Friday, June 05, 2009

This is the Death Mask of Womanhood*

There are times when I feel so out of touch with woman kind, that I really wish that I too was interested in all the stuff that other women are interested in - hair, nails, shoes, salon appointments, stupid looking handbag dogs etc.

I am on the whole happy with who I am, but sometimes I wish I found this stuff interesting, or could at least fake my interest in it, just to join in with the gang and have things to talk about.

What I'm talking about is the kind of woman who has been taught the 'rules of womanhood' by her mother. Who never leaves the house without makeup, who goes once a week to get her hair and nails done, who complicates her life unnecessarily but can't come to grips with you being female, not being a lesbian, and not being interested in those things.

My mother owned one eye pencil, one lipstick, one blusher and one perfume. That's it. She replenished the same exact shade and brand whenever she was done, and she always looked pretty great to me. But you might as well be from the moon if you admit that philosophy to other women, especially in Greece.

The build up to this wedding is turning into an exercise of first time rites of passage in womanhood for me. Since the Wedding Beast has now reached the size where it is devouring me, one nerve at a time, I thought I might as well join in and try some of this stuff women keep going on about. It might even be relaxing! A facial for example!

Since the resident spots did not even flinch when I began applying expensive spot busters to them, carpet bombing was the only option left. So I turned to my crazy friend M from bellydance, who happens to be beautician, but the good kind, ie she doesn't wear 6 inches of makeup or have fake nails.

She gave me a long chat about how careful I would need to be with my skin because the melanin would leave marks that would take forever to fade if I went to someone who had no experience with ethnic skin.

Now, I trust M. I know that all this will be worth it at some point and that at least most of the spots were evacuated from their posts this morning. But oh my GOD. I've experienced less pain in the dentist's chair.

The first facial of my life confirmed for me that women are completely insane. I had the living daylights squeezed out of my pores and then M declared "We'll burn the microbes now" followed by the bone-chilling sound of electricity crackling. "What the hell is that!" I wailed as she brandished a torture device near me.

And then, dear reader, I lay there while my face was electrocuted. And not only that, I paid for it afterwards. Do you know what they call this treatment? High frequency facial treatment. I suppose no one would submit to it if it was called what it actually is: Facial Electrocution treatment.

My face looks like a hot mess at the moment. Every pore on my face is screaming "FUCK YOU" at me and has turned red, swollen and angry. I feel like crying when I look in the mirror. With M's follow up schedule, I'm sure things will smooth out and at least those awful bumps won't come back. But when my face looks like I stuck it in a bee hive, it's really hard to hold on to that faith.

Preparations for the wedding is proving very revealing in terms of all the awful things women do to themselves to 'look good'. I was happy with my face. Experiencing all that pain on my face of all places has made me feel violated - I wish I could go back to this morning before I knew that ones face could feel such pain.

It's also made me realise that the women who are into this stuff are fucking crazy. Why complain about how long it takes you to maintain your hairdo when you could just walk out the door after washing your hair? The sky won't fall, you know.

And manicures? Seriously guys, these don't even last more than two days. You pay money to make your nails look like your nails do anyway. When I showed my french manicure to Mr Zeus's grandma, she said "I don't see any manicure. Why didn't she paint them with a colour?"

The excuse is that all this rubbish makes women feel good about themselves. Why do I feel like the only person thinking "But the emperor has no clothes... he's naked! Why all this oohing and aahing over how great his clothes are?"

And if you are a woman who goes for facials, waxing, laser treatments, salon hairdos where they yank and pull at your hair all the time, facial electrocution and suchlike, I don't EVER want to hear about your painful period again. And give birth naturally! I don't want to hear about your pain threshold, you big fat liar! You can't torture yourself for years like this and then decide pain is something you can't handle. Liar, liar, LIAR!

With a face like this I am not leaving the house for the rest of my life. I think it's time to freak out my neighbours and start wearing a niqab.

*Disclaimer: I am pissed as hell this week. And especially today, when my face looks like fuck and smells like wet metal.


Hope said...

Haha! That was the same exact reaction I had when I went through my facial.

Three years later and I still haven't gotten the guts to go back, even though my skin could really do with one.

toomanytribbles said...

i'm getting on now, but i have gone though most of my life looking very, very good without all the fuss. i lived without manicures, i didn't chat a lot about facials and shoes with other women, and i've never missed it. i had good genes, i guess, but even if i hadn't i wouldn't go through all this ridiculous, pointless torture.

i believe that, to a certain extent women are being victimized, taken advantage of by successful marketing strategies. it's sll about money.

you might be interested in this bit as well...
'Pressure to Look Attractive Linked to Fear of Rejection in Men and Women':

my unsolicited advice is to not overdo it -- it's supposed to be FUN.

bollybutton said...

