Thursday, 17 January 2013

Outcasts and girls with ambition (and my eyebrows) that's what I wanna see

Years ago, when Mlle Awesome was not even a full day old, my father took us to the hospital to meet her. My mother took one look at me and demanded to know what I had done to my face. My father and siblings stared at me bemused ..that is until my mother pointed out that I had shaved off half my right eyebrow.  Literally. I remember, that at this age I hated my bushy eyebrows but I couldn't figure out how other girls and women got their eyebrows to look so nice. I knew that razors removed hair, voila! I had removed half of mine before getting cold feet and was easily reassured that there was no difference when my family didn't seem to notice.

Nowadays, I have long since gone through life not really caring about my eyebrows. Ever so often I will look at them, smooth them out and, even occassionally, lament their bushiness. When this happens, most of the time I do nothing to try and fix them. I have let my sister pluck my eyebrows before - she got one hair out and I decided plucking was not for me. Another time, just before my sister's wedding, we were at a beautician who couldn't believe we would't want anything done with our eyebrows...and she proceeded to "shape" them despite our protests. I am not very girly when it comes to make up and getting manicures, massages etc. I have had my nails done a few times, and I have enjoyed getting them done, but I have never thought of going by myself to get it done - I've always ended up going because a friend was going. I don't wear make up on a daily basis because that means getting up earlier - I just about wake up as it is!
Despite my normal lack of grooming, I have recently dabbled in some ...and only because of the challenge of stepping outside my normal comfortzone.
Whilst my mother has (correctly) pointed out this really isn't that much of a challenge - it's not like I ran a marathon! However, it was a small step out of my comfortable existence and did involve pain! Rest easy folks, this is not a tale of a Brazilian, read on!
One of my friends has her sister visiting her at the moment and last week we were all at dinner together at another friends apartments. After dinner, our host sat down with her head lying back on her bed whilst the sister sat over her, pulled out some thread and began threading our hosts eyebrows. This girl was squeezing my hand, tears running down her face as she whimpered little mewls of pain. After she braved her way through this, another girl decided to try it. She was much more stoic but I sat in shock as both she and our host suggested that I get my eyebrows threaded. After protesting, and jokingly threatening to lock myself in the bathroom rather than do that, I proceeded to explain that I could not understand volutarily inflicting cosmetic pain on myself.
However, I was dared, challenged to at least get the middle bit between my eyebrows done. As I debated, my friend, whose sister was doing the threading, was recounting horror stories of her own about threading. Accepting the challenge I leaned back and was pleasantly surprised that the middle bit was not painful -  a little twinge sure, but nothing I couldn't handle. Thinking this would be a piece of cake after a few mintues of recovery decided to get my eyebrows done as well. I won't lie, my eyebrows were waaay more painful than that middle part but overall it wasn't as painful as I thought it would be as I only had tears running down my face and managed to survive without any whimpering!
Would I do it again? Probably not! I don't like having to do that maintenance. Would I recommend anyone to get it done? Definitely not! You can try it if you want but I will not be the person you point the finger of blame at so you can say "She told me to do it!" I believe in low-key maintenance. I realise as I get older this may be a problem. However, despite the fact I don't wear make up and  have no interest in consistent grooming, I have been told that I don't look much older than 25. Considering I'm now 30, I consider this quite an achievement . As Pink says " I'm so glad that I'll never fit in. That will never be me". I'm not and will never be one of those girls obsessed with make up, clothes and consistently looking good. When I go out, I make an effort but on a daily basis I prefer to present my actual self to the world. What you see is pretty much what you get. This may be the wrong attitude but I won't deny what I look like, warts and all.

Here in Korea, I got my photo taken for my visa for when I go on vacation. I don't look like me because here they airbrush your photos. I look as if I am wearing make up and that I have flawless skin. It looks like me but reminds me of the first time I wore make up which was when I was in college and one of my friends did my face for me. I was out at Rileys (the only club in town) and as I walked past a mirror I thought to myself "Wow, that girl is wearing the exact samething as me!" only to realise that was me. On closer inspection she looked like me but at the same time...not.

So you might think I'm mad that I prefer to be a girl who isn't into make up or grooming. (And, let us be clear, I am not judging anyone who is ... that is for them to decide) I much prefer to spend the time that I have doing something way more worthwhile..........sleeping! On a more serious note, this post was inspired by Pink's song "Stupid Girls" and I do believe that a trend has started where overall there is a lot more focus on how a girl looks rather than how she behaves. I need look no further than Korea - there is such an obsession with youth and beauty here that I fear that "outcasts and girls with ambition" will fall by the wayside. You don't need to be like me and not wear make up to be ambitious but it shouldn't be the only thing you are ambitious in. These days there is too much focus on looks, celebrity and that ever elusive 15 miutes of fame. I don't, and have never wanted, to be the next president or CEO...but we need people who do want this (boys  and girls alike). The only way we can achieve this is if we move away from this stupid encouragement of all things celebrity. Not everyone can be famous, not everyone can be president and, more importantly, not everyone should even attempt to do this. I used to like shows like America's got Talent or the Xfactor (British version) until I realised that they promote the vacuousness that is so prevalent in our cultures today. Where are the outcasts, the girls with ambition, the people who want to change the world, even just their tiny little bit of it? That's what I want to see.

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