Old dogs listen up! New tricks can be learned! It takes an extra bit of effort, but it’s worth it. I think that beauty is mysterious but fair mistress, and the more you do to keep her, the longer she will stay. There’s a myth that beauty is pain, a harsh dominatrix who desires nothing but your suffering to sate her perverted desires. She wants your blood, your hunger, your money and she gives you back the empty pleasure of your vanity – but I realize that this is not a true being. There is no evil queen, no sleep inducing poison apple, no one is the fairest of all and that’s not the way beauty is. Beauty is more like a friend who has some conditions on the friendship, so not a true real deep friend, more of a shallow one. Like “you give me a ride to the airport, I will pick you up at the airport” kind of buddy. You wash your face at night, I won’t make your face erupt in adult acne in the morning. You use toner on your t-zone, I won’t aggravate your combination skin. You find the right color of lipstick, I will make valet parking attendants bring your car up around first and give it to you for free (of course I insisted on paying – but such is the strength of knowing your own colors).
My mother first informed me of the idea that beauty was pain, as she plucked her own thickly natural eyebrows into the hard, 70s spare lines of the era. “Beauty is pain” she said blankly, as her black eyebrow hairs seemed to turn brown because of the redness of her angry skin underneath her ineffectual Maybelline tweezers. This was a time before Tweezerman and Shu Uemera before we could really pluck those tiny hairs in microscopic earnest. I believed her and ruthlessly tried to avoid beauty for much of my young and then adult life. I am not a masochist. I don’t want pain. And therefore, beauty and I are incompatible. I no longer believe this to be true. To be beautiful is actually to be aware of yourself as art, and to frame your art in a way that is unique to yourself and easy to yourself and fun to yourself. We are just masterpieces waiting to be framed and mounted and lighted then worshipped. We are worth this, as we are more priceless than anything.
In the last few months I have been practicing this “myself as art” theory, and I have seen a marked improvement in areas that needed a boost, and it hasn’t cost me any more money really. It’s an investment in time, but not a lot, and it’s helped me feel good about myself, which is all we really need on earth, to feel good. To not have dread when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror – which I would do – I would actually feel horror at my own reflection, wishing myself a vampire, wishing myself undead so I would have to endure the image of my ugliness. I don’t feel ugly anymore, and no one has called me that in a very long time (believe me I used to hear it often, maybe more than once a day – seriously!). I am editing my closet and makeup drawers. I am wearing what is attractive on me on my face and body and really only that. Everything I have – its sole purpose is to flatter me, and if it doesn’t, it’s gone. Into a pile that might hopefully flatter someone else, out of my life to welcome another jacket/boot/shirt/scarf/lipstick/eyelash that will realize my beauty further. Make everything work in concert to bring out the beauty in you. Old dogs are the best at learning new tricks because we have been through it all, we know who we are, we know all about it.
Some youtube videos are excellent tutors and teachers. My favorite - Catalina is a genius. She’s Korean and probably could be my daughter. She’s lovely and so smart and also has great tips for skincare. We have similar skin. I have learned a lot from her especially regarding sensitive skin and how to do my eye makeup.
I love these girls – Korean too! park and cube - gorgeous style, photographs – and also Shini is very funny. She’s amazing. She looks like she could be in my family also – there’s a striking familial familiarity. I love her posts.
This blog – Luxirare - is also exceptional – in so many ways. I am obsessed with Ji Kim’s design and her cooking and I want everything she posts – either to eat or to wear. I am constantly floored by the creativity of people, and the art which they choose to make from their lives. This blog is really a lesson in how we can live, how we should live – what is possible. We should live every moment like this. I plan to.