Toomanytribbles, it's all nonsense. the more of these girly things I try which I was never trained to be into by my mother, the more stupid I find them. Who in God's name thought "I'll make this electric zapper to electrocute someone's face and pass it off as a beauty treatment!!"

It's all bollocks. I'm not doing any of this again. They really are all out to make money. I mean, I went to my friend and she gave me recipes to make home-made aftercare masks from things I already have in the frigde. Imagine if I'd gone somewhere else, they'd have charged me butt loads for their extra lotions and potions.

Why are women so scared of what they actually look like?

As for this being fun, I take it you're not married. The bride is not supposed to have fun. It's not ABOUT her.

adorablybitter said...

Oh, I've been there - was naive enough to think that "high frequency facial treatment" would do wonders for my skin. What it really did was make me sick and nauseus for two days.

However, I firmly stand by my monthly manicures. That is the only thing that separates me from looking like a farmer, really.

AL said...

sounds tragic! and sorry but hilarious as well!
i wax my arms and legs on my own and am quite used to it, but not before i usually let it grow out to gorilla proportions ... and people step away from me when in a crowded bus. But i would love to be able to laser away all the hairs for good and would take all the pain it would bring.... if i could afford that.

Psofofeggaro said...

rofl! I soo get what you mean :p
I'm not the kind of woman who puts the paint everyday on face, tho I love doing my eyes and colorful lipstics, I am not into this and sometimes really feel like a lesbian when I'm in a women gathering. I visit hairdresser's once every 3 months if it's for a hair dye, or once a year if it's for haircut and just recently started having my nails done, after an order (yes, not just a demand) from my husband. It's a good excuse to be lazy tho (you know "ah can't do that now, it's hard and my nails will break, shame, too expensive etc) :p
Had some facial done when I was about to be a bride, but my pregnancy "saved me" from the "fun stuff" you had. Really didn't enjoy it and my introduction to facial waxing went quite bad. I mean those were hormonological imbalance "gifts" and quite white, if she'd hadn't waxed them out would propably have faded away after childbirth but no... bride has to be like Barbie.... xp

stassa said...

Ah, but the electric zapper thingy (it's the one that looks like a shower attachment innit?) does work. I went through half of my puberty being a pimply teenager, until a kind woman zapped my face clean.

As about the hair removal, I hope whoever came up with that beastly torture rots in hell for ever.

Sofia K. said...

I feel you, sister, I do...As a Greek woman myself who at the age of 27 does not wear make-up (I was almost ridiculed for it by my sister and her friends "What?? You're 27 and you don't wear make-up? What's wrong with you??" *sigh*), does not have manicures done, visits the hairdresser every 4 months to simply get rid of the split hair-ends and loathes clothes/shoe/bag shopping, I get you. I live in the Netherlands now, where women are much more relaxed about these things, and I feel good about myself. Every time I return to Greece though, being confronted with all these women with their faces caked in make-up, eyeshadows, layers of mascara, eyeliners, blush, lipliner, lipstick etc., their expensive clothes/shoes/bags, their hairdresser hair...they make me feel as if I belong in another species of woman, "the-one-who-does-not-take-care-of herself". It took me a while before I could say, "Screw it, I am who I am, and the rest can go stuff it!" You are definitely not alone!

bollybutton said...

Before my skin became the way it is, I remember a very dear friend of mine coming to stay over with me.

As the day rolled into night and we were in our PJs, she asked where I kept my face wash. When I told her I didn't own one, just an all-purpose bar of soap, she looked like I'd just said I didn't believe in taking baths. The horror on her face was priceless!

I added to her torture by admitting i also used body wash when I ran out of shampoo. I swear, women like us must be like aliens to other women. They certainly are aliens for me, I usually don't know what the hell it is they're talking about.

Sesi said...

Ok, if all the ladies posting here aren't beauty freaks, then who is it that is?!
I never got the proper bridal carepackage at my wedding, did my own manicure etc, and my face was...well...clean enough! If i had a spot here and/or there, who cares, I had so much make up on, it never showed (the make up on the presistance of my hairdresser who said that I cannot go to my wedding looking like a farmer: "OH-MY-GOD what's with the eyebrows?" she said before attacking me with a beautification tool!)
I only had a pedicure/manicure at a trained person once in my life. I never had such a horrific experience before. I was HURTING! And in the end, she said my nails were too short for a french, so she just used my OWN nail polish!
I had suffered the tortures of Tantalus, just to end up looking like I always look!
And during the process, she was telling me that beauty demands sacrifices.
Well, excuse me lady, but I feel pretty enough as it is!
As for any spots, they are MY spots, we are friends, go away already!