The Impact of Covid on Our Sense of Beauty
At the onset of Covid, I don’t think that any of us dreamed that we would still be restricted by it over a year and a half later. I gave the whole situation three months tops… shows what I know. For those of you who had the foresight to invest in more leggings, another pair of slippers and robes for each day of the week… I congratulate you.
You were far more prepared than the rest of us. And the irony for those of us that had to scramble to purchase this new “never leave the house” wardrobe is that we had no way to purchase them other than online. In most cases, the online purchases worked out because oversized loungewear is an easy fit and no one will see them anyway.
Where Is My Attractive Self?
The only imagery of beautiful women in beautiful clothes came from endless hours of watching Netflix – not from my mirror. Watching these glamourous women having candlelit dinners in fancy restaurants or shopping with an equally fashionable friend was a stark reminder of my former attractive self.
Even at my age, I can still turn heads which requires being out in public. And at almost 60 years old, it requires a lot of work, but it’s still possible. I must admit that being confined to my humble abode made me feel less attractive due to not getting that outside validation. I certainly wasn’t going to get it during my weekly trip to the grocery store.
You don’t turn heads dressed in a baggy sweatshirt, fashionably paired with leggings from 2013. And to complete my daily Covid ensemble, I have worn the same pair of slip-on sneakers for 43 days straight. Another symptom of Covid… every day is exactly like the one before, so why change clothes?
The Dreaded “Quarantine 15”
In theory, being bored and homebound was the perfect opportunity to begin and succeed in a new workout routine. Preparation included exercise videos from YouTube paired with newly purchased workout attire which, of course, can be worn all day.
Our commitment was to dedicate this time to finally getting into shape. This would be the one bright spot to come from all of this. Eventually, we will emerge from the Covid cocoon 30 pounds lighter and excited to share it with the world.
But as most of us know, just like putting on make-up every day, exercise wasn’t done either. The reality is that 42% of Americans gained weight during Covid. Perhaps from the fattening restaurant delivered meals, because frankly, we couldn’t stand our own cooking anymore.
And let’s not forget about stress and the lure of much-needed comfort foods mere steps away in our pantry. Whatever the reason, if you gained weight, you are far from alone.
The Demise of Skincare Routines
The other self-care practice that went by the wayside was my skincare regimen. Before the pandemic, I was a faithful daily user of potions and lotions, including masks and other miracle elixirs. My anti-aging ritual was a top priority for putting my best face forward in the world.
But as time went on, my seven-step nightly regimen was cut shorter and shorter until eventually, I skipped it altogether. It got to the point that I evaded the huge magnification mirror in my bathroom out of fear of seeing what was really going on.
I think I justified not taking care of my skin partly due to not wearing any make-up. Why spend my time or money putting on “my face” when the only person who will see it is the Amazon delivery man, and I am pretty sure he is in way too much of a hurry delivering lounge wear to notice.
Camera Ready Tricks
For those working from home, we had to adopt what I call “from the waist-up professional look.” Many of us had to hop on digital calls or meetings looking polished and professional. This was a painstaking effort that, with time, was streamlined and perfected. Trust me; I was not the only woman to look professional up top with a party going on below.
The top look consists of a professional blouse, hair in a ponytail, and minimal make-up consisting of mascara and lipstick. The party below consisted of pajama bottoms, socks, or on a fancy day, cut-off jean shorts just in case the Amazon delivery man shows up yet again.
Missing Feeling Like a Woman
I don’t know about you, but I do miss feeling pretty. I miss getting gussied up and liking how I look and feel. I guess it’s true what they say… it’s the simple things in life. For me, I don’t seem to have the energy and time it takes to put in the effort to get ready.
Perhaps I have gotten so complacent or lazy that I dread the whole process. And that both concerns and puzzles me. I still run to the grocery store with no make-up and in my sweats. The only difference is, I am no longer wearing a mask.
And that allows people to see my face, and therefore, I should put some effort into it. I think that we have all gotten so used to effortless dressing, minimal upkeep, and feeling that appearances are just not that important anymore. For all our sakes, I hope this changes, and the sooner, the better.
Feeling beautiful is part of being feminine and something we should all enjoy as women. Hopefully, when things return to the “new” normal, the excitement of wearing a pair of new shoes or the thrill of perfectly placed eyeshadow will return. And we can all get back to a life that includes dressing up and feeling like the attractive, vivacious women that we really are.
What part of your beauty routine has changed due to Covid? Were you able to lose weight during the lockdown? Do you care about your appearance as much as you did before? Have you gotten fully back into your best self-care practices?