I have this bad habit of ripping myself to shreds when I look in the mirror. I lean in really close and I start zeroing in on whatever so-called flaws I’m focused on that day. This week, it’s these weird bumps that appeared out of nowhere on my eyelids –- I think my seasonal allergies are too blame. Then there are the cluster of pimples on my jawline, the set of twin zits on my forehead, the suddenly noticeable lines on my neck….you get the idea.
I can’t help it. It’s hard not to think about what needs “fixing” when I spend my days being bombarded with new products designed for every possible imperfection you could imagine. I wouldn’t be surprised if I had a press release for an elbow firming cream or an anti-aging serum for toes sitting in my inbox. Even if you don't work in beauty, it’s hard for any woman to be confident ALL the time given the crazy standards and youth obsession that we’re up against.
But you know what helps me tell that hyper-critical voice in my head to SHUT THE EFF UP? I think about my mom. She’s in her 60s and she looks damn good. Not good for her age, good period.
I’m really lucky that I get my skin genes from her. My skin is the thing that people compliment me on the most. Actually, when Anne-Marie (or AMG as we affectionately call her) first started, we were talking about skin and she asked me “Who do you see?” Meaning who is my dermatologist. I don't see derms unless I'm interviewing them and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I don’t even wash my face properly every night. And yet I’ve never had any major skin problems in my life thanks to my mother. Being grateful for the good genes I have helps me drown out all the negative thoughts that would take over my brain if I let them.
In honor of Mother’s Day, I asked the xoJane and xoVain team what beauty inheritance they’re most grateful for and my inbox was promptly flooded with responses. Their answers are below, but I’m warning you, their pictures are so adorable they might make you barf.
Jane: “I got my mom's wide smile (mine isn't quite as wide as hers, but almost).”
Emily: “My mom also has really good skin with hardly any wrinkles, which I'm happy to have inherited. When I look at photos of my mother when she was my age, I'm always struck by how much we look alike, and especially how similar our body types are. It's kind of comforting, as someone who struggles with dieting and yo-yoing weight, to see that my shape was pretty much pre-ordained by genetics.”
Rebecca Carroll: "From my birthmother -- although not necessarily a standout beauty inheritance, I think the dark under eye circles are actually character statements in a way. Everyone on her side of the family has them. Also, clearly, style-wise -- layering. She has beautiful hands, which I do not so much, though I do see some of the length and elegance in mine. Also rather clearly, discerning expressions."
Mandy: "I think I have my mom's smile and round face. I also have her very dry sense of humor, which I suppose comes out with the smile."
Olivia: “I inherited my mom's smile. Also her height. We’re both 5’ 2” and she taught me that good things come in small packages. Like poison! Kidding.”
Natalie: "I basically am my Mum but a blonde version, and I'm glad I got her great smile and her eyes. And her love of makeup! But I wish I could tan as well as she can. My mom and I look freakishly similar, to the point where I sometimes mistake photos of her in her twenties for photos of myself. Luckily I think she's a stone cold fox, so I'm feeling PRETTY GOOD about my aging prospects."
Kate Conway: "Specifically, I love the freckles I inherited from her. Also, she and my grandma and I all have centralized heterochromia -- which means we have rings around our pupils that are a different color than the rest of our eyes (my grandma and I have yellow ones, and my mom has an orange one). When I was younger I used to fantasize that this meant we had matrilineally based magical powers."
Claire Lower: "I know I complain about my oily skin a lot, but my mom has always had oily skin, and she looks fantastic. We also both have freckles on our knees and elbows, which I've always thought was very cute."
DaMonica: "My favorite beauty inheritance would have to be my mom's cheekbones and perfectly straight teeth. They make us both smile boldly and neither of us has ever had to get braces."
Hannah: "I got my mom's eyes, which are a little gray and a little green with dark irises and gold flecks. I'm constantly getting compliments on them, and they always look even more intense when I wear red lipstick. I also got her soft skin, which means I pretty much never have to use hand cream and people always comment on how soft my hands are."
Alison Freer: "My mom, Jackie, has perfect skin, a great chin, legs to die for, excellent manners, tons of spunk and a boatload of empathy to boot. I, however, only inherited three of these things from her."
Your turn! What's YOUR favorite beauty inheritance from your momma?