My Nine Inch Nails

April 19, 2011 at 7:33 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 1 Comment
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When I was little, I hated cutting my nails.  I hated doing anything that seemed too girly.  I was a huge tom boy with super long nails.  I actually stopped playing basketball because the other girls couldn’t stand the sound of my nails scraping against the ball.

By the time I entered middle school, my nails had grow really strong.  I became significantly more girly and always had a taste for being unique yet trendy.  In 7th and 8th grade it was cool to wear blue nail polish and lipstick, and wear a thousand rings and bracelets.  At least I thought it was cool.  Oh yea, did I mention the blue hair dye? Yea, that was hot.  Anyways, back to the nails.

I had a Caboodle filled with nail polish. I would often line up the bottles on my windowsill and admire them.  I taught myself to paint my own nails — both hands — without shaking or awkwardness.  This is a skill I still utilize today.  Back then, I would paint my nails literally everyday to match my outfit (I had my outfits planned out for a month — very strange, I know but we all have our quirks).  I would constantly get comments on my nails. Even my 7th grade social studies teacher to this day remembers me by my nails.  They were so long, so strong! How did I manage them?  I just got used to them.

As I got older, I kept the long nails but painted them less regularly, and less crazy colors.  But I still painted them myself.  Every so often, I would treat myself to a manicure, but it never became the norm.  It was the one beauty treatment I felt I could handle on my own.

Today, I still paint my own nails for the most part, though I do love a good pedicure in the summer.  There was about a two year stint where I didn’t wear nail polish at all. It was when I started my first job. It was the first time I would spend 8 hours a day typing and I just couldn’t handle it, but eventually the color returned.

My mother gets her nails done regularly, wraps and all.  I asked her about it recently and she told me that she started getting them done and then she just couldn’t stop.  Her nails rely on the constant treatment to stay strong.  But when she was younger, she did have strong nails.

I wonder if I will ever meet the same fate.  Will I become a Sunday nail salon lady, gossiping and chatting it up with the other moms?  It would be a far cry from the days of blue nail polish.

Bridalplasty and the Ongoing Obsession with “Perfection”

January 6, 2011 at 7:27 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 9 Comments
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photo credit

Bridalplasty is just the latest TV sensation that highlights Americans’ obsession with paying for perfection.  A guilty pleasure for reality TV lovers, the show highlights women vying for a chance for their perfect wedding — complete with a new face, or whatever other bodily imperfection they see fit to fix.  The idea of the show is just insane and rightfully controversial, which makes for great TV.  People love train wrecks.  But the premise of the show, at its core, channels women’s insecurities just as many shows, ads, magazines, movies, and products have done before.

When I was in high school, there were a handful of girls getting the “deviated septums fixed” and beyond high school I’ve seen many a boob job.  While I have not gone so far as to surgically change my appearance, like all girls, I wanted: a smaller tummy, thinner thighs, bigger boobs, a smaller nose.  But I honestly never thought about getting surgery. I knew it wasn’t in the cards financially, for one thing, and for another, who knew if I’d be happy with the results.  I was reminded of this when I read an article on AOL earlier this week about a girl’s twice failed attempts at getting her nose fixed.  Does changing your nose really change who you are?

I am definitely not above paying for perfection. I won’t front.  When I was in high school, I got electrolysis done on my upper lip every week for several months, insecure about dark hair and light skin.  Electrolysis is not a cheap or pain free procedure, but it sure beat being called “Mustache girl,” (not that I ever got called that, not to my face at least).  The truth is, most people probably didn’t even notice my peach fuzz, but I did, and in order to walk around with my head held high and strut my stuff, I felt the need to get this done.  I just happen to draw the line at cutting my body open and stuffing plastic into it just to make something bigger or smaller.

As of today, the only procedure I would consider is laser eye surgery (which I’ve blogged about before — not senile yet) and that’s really more out of convenience, though I would be more confident not relying on contact lenses (what if there is some sort of natural disaster and I’m without my contacts?  I won’t be able to see anything forever!).  When I’m older and gravity takes over, maybe I’ll change my mind…

We can’t change the media, and we can’t change what sells.  It’s the human condition. But in the words of TLC:

You can buy your hair if it won’t grow
You can fix your nose if he says so
You can buy all the make-up that mac can make
But if you can’t look inside you
Find out who am i, too
Be in a position to make me feel so damn unpretty

RIP Left Eye (4/25/02)

Bad Hair Day(s)

November 23, 2010 at 7:31 am | Posted in Fashion, Fitness and Beauty | 5 Comments
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We all need a change sometimes, and the easiest way to change your appearance is to change the way your hair looks.  Throughout my life, I have experimented with many different hair styles and I’ve come to the conclusion that I am not a chameleon like Tyra Banks.  Not every look works on me. In fact, very few looks work on me.

As a kid, I had cute straight black-brown hair with bangs.  That worked until about the third grade, when I grew them out.  In 4th grade, it became hip to cut your hair to chin length — a look that didn’t bode well for me.  Yea, I know my mom will say it was cute, but trust me, it wasn’t.

when I was cute

In middle school, I started to really assert my independence.  I bought the rainbow of Manic Panic hair dye and dipped strands in red, purple, and green.  I wasn’t the only one.  For some reason, this once again was the “in” thing to do.  Why oh why would this be the one time I actually did what others did?

By high school, I was too old to pretend I was still 12 (the cut off age for paying for a child’s hair cut), so I took things into my own hands.  It’s just hair right?  I think I remember cutting my hair once as a kid, and it turned out ok (even though my parents wanted to kill me).  So at the age of 14 I tried out bangs again with the help of my best friend and her trusty scissors.  Yea, they did not really come out straight — at all.

Very soon a good friend of mine started studying cosmetology, so I became her guinea pig.  She would practice highlights and haircuts on me for years to come.  Today, she is a professional hair dresser and I still go to her, but it’s different now that she knows what she’s doing!

Of course, I didn’t have her in college, which is where the majority of my disasters happened.  I permed my straight hair, which proceeded to fall right out and I once again got highlights (not at the same time, thankfully).  The issue with me and highlights is that my hair immediately turns red, no matter how blonde I try to go.  This goes for hair dye, too.  It was probably good that it didn’t stay blonde because it didn’t look good.

My curly hair. Disaster!

So not a blonde

Since I am beauty-challenged, I can’t handle anything fancy — no layers, no changing lengths, very few angles.  I need an easy haircut so I can handle styling it everyday.

As of late, I’ve been letting my hair grow really long.  In the past, I’ve grown my hair out long and then cut it all off (rinse and repeat).  During the short hair periods, I have extensions to make my hair longer, so it sort of defeats the purpose of cutting it off, but at least I have options.  I think for now I’ll be keeping my hair long with the occasional, barely-noticeable color change.  This is a look I can handle.  And hey, long hair makes me feel young. 🙂

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