please help me feel less grey-faced, fat, wrinkled & ghost-like

(18 Posts)
magnificatAnimaMea Mon 07-Dec-15 06:09:16

Bloody Christmas in bloody Australia coming up again. Every year I am surrounded by fit, brown, white-teethed, blonde-haired, glamourous goddesses, all in designer clothing, all delivering perfectly-formed putdowns about my general shitness. Mother will take a squillion photos and make faux-concerned comments about me being unhealthy-looking and "comfortably dressed", comparing me at length to her beautiful daughter who is perfect in every way. MIL will do the same. Father and FIL will listen and make barbed comments about underachievers who let themselves go.

Now obviously no-one should give a toss what these beautiful shallow darlings think, but much as I try not to give a toss, I would like to feel less awful about my appearance.

I have blue-grey skin with too many moles and freckes; thin, lank red hair; white eyebrows and eyelashes, wrinkes, ugly cheap glasses without which I can't see a thing. Can't wear contacts, can't afford new glasses. Fake tan just makes me look like I have jaundice (have tried all the expensive ones - my skin tone is so blue that all of the fake tans are too orange). Makeup always looks ugly and fake because eyebrows and eyelashes should be white. When not in Australia's extreme heat, I normally dress in jeans and jumpers and goretex anorak, and stay away from situations that require anything else.

I never feel glamourous, I just feel fat and ugly. Is there any way I can feel less ghostly and hideous? Any clothes to hide the fat body/ chunky legs/ hairy arms? Shoes to hide the ugly feet?

annielostit Mon 07-Dec-15 07:20:17

I think you need to start loving yourself first.
Go to a store & get make up advice where foundation can be matched for you. Ditto mascaras eyebrow pencil.
Pick a trouser outfit, nice flat type shoes to start and stuff everyone else.

annielostit Mon 07-Dec-15 07:21:24

Long sleeve wrap style dresses & tights.
Get your hair done at a salon.

bobsalong Mon 07-Dec-15 07:37:04

What annie said, get a makeup counter to do your makeup, or if you have a local spa you should be able to book in there (will cost but they usually use mineral makeup and might have a better idea of what would suit you).
Drink a lot of water, use a night moisturiser for your skin. Exfoliate with a scrub, use a face mask.
Have you tried the gradual build up tan moisturisers? (Google dove summer glow for an example)
If you can, visit a clothing store that have good advisors that can help you pick out an outfit. Get some Spanx that go from thigh to chest to help you feel a bit more confident wearing something fitted.
Do you exercise? That can really boost confidence. Swimming is my personal favourite, seems to solve most of my problems in one way or another.

It does sound like you need to start embracing your looks and loving yourself more. But I do know how it feels to just want a new look and feel a bit healthier and more well-groomed (I am in the middle of a personal re-vamp right now too). Good luck smile

fieldfare Mon 07-Dec-15 07:45:49

You need to decide you want to start looking more groomed for yourself and stuff what anyone else thinks!
Go to the hairdressers and have a chat about what cut would suit you and perhaps a change of colour? If it's currently a bright red then something a bit more polished would be a really rich chestnut.
Have a makeup consultation, I found Clarins to be good (although I booked with an older lady, not one of the 20yr olds with black brows and orange faces!).
Even if you don't like the feel of heavy makeup they can recommend you a tinted moisturiser to compliment your skin tone, an eyebrow pencil and mascara. That along with a smudge of eyeshadow, a little eyeliner and a tinted lip balm and you'd be good to go without it being too much or too time consuming.

If you're in oz For Xmas it'll be warm so shave your legs, exfoliate and start using something like dove summer glow to take the blueness from your skin. Find some nice knee length dresses and some sandals or flats and don't forget to paint your toe nails.

magnificatAnimaMea Mon 07-Dec-15 07:46:12

Thanks both for your answers flowers

Does anyone have clothing advice for the frumpy when it's 40 degrees in the shade outside and airconditioned to lunacy inside? Tights and spanx don't work under those circs - you end up in a puddle of cold sweat - need to wear things cool enough for outside but with layers for inside. I have one plain navy maxi dress, sleeveless, not sure what to put on inside though - I have a navy cardigan but it's the wrong shape to work really.

I do exercise, but after a year involving a broken foot/ankle, a molar pregnancy (where I ate like mad to try to stop feeling sick), immense lower back pain - I haven't exercised enough to feel good or look like anything other than a hefty, chunky-legged ex-cyclist/ex-runner.

magnificatAnimaMea Mon 07-Dec-15 07:48:48

thanks fieldfare as well.

I try to mostly wear shoes in Oz as my feet are a total mess, and flat sandals hurt too much after broken ankle/foot, as well as all the surgery marks and black/ thickened/ingrown toenails from running...

SerendipityDooDah Mon 07-Dec-15 08:31:32

Hmm. I know how that feels. I lived in Oz for a time and became brown and fit myself, then moved back here. If I had to take my pale and pudgy self back over there today I'd be uncomfortable, no matter how much I tried not to be. So what to do ... How about completely ignoring the blonde and boozed theme and focusing on channeling that most famous Australian pale skinned redhead, Nicole Kidman? First of all, makeup: see advice here everythingforredheads.co.uk/makeup-tips-for-redheads-and-pale-skin/. Next up, clothes and shoes. Will have a look around later today (on mobile now) to look for ideas. Otherwise, food and diet until departure: could you focus on hydration and "clean" eating with a minimum of bloating carbs? That really does make a difference. And for exercise, how about some yoga? If nothing else it helps with posture, poise and breathing, which should come in handy while trying to stand tall against the snarky barbs ...

