New Season, New Face, New Floors

Happy allergy season, everyone! It’s not that I’m complaining about the warm weather – that would be inappropriate, given the plight of my family up north – but the flowers are FILLING my sinuses, and it’s a little unpleasant. If you need me, I’ll be hiding inside, clutching my bottle of Zyrtec.

This season is happy, though, because I feel like a new woman. After years of complaining, we finally replaced our gross carpet and tile with engineered hardwoods!

You may recall that it used to look like this:
Colorful living room and dining room via Glitter and Goat Cheese

And now it looks like THIS:
Stephanie Shore Fisher's living room with new hardwood floors and Lulu & Georgia Lalita rug (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

I swear, a choir of angels bursts into jubilant song every time I walk into my house. We haven’t put the baseboards back in yet, so I’m waiting to write a full post until that’s done, but I just couldn’t resist sharing now. They look SO. GOOD. By the way, it’s obvious that when I say “we put in hardwoods” and “we need to put in the baseboards,” I mean my husband, right? Speaking of angels – that man is such a dreamboat.

So, beyond the new floors, I also feel like a new woman because I have a new eye! Or, a new eyelid, anyway. Remember the droopy eyelid (ptosis) I mentioned here? I got the repair surgery last month! Because before-and-afters are fun, here’s an extremely grainy and unflattering selfie from before Christmas (I CANNOT BELIEVE I’M POSTING THIS HORROR) and a more flattering selfie from last week:

Before:
Droopy right eyelid before ptosis surgery (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

After:
Stephanie Shore Fisher with a blunt bob (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

The ptosis was MUCH more noticeable in person, but it’s still a pretty big difference, right? The after photo also displays my new blunt bob, and my newly grown-in and reshaped eyebrows (thanks to LiBrow and Alyson Howard-Hoag)! Like I said – new woman.

Oh, and I can’t forget – drumroll, please – my new purse:
See by Chloe Vicki Small Bucket Bag in Black (via Glitter and Goat Cheese)

Isn’t she gorgeous? It’s the small Vicki bucket bag by See by Chloe, and I got it during a double-sale at Bloomingdale’s. I always get a little panicky after a semi-large purchase, but I’m a carry-the-same-bag-every-day-all-year-long kind of gal, so it makes sense for me to invest in a quality piece. Plus, the scent of good leather makes me weak in the knees.

The littlest things can make such a big difference, and I’m feeling pretty good these days. I’m going for runs, washing my face every night, wearing heels … These things are all pretty good indicators of my emotional well-being. You guys must have things you only do when you’re in a good mental space, right? What are they?

Things are OK here in Atlanta, so we’re not in a massive rush to get up to New York, but we’d certainly like it to happen sooner rather than later. I’m still looking for a job, so if you know anyone in the entertainment or lifestyle industry who might want to hire a web editor/content manager, please send them my portfolio/resume site: stephanie-fisher.com. Alternatively, if you know of an opening for an audio engineer/sound editor, here’s Brad’s site: brad-fisher.com.

Ah! One more thing! I set up a Shop Glitter & Goat Cheese page with pictures of/links to all my favorite home, fashion and beauty products. Hope you’ll check it out!

A Woman’s Right to Choose Her Face

About five years ago, my right eyelid started to droop. It probably happened gradually, but one day, I looked in the mirror and it was all I could see. Before long, it was the first thing I spotted in every photo. I looked tired, or drunk, or stoned, or just plain weird. Most people in my life assured me it wasn’t noticeable, but to me, it was my most prominent feature.

For a while, I tried to just accept myself the way I was, just like we women are supposed to. But as time passed, I found myself stepping aside when a camera was pointed in my direction. I kept cute group shots stored on my phone instead of posting them on Facebook. I avoided looking in the mirror later in the day, when the droop was at its worst. (And for the record, I’m a person who used to love being photographed and looking in the mirror. No shame.)

