Monday, January 18, 2010
(Image via http://www.fabsugar.co.uk/)
You guys, it's January! And with January comes the promise of a whole new year - mountains to climb, people to kiss, jobs and bad habits to quit, and weight to lose. Brownie's already covered our lack of interest in the boring details of your new diet, but what about your super-great new workout plan and your new membership at The Greatest Gym On Earth and your adorable new workout outfits and HOW CUTE are these new running shoes? Chances are, that will bore us too, but if you're dying to tell us, go for it. We'll tell you to shut it if it's necessary. (However, I'm the girl who's obsessed with Women's Health, so I just might actually be interested. Plus, cute anything usually gets my attention.) Because what I'm really here to discuss is very simple: Don't wear makeup to the gym.
We know. Gyms can be intimidating. There's a whole other post that could be written on just that subject. I, for one, had a gym membership for over two years before I had the nerve to actually run on the treadmill. (The fear of flying dramatically off the back of the thing was greater than the fear of not being able to wear my favorite jeans, it would seem.) And catching sight of yourself in the giant mirrors, whether it's in a class or while you're on a weight machine, can be a bit of an eye-opener. Yes, that is actually you, with the tomato-red face ("post-workout glow," my ass) and the crazy flyaways, sweating through your old drinking-related college t-shirt that, frankly, is probably fooling no one about your age. Plus, so many gyms right now are total meat markets, which can just up the intimidation factor. It's easy to talk yourself into the idea that everyone will be thinner, hotter, and more in shape than you are and that it is therefore necessary for you to compensate for what you perceive to be your flaws.
(We're all smart enough to stay away from these places, right? Just making sure.)
But. When you show up at the gym with a full face of makeup, perfect hair, and (oh my god, please don't, unless you're a Williams sister) major jewelry, it tells everyone else two things. One, you're here to be seen more than you're here to work out. And two, you're probably brand-new to the gym and the rest of us figure we won't see you post-Groundhog Day.
Now, I go the gym either at lunch or after work, and I generally put some makeup on in the morning, because it's just scary if I don't. I'm not harrassing you to scrub your face before sweating out last night's Happy Hour. But it really isn't necessary to get to the gym, change your clothes, and then stand at the mirror and apply eyeliner and lipgloss, before brushing your hair into the perkiest ponytail you can manage, thanks to tips from Glamour. (Eight ways to wear it? Really? It's a ponytail, not rocket science.) I know you want to look your best - which is why you're at the gym in the first place - and I know you want to make a good impression, but I promise. No one cares. We're all jamming out to our music that would be shameful and embarrassing in any other context, concentrating on lifting heavy things and not dropping them on our toes, and praying that this will be another successful day without falling off the treadmill. We know that it's exciting to have new goals and resolutions and we definitely know how fun it is to have new workout clothes, but we also know how silly you look when your face is rivaling that of the amazing Nina Flowers.
So rock on with the cardio, kick ass at the weight training, breathe deep and get flexible in yoga, and dance your ass off in Zumba. But do it as you. Not who you think you should be, not who you think the boys (or girls) want to see, not to compete with other people, and not to try out your new lip liner (hint: it won't be there in an hour). You're at the gym because you want to feel better and, yes, look better, but putting on powder before hitting the pool (seriously, I've seen this happen) is not going to help your case. Please, just stop at your locker, think about how silly it is to sweat through expensive makeup, and don't reapply.