10 June 2011

Staying Natural Is Tough

Time to bounce off of my anime cloud nine for a moment and get something off my chest. Yes, people, this is RANTS from a Fangirl, not REVIEWS.

I do my best to not reveal too much about my personal information, but with this particular topic, a few hints of what I look like will probably be noticed. On the other hand, I feel sensitive to this issue and I want to write about it down for the internet to read. Just like before, MelinaPendulum made a good video that as inspired me to type this. Honestly, watch it.


As "liberal" I am in thought an ideology, I am traditional in some stances. For starters I find most modern beauty to be absolutely frivolous. I find barely find a handful of reasons why I would need to spend hours "slaving" over making myself presentable. Makeup has always been seen as pointless, perfume/cologne as nauseating, perfect dresses as wasteful, and gorgeous hairstyles as a firework, which took hours to make and seconds to blow up. HOWEVER!!!! I have no issues with my friends using these products to make themselves feel good; I just feel personally uninterested.

And it's my lack of interest that caused my friends to try and fail to encourage me to be more openminded to such... feminine rituals.

Unlike my friends and most of the kids at my school, I am racially mixed: my dad is black - and part Native American - and my mom is Caucasian. But due to the fact that most official papers still refuse to accept the "mixed race" option, I consider myself black. Although I am a mini cocktail with some features from light-skinned and dark-skinned people. The most apparent ones are my skin, a "milk chocolate" result as I like to call it, and my hair, dark brown but tightly curled and frizzy (but it's nothing compared to what my dad could have if he wasn't nearly-bald.) Some people have often told me that I am very pretty for both of these features. Of course I say thank you, but tell me how many people are always happy as they look.

My biggest concern of being mixed is not exactly how to look good, it's mostly how people view me. I'm a bit of an oddball in more ways than being a part of the American minority: although I am dark skinned, my one friend said I am "the whitest black chick" she has ever met. If you talk to me, I would sound "white" - or "professional" as dad says it. Maybe it just means that I don't sound like a stereotypical black girl from the ghetto or whatever you people call it. No street slang from this chick. :P

But the thing I am accepting more and more each day is the fact that there are some things I don't want to change. Some of my blunt honesty shows itself in how I care for my hair and face: I use soap to wash it and I care for it quickly and efficiently. I don't want to straighten my hair every day. I don't want to spend hours just to please the world. I don't want people to tell me what I should and should not do to look how I want to look. It took my friends many months to realize that no matter what, I won't invest in making myself look pretty.

Why am I so cynical on this?

Whenever I would put on makeup, I would feel no different than I did before I put it on. Whenever I would get my hair done, I would sit on my sore butt for three-to-four hours to wash, dry, and add relaxers. When I went out to buy a dress for Cotillion last year, it took all day to find a dress that was good... but didn't fit me right. Now I dread the day when I have to face PROM. *prepares suicide ritual*

I guess on a subconscious level, I have accepted myself as I am so I don't worry about how I look. During formal occasions I will make myself look nice - for socially appropriate reasons - but that's about it. I feel comfortable enough to walk into school with wild frizzy hair in a ponytail in 80 degree weather and completely humid. I only wear makeup less than five times a year, and I almost never have a need for formal clothes. Khol's has some decent clothes that are cheap, but I mix stuff up so I look alright. I don't need to go to great heights to make myself look and feel good. In my heart it feels as if I do that, I am only hiding what I truly look like instead of "accenting it" as my one fashionable friend puts it.

Because of this view of mine, I would not really fit into several categories. I could never be a goth or an emo, as cool as some of those clothes can be, and I couldn't get away with something beyond my reach. Practicality is what I strive for when I present myself. My natural skin is nice, so why should I get a tan or add foundation? My eyes are dark brown... okay... but are eye products mandatory? And my hair is wild, frizzy, and very tangly, is it wrong if I cut it super short so I no longer need a comb?

Someone once told me that if I do not dress myself in a presentable manner, I might lose a job opportunity to a white woman who looks almost flawless. Sure, the real world sucks in that way. Some women will get jobs because of their beauty rather than their experience or intelligence. Well, who cares? There is another job out there for me to look for and someone will hire me. Trial and error people, this process is wired in us, remember?

To get back on topic, I do not see makeup and many beauty "rituals" to be a universally terrible demon. It helps many women to feel better about themselves or to feel beautiful. There is nothing wrong with it; however, looks are not something I will invest in. Now while I'm still in the mood, I hope I can get to the hairdresser and chop off most of the mess I call unpractical "hair"...


Tenebris In Lux said...

Hang in there ..

Yeckh, don't get me started on prom. I'm probably not going, even if my boyfriend (even though I highly doubt he will) insists on dragging me there. Unless I'm DJing, of course, but that is a different story :-P

I think I might do a beauty post: and if so, I'm linking this. And I must agree: there is a lot of prejudice in the workplace. For the darker of color, for those straying from the "clean cut average american white joe hetero-normative norm" ..

One of my friends is part Native American, and her hair is always frizzy. But I have considered chopping it all off, or just attacking it so only clumps and patches remain (uber punk), chopping off more, or adopting a male haircut (while looking stereotypically lesbian). If Louise Brooks had an undercut, then that's what I have right now. Serious, there's a striking resemblance between the two ..

Oh, and I only own mascara. Unless you want to count the sunscreen and special paling lotion I cake on to intentionally look paler :-P (Icky foundation and face paint: can't stand those)

Tenebris In Lux said...

^I should mention that it is my own hair that I'm contemplating hacking off, not my friend's :-P

KK said...

Hey Fangirl!
I like this post a lot. I have not always been happy with the way I look. Middle school was a rough time for me. I was super-mega tall, and towered over everyone. Additionally, I was awkward and this did NOT make me happy.

However, somehow in the past year or two, I've come to love the way I look. I've realized that as tall and "awkward" as I may be, my body does everything I need it to do. I am strong, and my body reflects that. Additionally, my hair and face can be annoying sometimes, but in the end, I like them. They're unique. I am unique. And I really do love the way I look. :)

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