Esther Murphy: Giving up makeup could just be a start

August 4, 2014 

A friend of Herald-Leader intern Annie Garau held a sign about beauty.

  • About the author: Esther Murphy is a retiree who lives in Lexington.

  • At issue: July 20 column by Herald-Leader intern Annie Garau: "Losing makeup, gaining insight; Cosmetic-free experiment goes more than skin-deep"

Congratulations to the young woman who decided to try foregoing makeup for a year. I hope she stops worrying about what other folks think of her and her looks, and I also hope she stops caring about her self-image and expands her world of things to worry about.

As someone who has taken this step, I'm wishing her well while she's enjoying her newfound freedom, and I hope she considers these other millstones that have been visited upon women:

■ High heels, especially stilettos: Come on now, even men think stilettos are stupid — except for the occasional foot-fetishist, if that's what you are looking for in a man.

There are plenty of low-heel or no-heel styles that are appealing, so go find them and wear them in blissful comfort.

I once saw a young woman in an airport shuffling along with a walker and a surgical collar. I felt sorry for her, until I looked down at her shoes. They were red-and-white lace-up basketball style, but with stiletto heels. If that's any indication of what's in her closet, no wonder she took a tumble.

■ Purses, backpacks, whatever: Too many times I've seen women being used as pack animals by their supposedly loving families. I once saw a young, petite woman with her husband and small children. She was about six months pregnant. She was carrying a toddler and of course a diaper bag. What was Mr. Obtuse carrying? Nothing, of course.

I hope she has since run off and left him with the kids, as well as a 16-pound bowling ball to wear around his waist, whenever he gets around to asking himself, "Why did she leave me?"

Now that the young woman in the article has stopped needing make-up, I hope she considers ditching the purse that would have carried all that paraphernalia. I've carried nothing but a wallet for about 10 years now. It has room for cash, change, insurance cards, credit cards and a driver's license. My pants always have pockets to carry the wallet, phone, keys and a handkerchief. And my hands are always free.

■ Bras: Some women who are heavily endowed will not embrace this idea, but women should at least consider, especially on hot days, how much more comfortable they will be without this sweat-collecting accoutrement. As of this past April, I've quit this particular habit cold turkey.

I've had my husband of 35 years eyeball me with whatever top I've selected to wear, to make sure my lack of this device doesn't scream out at innocent passers-by. Apparently he doesn't mind doing this inspection. Go figure.

Esther Murphy is a retiree who lives in Lexington.

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