She was my tenth standard class teacher. She must have been in her early fifties then but still looked three to five years older than her original age perhaps due to her size. I remember her wearing glass bangles and nail enamels that matched her saree colour. I would not call her a beautiful woman as such so these embellishments did not suit her. I always thought she dressed herself up too much that did not match her age/look.
Another middle aged woman I knew was also very keen on makeup. She ensured she had at least a lip gloss when she stepped out. She went to beauty salon regularly and used to prepare/use many natural face-packs to keep her beauty intact. She is certainly a good looking woman and these little steps she did to keep her presentable did not fail to add to her beauty. But still I thought it was too much for her age.
After a while it became a habit for me to watch any 50+ woman’s face to have a statistics on threading and about 80 % of the women of the age group I saw had shaped eye brows whether or not their profession needed it and whether or not they were pretty.
Women here are seldom without makeup and my thought was no different when I came across a lady who is a widow and is in her late forties. When I met her she was wearing a turquoise blue jacket and wore two rings on her finger that had some stone in the same colour. I wondered how Western people view life in complete opposite sense. I am told people here think that you are so arrogant if you don’t wear makeup (you think that you don’t need it and beautiful without it!)
But I seem to have started changing my idea. First when my mom died; a few months later I wanted to dress myself up well to divert my mind. And most recently, when I saw Nithyasree on Super Singer 4 again. For a moment I thought and regretted that her career came to an end may be because we had not seen (at least I) any woman artist who lost her spouse, performing in concerts in the world of Carnatic music. Though I wanted her to continue with her profession I was skeptical if the sabhas would want her to perform in their programmes. It was a pleasant surprise when she sang again and she was the same old her. What's wrong in looking good whether or not you are young, whether or not you look good and whether or not there is a personal agony. Spending time on being presentable lets one develop an attachment towards this materialistic world and sometimes we need it. It is one route to keep oneself happy and confident come what may.
Better late than never!
PS: All said, I would always want to stick to "Do what suits you and stay away from what does not".