Friday, May 11, 2007

A Self Deprecating Post
I've always envied women who don't take much effort to look presentable. The type who hop out of bed every morning looking like they belong in the pages of some glamorous magazine. The very magazine who advocates that long straight black hair, porcelain skin and a svelte figure constitutes 'the perfect' female. Of course, that is debatable because we (the not so lucky ones) get defensive and say that 'Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder' or 'What matters is inner beauty'.

My point is I'm the complete opposite of these fair maidens.
I'm short with thick wavy hair. I have blemishes on my skin. I have very active sweat glands. I don't wear sleeveless shirts to expose my flabby arms. My waistline is in a race to reach my bust size which isn't much by the way in terms of inches and cup size. I have cellulite bearing hips and the tiniest feet ever for a 30 something Asian female on this side of the Pacific.

When I was growing up my mother never made me eat veggies. She let me play out in the sun without wearing any sunblock. She would bathe me then tie my fuzzy hair in a tight wet ponytail. She let me eat all the candies. She didn't teach me how to put make up because she didn't use them herself. She was more concerned with feeding my intellect by making us read books and magazines. She exposed us to other cultures by traveling to neighboring countries. She was more the practical type of person instead of the vain and capricious kind. Hey I'm not blaming my mother for my 'flaws', alright?

Honestly all these 'flaws' don't bother me. It is only when other people point them out when I actually notice how averagely plain my appearance is. Guys I've gone on first dates with in the distant past would comment about my height or lack of it. Every time I go to the salon for my hair trim, an assortment of boisterous gay people would nag me about straightening my hair or taming my wild eyebrows. One of them even went as far as tactlessly saying "You have the eyebrows of a monkey". exact words (in the vernacular) was "Naku Ma'am kilay ninyo parang unggoy". Ladies in facial centers would cajole me to go for their skin whitening facials, their algae body scrubs to lighten my skin color and a whole assortment of skin/body treatments. Then of course there are the countless relatives who most of the time have made snide remarks or given me friendly reminders about my ballooning weight, my vanishing waistline and my ticking biological clock.

I do have this stubborn non conformist streak of character inherent in me. The more people insist I rebond my hair, tame my eyebrows, praise about their Havaianas obsession or malign a certain film to bits and pieces, I make a conscious effort to take the opposite stance. So for argument's sake, so far I haven't had my hair straightened permanently, my eyebrows still look like a jungle, I don't own a single pair of those expensive slippers flip flops (well, they don't fit me anyway!) and I always try to keep my film reviews as balanced as a scale (I am a Libra, after all) would allow.

The thing is I have tried (key word 'tried) to compromise on certain beautifying methods to enhance my plain appearance. My biggest indulgence is wearing contact lenses. But that is only when I go out in public. Otherwise I look like Larry King sans the suspenders. On certain occasions, I straighten my hair using a hot hair iron. Even though I end up sweating up a storm in this stifling humidity. The amount of time I spend working on my hair depends on the circumstances. I once took 3 hours to flatten my hair for a very lousy date. Eeeps why I bothered to even waste 10 minutes of consumed electricity for that guy is beyond me. It didn't even matter, the minute I stepped out on that stifling July evening, my hair immediately curled up like a pig's tail. I go for the upper lip waxing every few months to avoid looking like a hairy chimp. I sometimes indulge in a full body massage even though I don't like people touching my bare skin. I now use sunblock whenever I would be out in the sun for long periods of time. I do my own pedicure and my favorite color is bright red. So I've learned to be more conscious of my appearance even though it took me almost 30 years to get into the groove.

But at the end of the day when I'm back in my ratty house clothes, with my thick hair up on my head with a hair clip, my thick glasses falling down my nose and I'm sitting in a lotus position with my fat folding like an accordion over my tummy, I smile and tell myself reassuringly "Daph, your best defense mechanism (kuno) is your charming wit so don't be too hard on yourself, woman!"

You all agree, right? =)

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