girlie jones (girliejones) wrote,
girlie jones

On beauty Part 2

So this is the bit where it gets shady. The bit where my self image is wrapped up in feminism and in how we value women.

So ... first the contradiction. Where exactly did my lj name come from? I was nicknamed "girlie" way back in my early postgrad days by a couple of my peeps who still lurk around these parts. And they named me that because I was just that - very girly in a sea of less girly females and lots of guys floating about the engineering and maths buildings. I've been wearing my long skirts for a very long time now and I can often be seen in pink and purple. I like getting my hair done. And back then, I liked to wear makeup and nailpolish. I've always been boy crazy and I liked to get up and dance on the stages and whatnot about the nightclubs we used to frequent. I'm a cadbury kid drunk and an awful flirt. I like to go to day spas and I love lotions and potions. What else? I'm sure there were a bunch of others. And when I signed up for my hotmail account, I think it was back then, you had to put a surname in as well as a first and I thought, "will I be smith or jones?" And the rest, as they say, is an online handle.

So how then, is it that I got to be *here*? And where exactly am I?

Let's see. Somewhere in that horrible last relationship, I stopped caring about myself and caring for myself. The ex didn't care about how I looked and then eventually he *really* didn't care about how I looked. And so it stopped mattering either way. And I fell into the hole of depression and ... well y'all mostly were there. And first I lost *a lot* of weight and then I put on a lot of weight. But also, I stopped brushing my hair (for a while, then I had to cut it short and get serious when I got an actual job). I stopped wearing makeup. I stopped a whole heap of personal grooming. And in part it was because it didn't matter. And I was tired all the time. And depressed.

But also. I think the more I was judged for who and what I was not and the more I succeeded in academic and work related things and noone around me really valued these, the less I wanted to be valued for how "pretty" I looked. I think I rebelled against being valued for looking nice and being quiet, maybe? I'm not sure. But I think the less people saw me for who I was, the less I wanted them to score me highly for looking good? I dunno. That's still not it but the best I can do for now. I was living in a very superficial world - I'd go to dinner parties and people would never even ask me what I did for a job. I'd have to sit and be quiet for hours on end or would be spoken over when I'd try to join conversations. I think a lot of people (out, over *there*) don't know how to cope with intelligent women who don't want to talk about the latest Avon catalogue or whatever and have opinions about politics and banking or whatever. And the less I was allowed to play with the big boys at the table and the more I was expected to know only about domestic-women things, the more I would work at not being able to comply.

Cept I still, deep down, felt bad because in the last minute, I would not be able to present myself the way I really wanted to (hair looking ratty or having put on weight and not being able to find something to wear etc).

For years now, my sister or the ex's sister have scowled at me for not having my eyebrows looking neat and tidy and for not always wearing the right bra under the right top etc. And the more it pissed them off, to some extent the more I was vindicated because being clueless meant that appearance was less important to me than other things and thus ... I dunno, I got ... some kinda points on some bizarre pointscoring system.

So in the last little while I've been working on revamping my image (see previous post). And the hardest thing to write here is how much better about myself and how much sexier and happier I have been feeling with every change I make in my appearance. And how exciting it is to construct this new image in a sort of rebirthing of self. And I don't know why precisely but in part I think it's because it might make me look (or feel) shallow or like I am less of a feminist - I've waxed my underarms and eyebrows and last week I had my very first bikini wax. And the thing that makes me feel like a sellout is that I enjoy the way I am now more than the way I was a month ago. And I'm worried that as I continue to work on this, I might become more and more of a sellout - the next big thing is I'm going to wax my legs. And that feels like the biggest symbol of *something* - that I can't quite put my finger on. Like, will you still love me if I openly admit how much I love shoes? Or painting my nails?

So that's kinda all of it. Incoherent but now finally here, on this blog, where it belongs.
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