Dawn O Watson/CNBNews Contributor
I’m confused about colors.
When I was very young, I was as plump and ruddy as a MacIntosh apple. My mother dressed me in hand-me-down boys’ shirts she cleverly disguised as blouses by putting the buttons where the buttonholes were and cutting buttonholes on the opposite side. Colors were not an issue.
In my teens I donned tie-dyed tee shirts that looked like somebody’s nightmare and wore makeup to match. I was part of a group that treasured individuality as long as everyone wore bell-bottoms and splattered shirts, so color was neither recognized nor critiqued by my friends, especially since our faces were usually hidden behind protest signs.
In my twenties, thirties, and forties I dressed to please whichever man I’d married (there were three of them) regardless of whether the color made my skin resemble a malaria victim or an over-ripe avocado.
When I watch awards programs that feature lovely rich women dressed by weird-looking men with manicures, I often wonder how their colors are chosen. Are they based on the rich lady’s makeup? Her hair? Her mood? The weird-looking, manicured guy’s mood?
Occasionally I must attend an event that requires a sophistication I do not naturally possess and so I fake it by dressing in something other than sweatpants and a torn tee that advertises a beer I no longer drink. Therein lies the problem.
Red makes me look angry, green makes me look sallow. Orange makes me look like I should be wearing shackles and leg-irons and I’m not kidding anyone when I choose to wear white.
I’ll be seventy next year. My face resembles a left-over pumpkin that has been feasted upon by birds and most of my clothes have been washed so often, they’ve become as gray as my hair. It may be time to stop worrying about colors because I am no longer eager to look like everyone else.
I imagine when a lack of vanity begins to define us, we will strive to find other means of judging one another. And if we are very lucky, one day our kindness and our generosity will be more important than our colors.
Picture courtesy Wikimedia Commons