Too Little vs. Too Much: Finding “Just Right”, Goldilocks Style (Beauty Care & Relations


I heard of a girl who used to tiptoe to the bathroom at 4:00 am every morning to brush her teeth, so that she'd impress her guy by "waking up" with fresh-minty-breath later on. One day he woke and saw her sneaking out of bed with a toothbrush, and she was extremely mortified. Yes, she was trying ridiculously hard, but isn't she better than the lady who has been married for 10 years and lets her moustache grow luxuriantly (why should she kill herself waxing ?)

   Here is fantastic advice on the Golden Path of the Middle when preening to keep the attention of the domesticated male, written for you by The Naked Redhead. When I first stumbled onto her blog, the first thing I thought (for the rest of the day) was "I wanna write like her": I love her candidness, delicious sarcasm, and stiletto-sharp wit. (The second thing I thought was Mystic Medusa was right about Virgos swearing.)

Bio:  The Naked Redhead writes about dating, love and relationships on her aptly named blog, The Naked Redhead.  She enjoys list-making, performing improv, and playing with her dog and two cats.  She lives in Columbus, Ohio (but sort of wishes she didn't). 

Too Little vs. Too Much:  Finding “Just Right”, Goldilocks Style

     I have several problems with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, one being, WTF are bears shacking up in a house?!  And porridge?  Really?  Last I checked, bears were carnivores (WHY they didn’t eat Goldilocks as soon as they found her is beyond me.  I’m assuming their vegetarianism has made them into total bleeding-heart liberals.)
     However, there’s something to little Goldilocks looking for the “Just Right”.  Lone-child-in-the-woods-walking- into-a stranger’s-home-uninvited-and-helping-herself-to-their-shit aside, here’s a girl who knows the importance of a happy medium.
    Which brings me to a story of two other girls.  I’ll call them Too Little and Too Much.
     Too Little has been in a relationship for quite some time…and you can tell.  She started out looking good for her partner all the time:  hair, make-up—the works.  Now, though, she’s adopted a “wash and wear” haircut (though the “wash” is dubious), her make-up routine is non-existent, her clothes are sloppy and her only accessory is a sour ex-pression.
     Too Much has also been in a relationship for quite some time.  But this lady is a poster child for an overabundance of make-up, hairspray and cleavage.  Her partner has never seen her without full foundation, manicure or perfectly touched-up roots. 
     Now look, before anyone gets all Mama Bear and says, “Hey, I don’t wear make-up! That doesn’t mean I’ve given up!”  or “Hey, I wear make-up!  That doesn’t mean I’m high maintenance!”…I know.  I’m not talking about you.  Shh.
Let me explain…it’s all about attitude.

Too Little

    I was married once before, so I get the mentality of settling into a relationship.  Marriage (or the agreement upon the LTR) marks the death of the single life.  We aren’t that far removed from animals, after all…just like our wild counterparts, we do certain things in our single lives to make ourselves more noticeable to a potential mate.  If it’s not make-up or hair, it’s a new outfit, bedspread, maybe even just an attempt to be “on” all the time.  With the exception of one asshole I dated, every person I know makes an effort to at least wipe down the toilet (or at minimum, act embarrassed about it) before a new love interest comes over for the first time. 
   About a year into my marriage, I checked out.  I just didn’t care anymore.  I didn’t work out, I packed on the pounds, and I grew listless.  But my “too little” routine wasn’t simply that I knew I’d never need to attract a man again, it seeped into my entire mentality about my relationship.  Why work on things—any thing—if we were in a “til death” situation?  I mean, that’s PERMANENT, right?
Too Little’s tread on dangerous territory.  Like plants, goldfish or babies, relationships die if they are not continually maintained.  I am not saying that any woman (or man) should be in full-blown “going out mode” all the time, but effort on the outside can reflect effort on the inside. 
    Look, Too Little is not just about the absence of make-up.  I have a good friend who has never worn more make-up than a swipe of Chapstick…but she’s not a Too Little.  On the contrary, she is scrupulous about what goes into her body, she takes time for meditation and yoga, and spends time pursuing the things she was interested in before she was married.   She understands that you can’t forget who you were before the relationship.  That person is still just as important, as desirable and fascinating as she (or he!) was five, ten, or fifteen years ago.  YOU just have to believe that.

Too Much

    Once my marriage ended, I dated a lot (read:  I was a tad whorish).  I quickly realized that there were dickwads out there that expected no less than Barbie doll perfection at all times…and they’d get women who bought the hype!
    Er, no thanks.
    Again, there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting to look good, but, just like with Too Little, Too Much can be a deeper attitude issue that can be damaging to a relationship.
    Listen up…perfection is a myth.  It’s impossible to be completely perfect, and it’s the imperfections that make you uniquely YOU.  Your partner may actually like the way that you smell and look clean-faced and fresh from the shower.  My boyfriend thinks I’m cute when I’ve just completed a work-out and my cheeks are red and my hair is mess…I know, weird, right?

{Eternal*Voyageur: take a moment to read about what men want. It might surprise you.}

    I know women who are stunning without make-up, women whose hair looks fantastic after a joyful bike ride, and girls that know how to dress those gorgeous not-size-six curves.  Personally, my boobs are practically non-existent, but I love that it makes me look “athletic” or that I can wear super low-cut tops without looking like I’m advertising.  We are sexy even without hours spent in front of a mirror, especially when we get who we are and we stop trying to be something we aren’t. 
   This acceptance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try a new lipstick, or go to the salon for a blow-out or a wax.  But if life gets in the way of “perfection”, be ok with that, too.
   If you’re a Too Much, stop trying so hard.  Give yourself and your partner space and let those beautiful imperfections shine.  Forgetting perfume or mascara one day won’t result in a break-up the next.   

Just Right

    Both Too Little and Too Much have hope to get things Just Right.  It’s simply a matter of tweaking your attitude. If you feel you’ve given up because life is crazy (new baby, new job, lost job, etc.) look at the cause and motive of your Too Little.  Too Little is ok for awhile if life demands other priorities, but if it’s been months or years of Too Little, you may need to check your attitude. 
    If you feel like you will be less beautiful without Too Much, check what factors are causing that mindset.  Maybe take a belly dancing class or go to a pin-up workshop. Examine your perceived imperfections and find the beauty in them.  And by all means, if there is someone in your life feeding you little vampiric lies that you’d be prettier this way or that way…fuq that noise. 
    Be a Goldilocks…go for the Just Right, and you’ll end up resting happily at the end of your day.  Just beware of when the bears come home.

Check these out: