Never Mind Grandma’s Missing Pants

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Yes, this picture is creepy. That’s the point.

Do you notice something strange about this doll? I mean, besides her missing pants. (She was a garage sale find given to Anna by her great aunt, and perfectly sized for Anna’s new doll house. We can find new pants for her someday, right?) Yes, my creative mind immediately began concocting fantastical tales about how this silver haired plastic figurine may have lost the bottom half of her wardrobe.

But my daughter pointed out something else. Something much more insightful than my 12-year-old humor, “I see London, I See France…”

When I handed her the doll, she held it in her little hand, and stared intently for at least minute. ¬†Certain she would ask about the “wardrobe malfunction,” I prodded her with, “Honey, do you notice something strange about the doll?”

Her answer blew me away. “Mommy, what’s wrong with her face? She’s supposed to be a grandma, but her face isn’t old.”

Wow. Although I had noticed this cosmetic contradiction, I certainly didn’t think my daughter would pick up on it. How should I answer? Tell her the dolls are mass produced and in order to keep costs down they just switch out hair and clothes? Tell her that marketing research shows nobody wants to buy “old” looking dolls? Despite this manufacturer’s attempt at giving our senior generation a little respect, their misguided attempt falls short. Yes, this “silver fox” has a sweater set and sensible loafers, but her face doesn’t reflect the beauty of a grandma’s well-earned laugh lines. It shows no experience or wisdom, only youth.

So, I answered my daughter’s question the only way I knew how. I told her the truth. “Honey, they must have made a mistake.”

 

 

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The Blessings of Not Being Beautiful

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest…oh who cares?

By society’s standards, I am not a stunning, beautiful woman. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’m hideous. I can relate to this line from one of Gretchen Wilson’s honky-tonk tunes: “I may not be a ten, but the boys say I clean up good.” Give me a shower, some makeup and a flattering dress and I’m not too shabby.

No, I’m not fishing for compliments or affirmations of my appearance. Rather, this is a celebration of my imperfections. There are things on my body that are large when they’re supposed to be small (pores, nose, feet). And there are things on my body that are small when they’re supposed to be large (use your imagination).

But you know what? I’m glad. So glad that I don’t have a perfect complexion to maintain, rock-hard abs to keep sculpted and a long, glossy mane that requires gobs of potions and lotions. Some women are blessed with effortless beauty, and I’m happy for them. But also a little sad if that’s where they hold their self worth. Because external beauty is fleeting.

When I see my young daughter beginning to recognize that beauty is a common currency for women, I have to set a good example for her, as hard as it is to go against the grain. It’s important to take care of ourselves, but why chase something so unattainable? Why spend so much money on gizmos, gadgets and elixirs?

God gave me what I have and don’t have for a reason. And besides, I’m just a nerd at heart. That’s why, many moons ago when asked to “shake my moneymaker,” I shook my head. :-) I’ll take brains over beauty any day.