Before you tell me you’ve never noticed it, please consider the fact that I’ve made every effort to hide it from you – for example, posting the selfie on the left instead of the one on the right when I wanted to show off my new haircolor…
Glitter and Goat Cheese - Hiding ptosis in selfies
And only posting a tiny version of this photo in a larger collage …
Glitter and Goat Cheese - More ptosis in a photo with my husband
Those are nowhere near the worst – I still can’t bring myself to post a photo where the droop is really bad.

Finally, last spring, I was at my annual optometrist appointment, and my doctor noticed my eyelid. He said, “I see you have ptosis in your right eye. Had you had it checked out?”

Ptosis. The scourge upon my self image was a real thing, and it had a name. It wasn’t in my imagination and it wasn’t just a cosmetic imperfection to be accepted and ignored.

My eye doctor sent me to a surgeon, who did some tests. She determined that my ptosis was affecting my vision and that repairing it would most likely be partially covered by my insurance.

Even so, I felt ashamed to even consider it. I mean, I can see. My vision is fairly decent when I’m wearing my contacts or glasses, and I’d most likely need them regardless of the droopy eyelid. Though ptosis is a medical condition, the procedure would certainly be elective. And as women, we’re told that elective procedures to change our appearance make us vain, and shallow, and inauthentic.

So, when the surgeon ordered blood work to rule out a few potential causes for the ptosis, I took it as an excuse to drop the whole thing. Having blood drawn has always made me nervous; I once nearly passed out at a blood drive. Avoiding that kind of situation seemed to be a valid excuse.

But over the past year and a half, I haven’t found myself any closer to accepting my facial asymmetry. I still cringe when I see myself, and I’m starting to realize that it’s not OK to feel that way. This isn’t an issue with my inherent self-esteem or self-worth. I’ve been to therapy – this isn’t the kind of thing we discuss. This isn’t a problem with my mind. It’s a problem with my face, and I can fix it. So I’m going to.

There’s been a lot of discussion about altering one’s natural appearance lately. Maria Del Russo at Refinery29 has written about whether #NoMakeupSelfies are throwing shade at women who choose to wear cosmetics and followed up with a piece on makeup bullying. BuzzFeed recently posted two social experiments: one that featured an editor going sans makeup for a week, and another with a usually natural staff member trying the opposite. Both posts had mixed responses, with readers criticizing both sides. And of course, we’ve all got something to say about Renee Zellwegger’s new face.

Personally, I love makeup. Every morning, I apply my HAC like warpaint, following up with a filled-in brow, perhaps a subtle smokey eye, maybe a bold new lipstick shade. It’s one of my favorite daily rituals, and when I miss it, it affects me deeply.

This isn’t because society has taught me that I have to be aesthetically perfect (or as close to it as possible) to be a worthwhile person. I don’t have poor self-esteem when it comes to my physical appearance in general – in fact, I rather like my face (minus the droopy eyelid). I just like it more with makeup on. When I’ve done a good job on my makeup, I feel like the best version of myself. And when I feel like that, it makes everything else a little easier.

I’ve seen the studies that say both men and woman prefer a more natural look on others. The problematic implication is that women should consider how other people will respond to their face before they decide what to do with it. Similarly, after I got married, I had several male coworkers ask me why I still put so much effort into my appearance, since I’d already snared a man. I won’t even get into how vastly offensive that sentiment is.

The fact is, there are many women who wear makeup or style their hair or dress up for themselves. For the most part, I’m one of them. I want to like what I see when I look in the mirror. Now, don’t get me wrong: I love my husband and his opinion matters to me. But I don’t wear makeup for him. I do it for me.

Every woman should have the right to choose the best version of herself. Whether that version colors her hair purple or lets her gray roots show, goes bare-faced or piles on three coats of mascara, embraces her wrinkles or plumps them up with Botox – it’s her business. It’s about what makes her happy.

For the record, I think Renee Zellwegger looks nice. But I doubt she cares about my opinion. Her face – whatever she’s done to it or not done to it – isn’t for me or for any other blogger or Bridget Jones fan. It’s for her.

This week, I should get my blood work back and will hopefully move onto the next step toward getting my droopy eyelid repaired. I’ve already been told by several people that I’m crazy and my face looks “fine.” Honestly, I don’t really care. It’s not for them. It’s for me.