Photo Shoot

“I like this one” Dee said; “You look like a realtor.”

“You mean I look professional, trustworthy, conscientious…?”

“Well sort of”, she replied.

My friend is a photographer and he posts photos on line to promote his new business. I saw one that made my heart stop. Many of his do but this one caught me.

I only know the subject peripherally. He’s a business man and a good one, however, I’ve never seen the twinkle, that I’m sure his family and friends know well, in real life or on camera before. A handsome, smiling man in a suit made me grin.

Maybe the photographer could capture something in me that few people have ever seen or noticed before:

Professionalism, trustworthiness, compassion, patience, forgiveness, or understanding. Are those looks that can be captured?

Dee said she can always tell when I think someone is full of sh*t because one eye gets funny.

“Quit smirking” means Mom knows what I was thinking.

Honeybun leaves the room quietly when I get a certain look.

I’m not sure what those looks look like.

I should have brushed my hair.

I should have put on makeup.

I should have made Dee come with me. She could have of given instructions: “Look happy, sad, mad, irritated, scared, unsure, confident.”

I should have made all of those faces so I could see what others see.

Instead I laughed at the camera because I had no choice. I laughed at me because I’m funny. Here I am at a photo shoot pretending I know why I’m here.

“Can I put your picture on my website?”, my friend asked after.

“Only if I look really good. Not that I’m vain but… I don’t want people to think I think I should be getting my picture taken…I mean it may seem I’m being …ah…whatever.”

“Do you want to check it out first?”, he asked kindly.

“Yeah, that would be good.”

The next day my grandmother and I looked through old knitting books.

“I had a beautiful Norwegian sweater like this once. Such intricacies in the patterns” she mused.

“Look at this one! Get a load of the model!” I said somewhat unkindly.

“Speaking of which let me show you the photos from the shoot”

“Oh, lovely!”, she said while looking at the file.

I smiled to myself.

“Look at the colors!”

I smiled again. Maybe she could see that one of my eyes is more green than blue.

“It looks like a difficult pattern.”

Wait? What?

She assumed we were still discussing knitting patterns and was referring to the shirt I was wearing.

Now that I think about it, I never really noticed that before. It’s a nice shirt. It would make a great sweater.

Beauty is in the Eye of…oh whatever.

The cosmetic store was pretty empty. Apparently I’m one of the few in need of some makeup help today. My friend Nadia’s teenage daughter recommended a bronzer as something to use throughout the day to touch things up. God knows I need something.

The young saleswoman who pulled the short straw came over to offer assistance.

“I’m looking for a bronzer”, I said with authority.

She took me over to a section that didn’t look any different from the one in front of us, just different containers. She handed me a Kindergarten sized crayon. I started applying it to my cheeks. “Whoa, this is a bit dark”, I murmured.

“You don’t put it on your cheeks, you draw a number 3 from the middle of your forehead, out to your ear, back into the cheekbone and back out and around your chin on both sides of your face. You accentuate where you want contour and definition.”

This takes paint by numbers to a new level.

“I’m not sure that I want to define anything. I just want to look…uh…(pretty, perky, pulled together?)…uh…more consistent.” She walked me to another area. How was she choosing our path? Why don’t I ask her? It’s like when the salesperson says “That color makes your eyes pop!”.

Why? How?

I recently read that when going for a make-over you should find someone with your coloring and age. I wish I’d known that when I got the last one. He was an attractive, young, African American, gay man. The only thing we had in common was that we were both wearing shoes.

I don’t think I was clear enough about that fact that I don’t wear much makeup generally, have no reason to, and tend to forget what goes where. It was more like a 40 year old’s rite of passage. He was quite pleasant though and deserved his sizable commission.

Yoga encourages us to accept ourselves and that takes steady and consistent practice. Change and impermanence is a given. Physical abilities, appearances and attitudes can be altered in a second. Anyone who has slipped on the ice knows that, especially if you land on your face.

Practice means we work to control thoughts in our minds that feed impatience, irritation and irritability. Sometimes we need help, kind words from a friend, advice from a mentor, palette recommendations from a makeup artist.

A new shade of lipstick allows the mind to say “Okay the color looks great. Now can we focus on what comes out of your mouth not what goes on it?”.

Applying bronzer takes practice. Applying patience, calmness,  and kindness is, frankly, easier.

Reminder to self: You are not a beautiful, teenage redhead.

Namaste- I think pink is the shade of the day!

 

 

 

cosmetics 2.JPG