Taking care of my appearance
It’s almost the end of September and I will be turning 24 in around 2 more months. How time flies…If there’s something that stood out for me in 2022, it would be that I am starting to take steps to improve my appearance (once again).
I remember that I used to be really vain when I was in preschool. I would always bring my favourite orange comb in my schoolbag and brushed my hair religiously everyday. I used to always pester my mother to buy me the pretty dress or skirt that I saw at the market. Because I was a rather good looking child, I often received compliments from the adults who would raved at how pretty and big my eyes were, which was uncommon for a Chinese girl.
However, after I started attending Primary school, I stopped being so vain. I started to place less emphasis on my appearance. I remember telling myself that looking pretty was not important, and that I should focus on my studies and doing well in school. I also started developing the view that being vain was something sinful and I started to look down upon other girls, whom I felt paid too much attention to their appearance. In front of my family and friends, I would portray myself as someone who doesn’t care for beauty and that my number one focus was to do well in my studies.
As a result, I developed high myopia. Long hours of studying, staring at the computer screen, as well as lack of proper undisturbed sleep have also led me to develop serious dark eye circles (another cause of which is, genetics). After 16 years of education and intense daily focus on my work, I am no longer a “pretty” girl. Instead, I am now known as the girl with “big eyes but with dark eye circles”. Even my own family tells me that I don’t look as good as I used to and that I have “brought it upon myself” by not taking care of my own appearance. Friends or strangers have often commented or asked if I lack sleep because of my seriously dark dark eye circles.
I hardly admit it or show it, but this has definitely affected my own self-esteem. Although I like photography, I hardly take photos of myself. This is because, I cringe whenever I see pictures of myself. I find that I look really tired and ugly (and fat) in the pictures I appear in. Only rarely, am I satisfied with my own appearance.
Deep down, I think that I still possess some of the vanity I had, when I was a child. I still want to look pretty and be like the girls I see on fashion magazines and social media. It’s just that I have managed to suppress or hide these desires for many many years.
Now that I am a working adult with my own income, I have been thinking that it’s time for me to once again, invest in my own appearance. I think that I am at the prime of my life, and in the future maybe 10 years later, I might never look as “good and youthful” as I am now. Therefore, I should do my best now to take care of myself.
One of the things I have done in 2022, towards improving my appearance, would be to do eyebrow embroidery (wu-mei 雾眉). My mother had first suggested me to go for it two years ago but I never really considered to do it and felt that it was unimportant. I was also unsure about the pain of the procedure and doubted that it would improve my appearance. How wrong I was. The entire process was relatively painless and I have no regrets about doing it. I am pretty satisfied with the results. Initially, especially in the first week, I was really not used to seeing my face with a deep set of eyebrows. I thought that I looked like the cartoon character, Shin-chan and I was worried about how others would perceive me. However right now, I completely embrace them. If anyone were to approach me on how they can look better, I would advise them to go for eyebrow embroidery. I think that having fuller eyebrows have led me to look more energetic and kept.
The second thing I have done would be to consider going for Lasik. I went for my Lasik eye assessment in August and due to my high myopia (-7) and astigmatism(-1), the doctors recommended me to undergo PRK. PRK surgery would take a considerably longer amount of weeks to recover compared to the newer modern lasik surgery, where a flap is created in the eye. This is because, the entire epithelium of the eye is scrapped off and time is required for them to rejuvenate. The first few days of the recovery would be much painful as well, just like putting water on a scratched skin. Initially, I wanted to have the surgery done on the same day as the assessment. However, my parents were very against it (they were against me going for Lasik actually) and strongly wanted me to reconsider. Therefore, after considering their feelings and my piling uncertainty, I decided to reschedule the surgery 3 days later and gave it a proper reconsideration over the weekend. Through the weekend, I did more research on the surgery procedure as well as watched Youtube videos of the recovery experiences of other patients. I realised that the recovery period of 1–2 weeks of no near screen work + up to 3 months for complete recovery was too long for me. I was unprepared. I felt that If I had undergone PRK, I would want myself to stay out of the sun completely. This meant that I won’t be able to go running or exercise for at least 1 month. However, I had signed up for a Half-marathon this year in December, and might potentially be going overseas. I was not able to afford the time required to rest. Eventually, I decided to do a second rescheduling of the surgery at the end of 2022. If all goes well, I will be undergoing the surgery at the end of this year. I really really hope that my PRK surgery will be a success, meaning that I won’t suffer so much from the dry eyes or halos. I want to see the world clearly without my glasses. I also want to look prettier :0 (Maybe I will document my Lasik experience in Medium, next year.)
The third thing that I have done would be to purchase a really expensive NuMe hair curler equipment. I always felt that my hair looks really ugly and messy. In photos, it looks like a huge broom (the one you use to sweep your floors). I was watching a movie summary of the movie “Little Women” and was attracted by Jo’s hairstyle (Saoirse Ronan). Her hair looks really curly and nice. I thought that it would be fun for me to try a new look and curl my hair. Initially I was wondering if I should just go for a perm. However, after thinking, i decided not to. This is because perms are expensive and if I end up hating my curls, I am not able to “undo”. Whereas, if I bought a curler, I can choose to style it the way I want and also alternate between straight hair and curly hair on different days. It also seems fun.
The fourth thing I have done would be to spending time watching Youtube Makeup tutorials. Recently, I bought a concealer and the Lise Watier Portfolio Professional Corrector colour wheel. When the colour wheel arrives, I am going to try to apply it on my face and see if it can help cover my blemishes and most importantly, dark eye circles.
The fifth would be to continue to scroll Pinterest and learn from others on how to style different outfits. At the start of this year, I bought a pair of Dr Martens boots. They were really expensive (~250 SGD) but I think it is worth it. I read that they can last for many years and their quality is good. Wearing these boots in sunny Singapore might seem ridiculous. However, I think so far I have been fine. I don’t find them very hot and they are just like any other shoes I have, except that they are high cut. However, boots really do elevate one’s outfit. I can wear a normal T-shirt and pants and after I pair it with my Dr Martens’ boots, I look much better and feel more confident. Recently, I also discovered a blog called, Hapatime. The author of the blog is quite interesting and I like her outfits. However, I find that most nice clothes are really expensive….I need to work hard to think of how to generate more income so that I can afford them :( Good luck to me.
I hope that taking the steps to become better in my appearance will help re-inject confidence in myself. I am currently still exploring on ways I can do to take care of myself and make myself be happier.
Thank you for reading this post! The end :)