loud. It was shocking and I don’t think there will ever be any experience in my entire life as embarrassing as this was. Approximately fifty people witnessed my toots.

For the rest of my junior high years, there were two, certain kids who followed me around and shared my embarrassing plight with everyone who would listen. I was constantly taunted me with, “Hey, you charm girl! You farted out loud during your charm school routine!”

Now everyone knows how human I am.

© Judy Unger and 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Judy Unger with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About Judy

I'm an illustrator by profession. At this juncture in my life, I am pursuing my dream of writing and composing music. Every day of my life is precious!
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  1. Dana says:

    So glad I took some time today to read your blog. What a touching story, thank you for sharing your incredible life’s journey with all of us.


  2. Janet F. says:

    I’m chuckling to myself about your Charm School escapades. You didn’t need to learn charm, Judy. The debacle at the closing ceremony would certainly develop your character. Yikes. You are so brave to share this story.
    As to Lizzy and his/her followers… I share your love for nature, although I like the four-legged creatures much more than the ones with scales.
    Final note on beauty: do you know that you are beautiful with or without make-up? Your contagious smile, your sparkling eyes, and your soft curls make your chewed cuticles totally insignificant. Oh, the crap we women go through before the almighty mirror.


  3. MAGDA says:



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