I’m a minimalist kind of gal. At home, I dress in the least clothes possible, and I usually have my hair up in a high ponytail or a high sloppy bun. Or, if it’s cold out, I just let it hang to my waist. I don’t wear any makeup or perfume. Excluding cat-related time, I can be up and out the door in fifteen minutes. When I go out, I wear a pair of loose pants and a nice blouse (usually both are from Taiwan). I slip in a pair of earrings, give my hair a good blrush, and I’m off.
In addition, I don’t shave anything. Granted, I’m Asian, which means that I’m fairly hair-free, so it’s not that hard to ignore the razor. I also have exceedingly sensitive skin, so any time I tried to shave, I’d break out in a rash. Yes, that’s highly attractive, let me tell you. I don’t powder, frizzle, primp, or preen.
There are several reasons for it. During my youth, I wasn’t allowed to wear makeup. Once I was allowed, I finally started wearing it. However, let me let you in on a little secret–women do not automatically know how to put on makeup. I know, I know! Surprised the hell out of me, too. I thought it would be as easy as falling asleep (I kill myself!), but it turned out to be exceedingly difficult. All those damn wands and tubes and pots and other shit. What the fuck was I supposed to do with all that goo?
I finally figured it out, sort of, but it always felt strange to me. As I slapped the foundation on my skin, I’d wonder what the hell I was doing. I did the full palette from eye shadow to rouge to lipstick. The problem was, I would forget I was wearing it, and I would rub my eye or gnaw on my lip or something equally innocuous. Then, I looked like a clown, and I’d have to repair the damage–once I finally figured out I had made a mess of my face.
Nail polish was a trial in and of itself. Oh, I could put the crap on–I just couldn’t get it to stay on. No matter how long I waited, it would smear the minute I touched something with a nail. In addition, I would chip them at will. For awhile, I got the fake tips put on, but you have to get them redone like every two weeks! Seriously! I kept popping them off, anyway. Hair crap? Tried it. I gelled, moussed, and sprayed my hair as best I could. Felt like shit and looked even worse.
Then, during my second year in college, I realized that sleep was waaay more important than putting on that crap. In addition, I was starting to become aware of feminist issues, and it bothered me that I bought all that shit when guys didn’t. They didn’t have to slather on the makeup and pluck their eyebrows, so why the hell should I? Why should I waste my time and money on it?
During my junior year, I attended a posh murder mystery. I decided to do a full face of makeup for the first time in some time. It took me forty-five minutes, and I kept marvelling at how I had done that on a daily basis. At the same time, I was getting three hours of sleep a night. That was so fucking stupid of me.
Once I was out of college, I restricted myself to wearing lipstick when I went out. Once in a while, I would use eyeliner, but I could never make that stuff look good. Gradually, I gave up all cosmetics.
Ok, fine, Minna, I can hear you say. You don’t wear makeup. Why devote a blog entry to it?
Look at the pictures I have included in this post. From top to bottom, they are Norma Talmadge from the ’20s, a silent movie actress and a quintessential flapper. By the way, I was told by a guy in college that he could see me as a flapper. Granted, he was hitting on me, but it was still flattering. Anyway, the second picture is of Clara Bow, the original It girl, also of the ’20s, and also a flapper. The last picture is of Dita Von Teese, a current burlesque artist. She frequently models her look after that of Bettie Page, a pin-up and fetish model from the ’50s.
Look at how glamorous they all are. They are sultry, seductive, sexy, and smokin’ hot. They aren’t naked with their limbs splayed akimbo–they don’t have to be. Take Dita Von Teese. I would kill to look like her, by the way. It’s in the way she looks at you, a sly smirk touching her perfectly done reddened lips. Her eyes invite you in, suggesting that she has many secrets she’d love to share with you. Her legs are apart, and her high heels give her feet a very seductive arch. She is made for sex.
Let me back up a second. A bunch of my Mudflat gals are on FB (sorry, Alex. This was before you and I became friends). For some reason, we started talking about who we would all be in the Wild Wild West. I think it’s because Rizzo calls Iratwo “Pioneer Woman”. At the same time, AKM wrote a fairy tale allegory about how Mike Doogan, asshole, outed her. Sarah Palin was the queen of the land, of course. I wrote myself in as the burlesque stripper who roved from town to town, stripping and reciting polemics. Then, I took an FB quiz that said my hippie name was Gypsy something, and one of the ‘Flatters said that there was a burlesque stripper named Gypsy Rose Lee, so I said I’d be her. Then, Iratwo sent me a photo shoot Dita Von Teese did, and I was hooked.
There is something about these women. They are unapologetically sensual without having to flash their pussies all the time. Yes, Dita Von Teese does strip to the nude, but she’s just as sexy with a bit of lace and frills covering her naughty bits. In fact, I would say she’s more sensual when she’s not totally nude. Take a look at these pictures and tell me what you think. She is so fucking hot, she makes me want to do her and be her at the same time. How the hell is that possible?
She manages to inhabit a stereotype, but to rise above it at the same time. No matter how I conflicted I feel about stripping in general, there is no denying that she has a lot of power with that ungodly combination of pure beauty and unbridled lust. In addition, she looks like she’s enjoying herself and her body. I know that I am probably projecting on to her, but she looks like someone who doesn’t fear anything or anyone. She is supremely confident of herself, and that’s powerfully sexy.
In the end, I wouldn’t want to spend hours just so I could look like Dita Von Teese (as if I could!). It’s too much work, and it’s really difficult to maintain. There are other ways of gaining confidence, though none quite as visceral as this. That’s what this is really about. It’s not so much that I want to look like her–I just want to feel as confident as she looks. Still, I wouldn’t mind looking like that for a day. A grrl can dream, can’t she?