Keeping up Appearances

by Tabitha Kidwell

I’ve never been an especially glamorous person. The fanciest look I can pull off successfully is “off-duty ballerina” (think scarves and buns). But I used to at least blow-dry my hair and wear make-up in America. That has all gone out the window here. I already attract a lot of attention as a tall white person here, so it just didn’t seem necessary anymore. Plus, I’m the only woman on campus without her head covered, so I don’t want to freak out everyone by unleashing my beautiful shampoo-commercial hair (ok, by that I mean my too-frizzy-in-this-humidity hair, but still). So I usually pull my hair back and wear long pants and tunic-y shirts. I usually look like this:

Nevertheless, people are pretty easy to please. I wear a ribbon in my hair and people say “Miss Tabitha, you are so beautiful.” If they only knew what they are missing out on!

But I’m worried about my upcoming return to the US of A and civilization as I know it. To fit in again, I’m going to have to really step up my game. I think I may have forgotten how. To help, I’m trying to ease back in. I blow dried my hair the other day and couldn’t stop running my fingers through it. And when I put make-up on to go to the airport for the Triathlon, I caught myself stealing glances in any reflective surface I could find: Hey, good-looking! It’s amazing what changing your outside appearance can do for your mood and your self-image. I had forgotten what it was like to feel good about your appearance. For some reason, wearing make-up or having pretty hair really did put an extra spring in my step. Let’s hope it’ll put enough spring in to let me compete in America. If worse comes to worse, I’ll just pretend I’m an off-duty ballerina. From somewhere where they wear tunics.

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