Ok, so I don't like to think that I'm vain, but I am due to speak tomorrow at a Beauty Industry breakfast, where the audience will be full of Beauty Editors from the kinds of upscale magazines even I in my hermit-like novelist state have heard of (Vogue, Marie Claire, Harpers). And while normally I wouldn't worry about stepping out of the house without make-up (applying make-up has never been my strong suit, and you know what they say about lack of practice) I do just worry that I might be the only ungroomed person in the room.
It reminds me of when people find out I'm a psychotherapist and they assume (incorrectly, as it happens) that I am at that moment reading their mind. Knowing I'm about to stand in front of lots of people who write each day about beauty and make-up, I am stricken with terror that the wrinkles I've lived with for years, the colour of my mascara - which I have also lived with for years - even my haircut, will be under silent and severe scrutiny. Forget nerves about my speech, suddenly I'm highly anxious about what I look like.
Hence today's trip to the hairdressers (thank heavens for Sunday opening) and the eyebrow threader - not least because beautifying ourselves makes us feel confident and in control. With make-up or other beauty rituals, we acquire an aura of confidence. Because, as someone somewhere once said, We're Worth It.