My Faux Natural Face

I must have been 10 or 11 years old when I asked my mother if it would be ok if I wore just a little bit of eyeliner to school every day. Her answer? A firm NO. I accepted it without question because this was the 1980s when pre-teen girls were expected to look like children, not like mini prostitutes, and none of my friends wore makeup. Still … [Read more...]

Oscars 2013: Best and Worst Dressed

I did it! This year, I did something I haven't been able to stomach doing since 2010 -- I watched the Academy Awards. For once, I didn't watch it on my old junky tv that makes even the most intricately beaded, subtly hued dress look like a plain black frock, no! I watched it on a friend's new high-definition … [Read more...]

Book Club, 3rd ed: Color Me Beautiful

Let's get one thing out of the way, I would normally spell color the Canadian way (colour!) and I will, except when referring to the title of this book and its philosophy: Color Me Beautiful. Back in the bad old days, specifically the 1980s, women would go get their "colours done". In those days, Color Me Beautiful was an empire. Today, not so much. In fact, I was surprised to see that they still exist. But even though we don't hear about Color Me Beautiful very much, its influence still lingers! … [Read more...]

Hot Lips: a 10 step program

Gah! It happens each year and every time I'm not mentally equipped to handle it. WINTER. It seems to be setting in yet again. Last week, there were a couple of days in Ottawa with a -20 Celsius windchill factor (Wordpress is telling me “windchill” is not a word; Wordpress does not know my pain).  For you imperial system holders-on, -20 is -4 Fahrenheit. I wake up in the dark at 6:30 AM and, by the time I leave work at 5 PM, it's already dark again. All around me are sad grey faces wrapped in sad grey coats walking down sad grey streets bordered by sad grey leafless trees. I curse my ancestors for colonising this frozen land! … [Read more...]

Lipstick vs Feminism

"You're the kind of feminist I like" more than one man has said to me when discovering that I have a degree in women's studies, yet have long hair on my head and none on my legs. In an ideal world, a feminist can be butch or feminine or gamine or sporty or granola or whatever, but in this world a woman who calls herself a feminist invites weird stereotypes, or simplistic labels like "lipstick feminist". Yes, really. … [Read more...]

Happy x-mas for Freaks!

Yay Halloween, it's my favourite holiday. New Year's Eve comes in a close second with its promise of new beginnings, but Halloween wins on the strength of its extravagant strangeness. I've always loved dressing up. I remember my first day in kindergarten; many kids were upset, crying, and wanting their mommy. But I was positively joyful! My teachers were my mom's friends (she is a kindergarten teacher to this day) so they weren't frightening. And I got to spend the entire half-day in the dress-up centre. When my parents arrived, I didn't want to leave! I want to stay with the costumes, please. … [Read more...]