I’ve been seeing a lot of Instagram hashtags and obnoxious graphic t-shirts lately that proclaim “I woke up like this”. It’s usually in reference to an overly made up teenager or whatever. It’s a signifier of over the top and vain and I’m pretty sure that people who tag their photos or wear that t-shirt really didn’t wake up like that. Hell, I usually wake up with all of my hair on one side of my head and sticking straight up, Heat Miser style (an epic feat for someone with hair down her back, folks) a sheet crease pressed into my face, and I am Not Human until I get about three cups of coffee into my face. I generally look kind of crappy. Sometimes, I look scary.
And I embrace that. I’ve been thinking more and more lately about my life (I’m working on a piece about Evaluate Your Life Day for The Hudsucker) and how I portray myself. On some level it’s about figuring out who I want to be now that I’ve settled in on who I am. It’s about sorting out what putting my best foot forward looks like. The pursuit of sorting this out has got me looking a bit more critically about how other people present themselves. That oh-so-fake “I woke up like this” is getting further and further on my nerves. Even today I saw a young girl at the Clinique counter looking for foundation and she was wearing three different shades of blush and far, far too much of all of them. I had to bite my tongue to suppress the urge to swipe makeup remover over her face. Getting to her real skin would have been akin to going on an archeological dig she was wearing so much gunk. This young, lovely girl certainly did not wake up like this, yet she somehow felt that is how she is supposed to look.
Nope. Oh hell no. I’m over that. We should be celebrating what we really look like before we get into the cosmetic special effects. Just pause for a moment and appreciate our bare faces and Heat Miser hair. Eventually the makeup wears off and the hair gets weird so we might as well enjoy what we’ve got to work with. In the end it’s both our starting point and all we’re left with when it’s over. So here I am: this is what I woke up like this morning. I must have slept hard since I didn’t move all night and spared myself some Heat Miser hair, but the tired face and the need for coffee? That’s all me. No makeup, no fuss.