Standing next to supermodels

It sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?

Having to stand next to a supermodel.

What could be worse that being side by side with a leggy blond or brunette with perfectly symmetrical features and cheekbones that could cut wood?

I personally try not to follow too many fashion models on Instagram because it’s bad for my mental health and self image.

I try to follow curve models.

They have curvy butts and thighs and sometimes even a soft belly.

It’s comforting to me to see women with body types like my own.

It makes me feel like less of an unlovable freak and more like a beautiful woman.

I’m not sure beauty magazines understand the impact they have on young women growing up when all they promote within their pages are size 0 models.

It’s a 445 BILLION dollar industry based on convincing women that they need this lipstick, dress, purse, face cream, etc, in order to be beautiful.

I am reminded of a line in “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)” that goes something like this:

DO NOT READ BEAUTY MAGAZINES, THEY WILL ONLY MAKE YOU FEEL UGLY.

Beauty magazines are in the business of making beautiful women feel ugly.

When I was younger I loved beauty magazines.

I used to subscribe to several of them and I’d comb through the pages of the magazine picking out makeup, clothes, and accessories that I really wanted.

It gave me a little thrill.

Now, it makes me shudder.

And yet, I am a beauty consumer of the first water.

A VIB Sephora member.

A Platinum member of ULTA.

And I’ll be damned if I don’t also buy makeup from Milani, Beautylish, and elf.

If the amount of makeup we buy is proportional to how ugly we feel inside, then what do my spending habits say about me????

God, there’s a frightening thought.

Burning Man 2018: Beauty

It takes less then 24 hours for the playa to destroy your brand new gel manicure.

I’m not kidding.

My nails are destroyed.

My perfectly blown out hair is a hot mess.

Playa dust sticks to everything, including your hair, making it sticky and hyper-texturized so much so that you can barely run a brush through your hair.

If you shower, you need to IMMEDIATELY dry your hair or risk absorbing all the dust in the air into your freshly washed hair.

I learned this the hard way when I went on a bike ride into deep playa during a dust storm in 2015 right after I washed my hair in camp.

My dust storm this week happened while I was riding home with a friend from 9:00 and A to 6:00 and E (the long way, not the Esplanade way).

We rode our bikes to Tejas’ RV.

In a dust storm.

Riding into the wind.

When I arrived at the RV, My eyebrows and my formerly jet black lashes were “playa dust white.”

And yet, despite the elements, playa women look magically sexy and beautiful.

And I’m not talking about the ones who look like they’re fresh from the default world.

No, I’m talking about the ones who look like they’ve been up all night dancing in a dust storm at Opulent Temple.

I’m talking about the ones who look a little “rode hard and put away wet” but also wear a smile that could power a million light bulbs.

Inner radiance.

That’s where true beauty lies.

Being me

I just had a very difficult conversation.

A new friend saw THIS picture of me, taken about 7 years ago:

Of course, as you all know, THIS is what I look like now:

Yes, there have been some changes. No, I’m not thrilled about all of them.

Nevertheless, I think I’m a pretty lovely human being and sexy in my own right.

So it was hard to hear someone say, “The images that you showed me – from a few years back – you looked dramatically different.”

Gulp.

Oh dear.

“Did you have a major health issue?” he asked.

The answer, of course, is YES.

I did have a health crisis which is over now.

But the medications I’m on to manage my illness themselves cause health problems.

It’s a double edged sword.

I suppose I could feel bad about the conversation.

In the end, I opted to take it at face value, a friend telling another friend that he was in her corner when it comes to being healthy.

The truth is, what I look like is the LEAST of what makes me beautiful.

So whether I’m a size 14 or a size 24, I’ll always feel happy with who I am.

In the pale

I am a white girl.

And as far as white girls go, I’m on the lower end of the scale as far as melanin production goes.

I’m fair.

I am 75% Nordic/British Isles and 25% Portuguese.

I joke that this means that I burn easily but I can hold a tan.

It’s true though.

Every summer when I was growing up, I’d slather myself in baby oil and lay out at the pool for 30 minutes.

I’d get a wicked burn which would fade into a beautiful tan.

Those were the days (before skin cancer warnings).

Briefly, I went to the tanning salon and laid in their (cancer inducing) beds and got a lovely tan as well.

But no more.

I have to be good and take care of my skin.

So, I get spray tans.

Recently, I’ve decided I’m going to try to do it myself and I bought Cocoa Brown Tan Mousse and a pink velvet glove to apply it.

[Side note:  I’m sorely tempted to use the pink velvet gloves for bedroom activities and NOT self-tanner application.]

I want to be brown like the models we see in summer ads – all long legs and golden shoulders.

I know I can’t get their bodies, but it seems unfair to deny me their color as well.

I don’t want to be pale anymore.

I want to be TAN!

And with my trip to Hawaii coming up, it’d be nice to be more bronze goddess and less pale ice queen.

[Post script:  I’ll let you know how it goes.  I bought the darkest mousse on the market so I could turn out striped like a zebra!]

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Perfect 10

fisherI had a little too much to drink and “accidentally” signed up for a 3-month Zoosk membership.

I couldn’t help myself.

The men online looked SO DELICIOUS.

Needless to say, my foray into Zoosk has not turned out that great.

First, they double charged me.

Then the app wouldn’t work.

And when I finally managed to get everything working, I got pinged by two guys asking for MORE PHOTOS.

Sigh.

I bet men would ask for a bikini photo if they thought they could get away with it.

It’s so disheartening to be reduced to your appearance.

I say this because lately, I feel like my 43 year old appearance is sliding from slightly seasoned to old.

And so much of who I am is wrapped up in what I look like.

