Thursday, March 27, 2003

I am feeling much better. Several days of paying attention to the basics have done the trick. As usual. When all else fails -- when no activity brings pleasure -- try scut work. You'll appreciate it later.

I've been considering the pleasures of cosmetics. I don't wear any. I watched Legally Blonde again yesterday. It's an excellent text against discrimination against the blonde and fashion conscious. There are a few subcultures where there is discrimination against the beautiful, after all. And all those blonde jokes show it might have been spreading to the wider culture. Good thing Legally Blonde came along to nip it in the bud.

It's the kind of film I like. Unexpected, funny, well-crafted, smart. I enjoyed spending a couple hours watching it with Grandma yesterday, and she laughed too.

So let's consider the message that fashion and intelligence can coexist in a single woman.

First response -- of course they can. Second response -- where did the idea that this is unlikely come from?

It seems many people have run into women who have beautiful surfaces and not much else going on. We've seen plenty of them in the movies too -- it's a well-worn video fiction type. And in the seventies -- my own formative years, the decade of truth -- a nation suffering from Vietnam and Watergate rejected appearances, in search of something more substantive. Perhaps it was television as well that brought the realization of how easily appearance could differ from reality. And so an aesthetic of natural, untampered faces accompanied much of the women's movement.

There are real advantages to not using make-up. You save time in the morning and money at the market. Your face advertises your attachment to the contingent that avoids false appearances. Quite important in my case, you are much less likely to have skin reactions to allergens. And I like the feel of uncoated skin better too.

Subtly and crucially, leaving my face as it is affirms that I am good enough as is. I do not require outside aid to be acceptable -- and it's rare enough that I run into a circumstance where I feel pressured for that choice now. (Not shaving my legs is a different story. For another blog.)

On the other hand, where would the world be if no one tried to create beauty? And that is what wearing make-up is for many women -- creating beauty. I cannot fault that.

For others, it is a way of caring for themselves -- a pleasant luxury that leaves them feeling better about themselves. And I cannot fault that either.

So once again, diversity and tolerance are the best policies. Anyone surprised?

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