CarpetDiem Mon 07-Dec-15 09:25:35

I great idea to channel Nicole Kidman style & try a bit of yoga.
Love yourself OP.
I've found surrounding myself with people who love me for how I look & who I am helps! Ie, don't spend next Christmas with them, but in the meantime don't be so hard on yourself flowers

bobsalong Mon 07-Dec-15 09:43:45

I found this last night actually while browsing for a dress for an upcoming night out (not appropriate for that but as soon as you said maxi dress I thought of it)- www.dorothyperkins.com/en/dpuk/product/dresses-203543/view-all-dresses-2523253/maxi-dresses-2673450/little-mistress-blue-floral-maxi-dress-4726201?bi=40&ps=20

I think it's beautiful, I would imagine it going well with pale skin and your colour hair. Maybe with something like this if you want to hide your arms- www.dorothyperkins.com/en/dpuk/product/clothing-203535/kimonos-3165505/petite-stone-pointelle-kimono-4615728?bi=0&ps=20

And a nice pair of sandals?

Some spanx are very breathable, I wore a loose pair of control shorts (this pair- www.evans.co.uk/en/evuk/product/lingerie-250470/shapewear-250518/evans-nude-2-pack-of-comfort-shorts-4579320?bi=0&ps=24) over June this year, at 8 months pregnant through to being a week overdue and it was the hottest week we'd had in 8 million years, apparently (UK). They're just cotton, with the same sort of fit as spanx but not so tight or nylon-type feel.
They didn't hold my tummy in obviously but helped immensely with thigh rub, and I felt a lot less flabby and pudding-y.

SerendipityDooDah Mon 07-Dec-15 11:21:20

Ha -- just saw that I wrote "blonde and boozed" instead of "blonde and bronzed"! Perhaps they are boozed as well. Anyway, back to wardrobe.

Shoes: how about espadrilles, as they are summery but cover toes (though I would also say you'll feel more confident if you fit in a proper podiatrist pedi before you go). Lots of those around with wedge heels in case that is more comfortable for you than flats.

Dresses and tops: I'd go for loose/flowy but still structured enough to look put together, in light colours that suit you rather than darker blues, etc. Does a light blue or blush colour work on you? Or a light pewter-y gray? How about something shaped like this: blue dress

Maybe some lovely scarves to serve as wraps when in the A/C.

fieldfare Mon 07-Dec-15 14:13:30

I second a podiatrist pedicure too, they'll give your feet a whole new lease of life - tidying, filing and scraping all the manky bits off. You can get some nice sandals with a bit of a wedge heel and closed toes.
Floaty dresses or tunic tops, pedal pusher length leggings, linen dresses and trousers and some light cardi's for when you go into the ac. I bought some light cotton cycling shorts to put under my knee length dresses too as being fat of thigh I get chaffing, made me so much more comfy.

Most of all you need to get an "I don't give a shiny shit about what you think" attitude from somewhere too smile

SerendipityDooDah Mon 07-Dec-15 16:03:03

More ideas:

dress

probably better without the belt

shirt dress

magnificatAnimaMea Mon 07-Dec-15 19:48:09

Thanks everyone, that's really helpful. I will try to channel La Kidman's alpha-female attitude, and will go & dig out the makeup i bought for my wedding and haven't opened since...

Hadn't thought of espadrilles, or of pedal pusher type things, they may be what i need - I have some too-big cropped trousers at the back of a cupboard somewhere that probably fit now. I have a couple of nice linen shirts that I can wear on top with those.
I will swim several times daily in Oz (it means i can get away from people, as well as being intrinsically good).

i agree I don't need to give a shiny shit about what they think - I just find it hard because so much of the shallow conversation revolves around appearance and they are all so stunningly fit, well-turned-out, groomed etc. I need to remember that this is why I moved away in the first place and i have the whole rest of the world in which to exist outside their criticisms!

Pantsalive Mon 07-Dec-15 22:25:46

Can you go for the pale and interesting look, with wide legged trousers, tunics, lots of natural fibres and perhaps a wide sunhat?

when I feel I don't fit in, I quite often set out to look 'different'

I'm thinking Coco Chanel, or Judi Dench in her lovely Indian-inspired outfits.

LetGoOrBeDragged Mon 07-Dec-15 22:40:13

I think the very best thing you could do in order to feel better about yourself, is not go to Australia for Christmas. Short of a family member being terminally ill, I can think of no reason why you should expose yourself to such mean people. They are no good for your self esteem.

Stay here and watch Eastenders and eat Quality Street and concentrate on getting well again.

burnishedsilver Mon 07-Dec-15 23:50:12

For the love of God, don't go! It sounds horrendous.

Whatthefoxgoingon Tue 08-Dec-15 00:16:18

I'd stick two fingers up to this lot. If you do go, can you do the MN head tilt and " did you mean to be so rude" thing?

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