When I was a kid, my grandmother owned a beauty parlor. That's what it was called. Not salon. Beauty parlor. Old ladies would stop by once a week and have their hair washed and set. They'd chit chat with the beauticians (not stylists) and the other ladies getting their hair done. They'd complain about their husbands and children. Brag about their husbands and children. They'd read women's magazines and gossip over celebrities and compliment each other on their blue eye shadow and slimming pantsuits.
It was within these walls that I was taught how to be a lady.
It's unladylike to sit with your legs spread apart. Don't take up too much space.
Fat ladies should wear black. Or navy. Bright colors don't hide your "figure flaws".
If your breasts are bigger than mosquito bites, you must wear a bra.
If your legs are covered with spider veins, you must not wear shorts in public.
If your legs are covered with hair, you'll never attract a man. Ladies shave. Everything but their head-hair. And that must be long. Unless you're over the age of forty. Only young ladies can get away with long locks.
Ladies who don't paint their face before they go out in public, or before their husband gets home from work, they have let themselves go.
Today, when I saw this photo of myself, I thought, huh, those ladies were totally wrong. I'm forty-four and my long hair looks great. And here I am, no makeup, turning my naked cheek to greet the universe.