Is Summer Heat The Great Beauty Equalizer?

When the thermometer hits 100, even supermodels get sweat stains

"Stoopid hot."

That was my friend’s Facebook status update yesterday. Michelle lives and works in Manhattan and has been trudging to and fro in 90 degree and 95 percent humidity weather. She has gorgeous brunette-black ringlets that normally bounce with the perfect amount of shine and grace, thanks to a strict regimen of various creams and unguents. I cannot imagine the sauna-like temperatures have done her hairstyle any favors.

Here in Chicago, we’ve had a string of ultra-humid days, and despite having operated for 27 years, my gym has never been able to perfect the art of temperature control, so on days like these, the indoor temp hovers around 80 degrees. Giant fans are set up but they just sort of push the hot air around. There’s nothing like climbing the Stepmill for 40 minutes with warm air rushing at your face, only to retire to a sweltering locker room where to emerge from a cool shower still shvitzing.

Last week, I failed to cool down after a workout and threw my clothes on, including a brand new purple silk halter and fancy jeans. I raced to my car and ramped the A/C up full-tilt. The cold air kept the sweat at bay during the seven minutes ride home, but once I parked and turned the ignition off, it was like a dozen tiny sweat watering cans embedded in my scalp and back were overturned. Unfortunately, a couple I had recently become friendly with chose that exact moment to approach me, and as we rode in the elevator together, I looked like a frat boy 32 wings into a spicy wing-eating contest.

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"I am so sorry I’m so gross!" I blurted, then bolted from the elevator, ran in my front door, stripped my clothes off and whipped open the fridge/freezer door, where I stood for five minutes, rubbing frozen edamamae across my collarbone.

If I had to find one good thing in this whole heat wave business, it would be the fact that at least the soaring temps affect everyone. Summer heat is the great equalizer – Gisele Bundchen’s armpits are going to leak just as much as your sister’s will. Fergie’s going to get sportsbra-induced bacne…Just Like Us! That girl walking down the street who normally thinks she’s such hot shit? Her butt’s going to get sweaty, too.

When the thermometer approaches 100, it’s time to shed your vanity, dress for comfort and health and just say, "To hell with how I look." Just accept it: Your makeup will melt. Your hair will mushroom into a frizzy fro or deflate like wet angel hair pasta. Miniature rivulets of perspiration will drip down between your boobs and soak into your bra. Mother Nature’s a bitch, so let’s give up on this whole "I can look sexy and beat the heat" shenanigan and embrace the gross. Wear as little as possible – I find loose tank or strapless sundresses to be the most comfortable, plus you retain a degree to cuteness  – pull your hair up off your neck and shoulders, and carry a big bottle of ice cold water and maybe a discreet washcloth or handkerchief to mop up that extra "glow". And take solace in the fact that everyone looks as miserable as you do.

Do you care less about your looks during a summer heat wave? Chime in below.

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