In a world where the physical, financial and cultural concoction known as Kim Kardashian is famous for being ‘real’, how can any woman feel good about how she looks – let alone any mother, with smudges of baby food on her shirtfront and crushed crackers at the bottom of her handbag?
According to Just Another Mother blogger, Rowena Newman, it’s a simple equation of eyecream, shapewear, full-length mirrors, survival skills…and love.
I’m under doctor’s orders to quit my magazine addiction. Headlines likes “red hot baby mama” and 'Hollywood’s babylicious bodies” are not good for my health. A couple of cold-turkey days later and I’ve got my sense of humour back. A couple of weeks later I’ve put on 3kgs and I’ve never felt more awesome.
Several months go by and I don’t even yearn for the latest ‘must-have’ handbag; because I don’t even know what it is, and I don’t care.
But the best side-effect is that my teeth-clenching has abated. I don’t know whose glammed-up version of motherhood was making me crazier: Kim Kardashian who purportedly spends $750,000 per year on nannies to give her the free time to spend $250,000 per year on her personal make-up and styling entourage; or Miranda Kerr who wore a playboy bunny outfit to help her one year old son celebrate the religious holiday of Easter.
I didn’t notice the jaw clenching at first. But now the very mention of their names gives me a migraine.
The biggest irony of all is that Kim Kardashian found fame in ‘reality television’, and yet she is a million miles from real, in any sense of the word. Louis Vuitton luggage, nutritionists, chefs, hairdressers, stylists, beauticians, nannies, pilates instructors, personal trainers, vampire facials and flotation tanks filled with Crème de la Mer.
Kimye invests in beauty products and beauty treatments the way multi-national corporations invest millions in glossy product packaging and re-touched, soft-focus TV advertising.
We mere mortals, on the other hand, regular women who are paid to do something other than ‘look good’, could never ever hope to achieve their level of uber-gloss and polish. But do we even want to? I for one, have far more important things to do.
So if you, like me, feel no konnection to the kardashian kondition, then put your unvarnished feet up and join my krusade to keep it real. Here is my essential five-step guide to personal grooming for real mums with more important things to do.
1. Your eyes are the windows to your soul So if you are an ‘old soul’ like me then you’re going to need to invest in the best eye cream you can find. And before you know it you will be having the same conversations about Botox that you used to have about epidurals. The only difference is that nobody hands you happy gas when they tell you that it's too late, and that you’re too far gone for Botox.
2. There is a time and a place for everything Kid stuff happens at home. Shopping happens at the shops. Personal Grooming happens in the car at traffic lights after the double drop off. My bathroom cabinet is the console between the two front seats. In there, I keep my toothpaste, toothbrush, cleansing wipes, make up, dry shampoo, deodorant and hair brush. The way my commute is going, I’m wondering why someone doesn’t invent an iron for the car. And a pilates work-out.
3. Your best insurance policy is a full length mirror installed at your front door We all know that there's many a slip twixt cup and lip – and in my case there are endless opportunities for snot smears, porridge spills and texta marks twixt bathroom mirror and front door. It’s not going to save you from some of your more subtle failings, like accidentally wearing two watches and only one earring, but it will save you from vommy-down-your-back and toilet paper-on-your-shoe and that’s better than nothing, right?
4. Spanx is not a four letter word It’s a five letter word. And wearing shape wear is not admitting defeat, it's simply a way to work smarter not harder. The same can be said for the push-up bra, but if you want to avoid the mutton-lamb comparison then beware the guilty secrets that can be revealed with the ensuing cleavage wrinkles. What they say about using sunscreen on your décolletage is true, but by the time you understand that, it’s too late. Dum dum dah!
5. Your son is your most powerful ally in the beauty stakes Just like the magic mirror in Snow White, your son cannot tell a lie. You are the fairest in the land. I've only tested the theory up to the age of six-and-three-quarters but, in my experience, every son thinks his Mum is beautiful. And do you know what? Our sons are absolutely right. We are beautiful, just the way we are.
Rowena- Just Another Mother