To Mom, on your birthday…

Some little girls grow up watching their mothers carefully apply their makeup in the mirror and meticulously choose the perfect pair of shoes to go with that day’s outfit. I grew up watching my mother gut fish from whatever exotic locale we happened to be living in.

Needless to say, my mother did not spend an extraordinary amount of time on her appearance when I was younger. As a research scientist, she spent her days in a laboratory surrounded by dangerous chemicals that would ruin any kind of clothing. Therefore, her everyday wardrobe consisted of old t-shirts, faded jeans, and sneakers. She was not exactly a fountain of knowledge when it came time for me to begin to think about my appearance.

She helped me with the basics: a touch of lipstick for a special occasion, concealer to cover the inevitable blemish that popped up the night before school pictures. But mascara? Lip gloss? Bronzer? That was a no fly zone and I was left to fend for myself.

So I did. I read any and every fashion and beauty magazine I could get my hands on from the age of eleven. I was fascinated by eye shadow, mascara, and anything that sparkled. You probably could have guessed that if you’ve been following this blog.

After finally being allowed to wear makeup to school in the seventh grade, I joyfully spent my time scoping out the latest products at the drugstore. I was particularly fond of blue eye shadow and pink lipstick, and happily forked over my hard-earned babysitting money for it.

As I matured and slowly began figuring out what worked for me (less is more and you don’t necessarily need to match your eye shadow to your shirt), my mother began to also figure out what worked for her. We’d go on shopping trips together and as I taught her the basics of style, she taught me many things as well.

I believe one of the greatest things my mother has taught me is the idea that no one person is better than another. Growing up in so many culturally different places with such open-minded parents has definitely allowed me to view the world as non-judgmentally as possible.

Like most relationships, ours has gone through difficult times, but through it all I know I can always count on my mom to be there when I really need her. I hope she knows the feeling is mutual and that I feel so lucky to be her daughter!



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