01/10/2013 10:44 am ET

My Year Without Makeup

This is who I am: a woman. I’m a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, and a mother. At age seven, I was a girl with braids and rainbow hair clips, and at thirteen, I became a teenager with acne, orthodontics, and teased bangs. At nineteen, I was a college student battling her freshman twenty-five, then a new graduate with a discount poly-blend office wardrobe. For nearly a decade after that, I was an independent young woman in confusing relationships who paired thrift-store finds with designer shoes. At twenty-eight, I became an overjoyed fiancée with a shiny new ring, then an anxious newlywed with a new mortgage. When I was thirty-one, I swelled up into a pregnant goddess with superlative melons, then collapsed, nine months later, into a zombie with magenta undereye bags. Then that happened again. Today, at thirty-seven, I am a busy work-at-home parent and spouse. On most days, I wear jeans, and shoes with traction. I have a yoga membership I probably won’t use up. On Fridays, I drink a beer in front of the television and fall asleep before ten.

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