I was at that panacea for modern ennui, Shoppers Drug Mart, standing in line and flirting a little with the woman in front of me. (Actually, were were just discussing my scarf, but I did smile a lot and I'm sure I batted my eyelashes at least once.) (Why yes, I did get my flirt training from a 1950s romantic comedy.) After we had exhausted our conversation topic ("Who knit your beautiful scarf?" "Uh, I don't know. I bought it at a store." "Where?" "Uh, I forget." "Oh. Excuse me but I think I will move away from you and do something terribly important over here. By the way, you have spinach in your teeth."), I turned my attention elsewhere. Nearby stood two 10- to 12-year-old girls flipping through fashion magazines, oohing and ahhing over the clothes and talking about how they needed to go on a diet this year.
It struck me that, without exception, all those colourful, glossy, enticing magazine are designed to make females feel simultaneously empowered and yet physically wrong in every way. "Lose weight in 2008! The secret may surprise you!" screamed the cutsie, rhyming headline. I felt like screaming at the girls, "Put those down and run! Love yourselves as you are!" (Then I remembered that one should not scream at other patrons if one does not wish to be kicked out of the store.) (Not that I speak from experience or anything.)
As I glanced from cover to cover I became increasingly madder. What kind of messed up society do we live in where we're told we can do and be anything we want...but first we have to shed those unwanted pounds, develop abs of steel, make our faces prettier, banish all blemishes, and find the man of our dreams, all so that we can be truly happy? Barf. So, to help combat the spread of stupidity, I present to you
Nat's Beauty Tips for 2008
- Hair too straight? Sigh. I know what you mean. But 32 years of wishing and hoping has not produced a single natural curl on my head. My advice? Get a really awesome hair cut that both works with your hair and that you LOVE and never let it go.
- Hair too curly? Gimee a break! Why would you not want curly hair? Thank the deity of your choice each and every day for your beautiful, wild, sexy curly hair.
- Eyes too small? Open them really wide and spray them with hairspray. This fuses together your eyelashes and your eyebrows. Or maybe just try to look startled all the time.
- Eyes too big? Squint a lot.
- Tired of doing battle with blemishes all the time? Know what? My mom is 53 and she still gets zits. Know what else? She's gorgeous. Not gorgeous-for-a-fifty-year-old. Just absolutely gorgeous. Zits do not equal ugly. Most people won't see them anyway - they're too busy staring at your boobs.
- Embarrassed by in-grown hairs in the bikini area? Take that as a sign that you shouldn't be removing hair from there. Trimming is a must (especially if you like to occasionally be munched), but waxing? Oh HELL no! And if your boy/girlfriend complains that your pubic hair is gross, tell them it's not as gross as their desire for you to look like a pre-pubescent child.
- Having trouble keeping up the ol' shaving routine? Try my routine: in the summer, shave once or twice a month; in the winter, shave once or twice all season. If the hair is getting a bit unruly, try braiding it. Everyone looks more attractive with a nice underarm French braid. Thumb your nose at a society that makes us feel disgusted at the appearance of our own body hair. Insead, feel disgust at something important, such as how unfair it is that poor Paris got jail time but that skank LiLo, like, totally didn't.
Those are all the tips I'm willing to share for now. Oh no, you don't have to thank me. But feel free to flash a smile my way and bat your eyelashes a few times (as long as they're not stuck to your eyebrows).