It’s hard to age as a woman.

I feel like I have to develop a new identity – one that isn’t focused on what I look like.

That also means that my self-esteem has got to find a new anchor – my intelligence, my humor, my kindness, my adventurousness?

The irony is, everyone’s beauty fades – except for George Clooney and Michelle Pfeiffer.

So these guys who are out hunting for the Perfect 10 will one day be disappointed in their choice.

To quote the late, great Carrie Fisher (may she rest in peace):

“Youth and beauty are not accomplishments. They are the temporary, happy byproducts of time and/or DNA. Don’t hold your breath for either.”

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Relax

My forehead has gone on vacation. It is in Jamaica smoking a big fat one. Talk about relaxed! My mid forehead couldn’t move if you put it on wheels and strapped it to a jet pack!

Sadly, the other muscles in my forehead have gone into hyper-movement mode in order to compensate for the lazy ones.

I had no idea that botox would give me eyebrows like Jack Nicholson!

botox2

That enormous void in the center of my forehead? I paid someone an obscene amount of money to create that nothingness. On the other hand, my forehead is pretty smooth.

botox3

Burning Man through the eyes of a beauty magazine

While trolling Pinterest for Burning Man ideas and inspiration, I came across a Glamour UK article on “10 Incredible Beauty Looks from Burning Man.”

IMG_9383I was intrigued.

What would Glamour magazine have to say on the subject and isn’t it interesting that the styles of Burning Man have reached internationally across the globe?

What followed was a series of 10 pictures, each one like the rest, of women sporting serious face paint, jewelry, glitter, and bindis.

IMG_9385Oh dear.

Not my experience of Burning Man beauty at all, but probably a good representation of what a beauty magazine would choose to emphasize.

Setting aside the wisdom of using glitter and jewels which can fall off sweaty faces in the desert heat and become MOOP (Matter Out Of Place), I just have to say that I was disappointed.

I’ve seen beautiful faces at Burning Man.

  • A woman emerging from the Sauna Dome with a flushed red face and a look of pleasure on her face.
  • Or the exhilaration reflected in the flames on the face of a woman watching the Man burn.
  • Or silent tears slipping down the face of a woman at Temple, making peace with the passing of her father.

I know it’s unfair of me to negate the view of a beauty rag that has such a narrow definition of beauty. Obviously, this is beauty too.

But what I think is beautiful about Burning Man, what I think is truly extraordinarily beautiful, is more than just glitter, glamour, and perfect cheekbones.

It’s the life in the faces of the people you see.

They’re ALIVE!

There is no makeup in the world that can achieve that look.

And, of course, no beauty magazine, is going to understand the nuance of beauty you apply to your face v.s. beauty that comes from within.

What was I thinking?!

Plain faced

I just read a story on Yahoo News about a woman named Annie Garau who decided to conduct an experiment and not wear makeup for a year.  She is now 200+ days into her experiment.  In the beginning she felt uncomfortable, undesirable, and embarrassed.  Now, 200+ days later, she feels more beautiful than she ever felt before.

She thinks every woman, no matter what she looks like, is beautiful without makeup and that it’s tragic that women are typically not happy with their appearance.

Hello cosmetic and beauty industry making billions off of the sale of their products!  Stop marketing to women by decreasing our feelings of self worth.

I’ve always felt relatively comfortable in my own skin, even without makeup.  In fact, I feel at my most beautiful when I’m camping with wavy hair no longer straightened by the blow dryer and my face totally bare, wearing a casual sundress and flip flops.

Just to prove it, I’m posting a pic of me (with an ex-bf) from a camping trip we took to the Yuba River in 2009.  And I’m encouraging all the women who read this blog to go a day without makeup and see how beautiful you can feel.

Relaxed

My forehead has gone on vacation. It is in Jamaica smoking a big fat one. Talk about relaxed! My mid forehead couldn’t move if you put it on wheels and strapped it to a jet pack!

Sadly, the other muscles in my forehead have gone into hyper-movement mode in order to compensate for the lazy ones.

I had no idea that botox would give me eyebrows like Jack Nicholson!

botox2

That enormous void in the center of my forehead? I paid someone an obscene amount of money to create that nothingness. On the other hand, my forehead is pretty smooth.

botox3

Proof the beauty industry has no sense

Being single sucks in a lot of ways. I was thinking that very thought last night as I fell asleep, once again missing the simple human contact of skin on skin before bed (shame on my hormones for torturing me constantly). But since I am neither in love nor interested in anyone, I am resigned to my fate of celibacy and internet porn (you really can’t believe a word I say now can you?).

Therefore it is with tremendous relief that I announce this fantastic new product line from Joey New York – cinnaMen: Attract a Man.

cinnamon

I don’t know how I thought I’d meet a man – maybe in the law library or volunteering at the local art and wine festival. Perhaps we’d bump into each other at the coffee shop or riding a crowded train (oops, that’s a fantasy). But NO! I was wrong!

It appears that all I need to do is make myself smell like a cinnamon bun, and a suitable mate will come into my life. [And if the lure of Cinnabon in the mall can be used as a frame of reference, they will come in record numbers at breakneck speed all lured by the tempting smell of dessert – a.k.a me!]

What do you expect from a cosmetic line which boasts products like lipFIT: Lose Weight, lipNIX: Stop Smoking, and Instant Chemisty?

Of course, there is a distinct possibility that all this will do is create a strong desire in me to eat cinnamon buns. And I suspect if it does attract a man, it’ll attract a man with a very sweet tooth and a waistline to match.

Seriously, I’m half tempted to get this just so that I can run my own scientific experiment. It would begin with me in a bikini made of cinnamon buns…