Monday, January 19, 2015

Why Looks Matter When the Honeymoon is Over!

The Headlines:


The "Marriage Matter" is is a pet peeve I've had for a very long time.

Is love blind?

Heck no!





I get it - it has been a a very long 20 or 30 something years.  You have kept your appearance since the first time you realized you wanted to be found by your very own Knight in Shining Armor.  You have worked hard to maintain those looks by the right shoes and clothes, the right purses and the most fabulous hair and make-up.  But now you've tied the knot and you're letting you'r hair down.  Or rather, cutting it.  But why?  Is that the opposite of what you should do?


This is a topic I have long thought of… I have no idea when it occurred to me, maybe it was at my first high school reunion, maybe it was just through the course of life as I would watch friends, but mostly acquaintances or people I barely knew - get married and change.  Now, every marriage will change you.  Perhaps even significantly.  Sometimes for the better but other times for the worse.  This is not what I'm talking about.  I'm talking strictly looks here.  No, I won't be winning any Pullitzer's for this puppy, this is a post which some could classify as purely shallow though others may contend The Marriage Matter - matters more.  Which at its core is simply this:  what matters in marriage is what you see on the inside AND (dare I say it?) on the outside.

It came up as I was answering some questions last week for a fellow blogger friend of mine.  Kristen Hewitt did a piece on "Why We (Intelligent people) Watch The Bachelor…"  you know the Monday night series on ABC?  I'm not afraid to admit I watch the show - BP (the husband) won't go near it but my brother -in- law does!  Sorry bro.  Anyways, you can read the fun and light hearted piece, in which she quotes me several times, by clicking here.   I've watched it religiously since it first began years ago.  And I haven't stopped tuning in.   Anyways, she asked me if it bothered me that all the women are a size 0.  My short answer was "no, they're trying to put their best foot forward.  What bothers me more are the women who get hitched, cut their hair and put on some pounds because they're no longer on the prowl."  And a blog post was born.

So why do women (and men to be fair)… do that?  Everyone agrees,  you have to put the best version of you forward to nab "your person" but what happens after?  The wedding may be over but the party isn't.  The beautiful bride doesn't need to hide.  So why does she?  Now, let me say there are some serious and very real reasons that something like that can happen (death, illness, addiction) - all of which I am not addressing here.  This is for the other people.  You know who you are ;)… so, here's a light hearted look at 3 reasons a woman (or perhaps a man) changes her look and the counter effect that goes with it.

You Have Your Man

It's been my experience that you look at a bride on her wedding day - gorgeous and stunning - and  sometimes (NOT ALWAYS) you can almost bet on the fact that's as good as it's gonna get.  But it shouldn't be.  Yes, she radiates on her Wedding day.  She works out, grows her hair, she (gasp) tans, diets, she is the queen of the ball and she's prepared for her role.  Then she goes home, cuts her hair, stops working out, puts on sun screen (which is actually a good thing), eats pizza and expects her husband not to notice.  Newsflash ladies, he does.  He may not say anything but he's noticing.  You attracted that man with the way you looked then.  You will age, given, and that's okay but I believe you have a responsibility to try to keep what you sold them on that special day.  Otherwise, it's like buying a new car that gets in a severe accident after 6 months.  You turn it in for a new one.

You Are Overwhelmed

With marriage usually comes a lot more responsibility.  Often times, you buy a house, you get a dog or a pet of some kind.  You still have that job and now you have to take into consideration all of those things plus the new person in your life.  It is a lot to juggle.  Going to the grocery store, making dinner for 2, the list of chores never ends, exercise escapes you, money is shared ("how much is that hair salon visit dear?")… a lot is happening and last on the list is watching what you're eating or sometimes taking care - of yourself.  But you need to remain on that list.  If not first, just somewhere.  It is a slippery slope here and if you're not ready for it, it will get away from you fast.  But you have to keep it under control for what could happen next.

Kids Creep In

Many of us get married with the strong intent to have children.  Heck, it's WHY some of us get married!  But surprise to all of you "Mommy in the Makings…"  those little darlings will DRAIN YOU DRY!  While those precious and perfect bundles are the most amazing things in your life - they're also a heck of a lot of work.  Honestly, you gain 30-60 pounds making them, lose only 15 to 20 birthing them, you sleep just a couple of hours each night after they arrive, they take every bit of your once very full bra size, feeding them is non-stop - in short - all of your money, energy and time goes to those tiny specks of glowing light and you now have an even longer list than before.  Some women react like this: get rid of the hair, eat whenever you see food and shop for clothes when the kids turn 18 - years old.  But that's not good for anyone.  Not for your kids, not for that husband of yours and certainly not for you.  When you put yourself last on the list the rest of your family will too.  You are queen of the castle in your little home.  Give yourself that and they will too.   

I believe marriage will change you in certain ways.  All stages do… we grow and learn and evolve… but it shouldn't completely alter the person you were before.  Looks or otherwise.  I'm far from a perfectly beautiful and gorgeous wife and mom... but I do try to be the best version of me possible (which I've discussed here before).  I don't wear yoga clothes 7 days a week.  Though, man, they sure have some cute ones out there these days!  I keep my hair appointments (granted, they're 10 weeks in between), I shop for myself.  And the woman I am on the inside matters.  It matters a lot.  But what matters - arguably - equally (and sadly - sometimes more to some people) is who you remain on the outside.  It says a lot too.  Your spouse did marry you for you.  All of you.  Including that long hair.    Hey we can only keep it so long!  (Almost) Never good to see a 65 year old with long hair.  Just no  bueno.

When I got married I was working as a morning reporter in Phoenix, Arizona and I had 2 photographers that I worked with daily.  I shared my whole "Marriage Matter Theory" with them and they both knew exactly what I was talking about as they had witnessed the same scenario in action too.  Including their own.  And the bottom line, it bummed them out.  They married one woman but she became another.  And these are men remember, very visual and literal people.  There's not a lot of between the line stuff.  They didn't want their wives to become Victoria Secret Models (especially with 2 kids in tow) but they did want them to stay somewhat true to who they were on the day they got married.  But because of the three reasons listed above, their wives did not.  It's a very real situation that Matters in Marriage.  Even though some would argue - love is blind.

Now with all of that said, as I mentioned before, this by no means is across the board.  No question about it, there are many other reasons people stop caring about looks.  Really big, valid and serious reasons that go way beyond this puny little blog post.  This has nothing to do with the people who suffer from mental illness or have health problems, those who have dealt with a death far too early and far too close to them, it's not for the women who are abused or have situations beyond their control in any way.  It's for the rest of us.  The above words are just opinions and experiences I have seen and witnessed in and near my life.  It's not meant to judge - at all.  It's meant as an observation and one that is purely mine.  My goal with this blog post is to make people think about their "Marriage Matter"… if you so choose.  If not,  I would never hold it against you.  In fact, just the opposite: feeling strong, secure and confident in your own "Marriage Matter" means more than anything!

In the end, I guess it's kind of like The Bachelor - if you watch the show, like Kristen Hewitt points out in her article listed above, everyone is tanned, toned and gorgeous.  But do you ever watch the follow up?  Because I do.  And guess what?  Most of those guys and gals don't look like that for long… so maybe The Bachelor is more like real life than we realize... after all? 

P.S. With all of that said, what do you think?  And please don't hate me. Remember all in good fun!
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