I’m average looking. That’s not a good thing or a bad thing, it’s just a thing. Most people are average looking, it is quite unusual to meet people who are either truly beautiful or hideously ugly. The trick is to make the best of what you have.
I looked my best when I was 25/26. I was young and slim. I was old enough to know what suited me and I was earning enough money to buy the clothes, products and hairdo’s that flattered me most. I had my first management position and was driving around in a Golf GTi listening to loud music. I’m not going to lie, if I’d realised that was the best looking I was ever going to be, I’d have strutted a lot more.
Most people are average looking but with the right amount of know how can present themselves as being good looking or at least better looking than they are by nature and this educational process usually starts in your early teens. I learnt the hard way that blue eyeshadow wasn’t my best look, especially not if you just kept using the tiny sponge applicator until the colour on your eyelids looked the same as it did in the Constance Carroll set you were using. Back in the day, the make up collection of teenage girls started cheap and cheerful, none of this MAC lip colours and Zoella tutorials, if you were in your early teens during the 1980’s in Manchester, then you were probably familiar with Constance Carroll. Blue eyeshadows, pink lipsticks and electric blue mascaras were part of the learning curve. Like most girls my age, I went through the curve on my path to finding out how to apply make up properly and actually have the make up enhance my features rather than make me look ridiculous. It also helped to avoid being laughed at by my older brother. It turned out that pink circles on your cheeks wasn’t a flattering look for me and no amount of blue eyeshadow and badly applied, none moisturising, red lipstick was ever going to change that.
Despite the fact that I wasn’t especially very good at applying make up, or choosing flattering outfits, I was very persistent and kept on going until I finally got the hang of it. Left to my own devices I would have worn stilleto heels and full make up on a daily basis but there was no way my mum was going to entertain that as an idea so it became a special occasions thing. I went through a very brief phase of not leaving the house without make up but you can probably count on one hand the number of weeks, if not days that lasted for.
When I was little I assumed that I’d be pretty when I got older. I’m not sure where that assumption came from, but little me, complete with my small uneven afro, was convinced that I’d look like a cross between Diana Ross and Donna Summer by the time I was a grown up. We were the same colour and they had the long hair I craved, so it kind of made sense. If I was seven years old now, I’d probably aim to be Beyonce.
Focusing on clothing rather than my usual obsession with my hair, my first few jobs involved a fairly specific dress code so I only needed to choose clothes for going out. As a mechanic I wore overalls and steel toe capped boots and as a postwoman I wore a Royal Mail uniform, which meant that I never woke up in the morning and had to plan an outfit. By the time I was 17 I’d transferred over to administration and once I moved past my initial stage of turning up to my job in the Personnel Department wearing jeans, I always knew what to wear. Offices have their own uniform, which despite the endless choices is actually quite straight forward. As long as you own lots of plain tops and stick to wearing either smart pants or a suit you’re set. Top Tip: When buying a suit, buy the jacket, the skirt and the trousers. The world of knowing what to wear in the morning was disrupted by retraining as a web developer. Jeans and hoodies are very practical and being warm and comfortable is very appealing. There are few professions where that particular dress code is acceptable and it’s a very easy habit to get into when you work from home. Over the last few years I’ve spent so much time dressed like a 12 year old boy that I’m not sure I remember how to dress properly. I can’t just revert back to how I used to dress (or can I?) and there is nothing like aging 10 years and gaining 2 dress sizes to make you feel nervous about experimenting.
So if teenage me didn’t look glamorous because I wasn’t allowed and current me isn’t glamorous because I’m out of practice, and lets face it far too lazy to entertain that amount of effort on a daily basis, it looks as though I’m going to have to save my glamour for special occasions. Kim Kardashian allegedly spends 2 hours every morning with a make up artist to look as polished as she does, personally I’d rather have an extra 2 hours in bed.
The worst thing about being average looking, is that it’s easy to slip down the appearance stakes and not make the most of your features, which isn’t always great for your self esteem. Even tiny changes like swapping my trainers for a pair of boots or replacing my collection of hoodies with a top and jacket now and again can elevate how I look. Throw in some mascara and a coat of lip gloss and I look like a regular grown up.
The best thing about being average looking is that now and again you get to have the wow factor. If your friends and family see you in jeans and an assortment of hoodies 99% of the time, even without hair extensions, their jaws literally drop on the days when you switch on the glamour and that’s good enough for me.