Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Sacred Ritual of "Making Up"

When asked what their opinion is of women wearing makeup, many man and women I talk to will give me the standard, "It's a mask that hides what is really underneath." And most of the "nice" guys I know will even add that they prefer when women don't where makeup because they find women beautiful just the way they naturally are. AWW. How sweet. However this is assuming that women wear makeup only to make themselves appealing to men. Hmmm not so sweet. But to be fair, a lot of women do wear make up and look nice only for that reason, to appeal to men; and once they are in a relationship or marriage, they stop wearing make up all together and just throw on jeans and a t-shirt and call it a day. A past boyfriend was often frustrated that I always dressed up and made myself up regardless of the fact that we were dating because he argued that, "since I already had him, who else was I trying to impress?" and he became jealous. Which yes, is preposterous. Because the fact was and is, I like dressing up and wearing make up... and not for anyone else but for myself, and here's why:

To me, putting on make up in the morning is a sacred ritual. Women have been wearing makeup for centuries since the time of the Egyptians and even further back still. When I put on make up, it is a way for me to really study my face, love my face. I don't put on eye shadow to hide my eyes, I pick colors and shades that enhance them.... colors that would not enhance another person's eyes. The same goes with lips and cheeks and eyebrows. It's a way for me to enhance and my natural features and love myself

In her poem, "Making Up", among the many thing she does with this poem, Eavan Boland suggests that applying make up is a sacred way for women to connect with women everywhere in the past present and future. It is a ritual that liberates women and their femininity rather than oppresses them. She's a fantastic poet, and I highly recommend reading some of her work.

(Eavan Boland)

Making Up by Eavan Boland

My naked face;

I wake to it.

How it’s dulsed and shrouded!

It’s a cloud,

A dull pre-dawn.

But I’ll soon

See to that.

I push the blusher up,

I raddle and I prink,

Pinking the bone

Till my eyes


A rouge-washed

Flush on water.

Now the base

Pales and wastes.

Light thins

From ear to chin,

Whitening in

The ocean shine

Mirror set of my eyes

That I fledge

In old darks.

I grease and full

My mouth.

It won’t stay shut:

I look

In the glass.

My face is made,

It says:

Take nothing, nothing

At its face value:

Legendary seas,


That up and stuck


Of thigh and buttock

That they prayed to-

It’s a trick.


Are made by men.

The truth of this





Of a face

From the source

Of the morning

Is my own:

Mine are the rouge pots,

The hot pinks,

The fledged

And edgy mix of light and water

Out of which

I dawn.

A really good article by Jody Allen-Randolph which looks at many of Boland's feminists poems including "Making Up" in the last few paragraphs.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Golden Age

So one thing that enters my mind often is how society is cruel to the older female woman. When a man ages, oftentimes they look better- that the age lines, grey hair, and filling out in the face makes him just as appealing as if he were in their twenties. Society is not too kind to aging women... smile lines and wrinkles are more a sign of age and death than maturity. And it's a shame, because there are so many beautiful older women. I actually would like to interview my friend from college who is in his twenties but attracted to women 40 and older. He was completely enamored with our 60 year old professor, and I have to admit she was lovely. There was something about her many men in the class daydreamed about.

My mom is in her early 50s and she said that she was at the store and saw a man in his 30s and smiled at him. She said she looked all pretty and dressed up, but when she smiled at him she received no reaction, and then she realized, "oh wait, I'm not young and attractive anymore." And this made me sad... Sad that society does not smile upon the female in her 50s, and it also made me worried for my own future. There will come a time when I am no longer appealing.... and I'll have to make sure that I have a solid sense of self when that happens so that I don't rely on the affection and attention of others for self assurance.

As a way to contemplate the aging female. Here are just a few pictures of some of the most beautiful Hollywood Actresses in their 20s and then their 50s. (I have more but I might use them for another post)

Jane Seymour

God, if someone looks just as good as she did in her 20's it's Jane Seymour. She's 57 in this picture and she looks fantastic. She was and still is one of the most stunningly beautiful actresses in my opinion. I love that smart quirky thing she does on the left corner of her mouth... it's so subtly sexy. And those big doe-like brown eyes of her are just mesmerizing. In both pictures she just looks so sure of herself and happy with her appearance and life. Damn. I hope I look as good as Jane Seymour when I'm 57!

Rita Hayworth

Rita Hayworth has this bubbly carefree beauty in a Holly-Go-Lightly sort of way. Her big bright brown eyes and approachable smile make her the sort of girl that could win the heart of anyone, like Orson Wells. Although in the picture of her in her 50s she has a worn out expression, I feel she aged very well... very naturally. Her mouth is a bit taut as if it's holding a secret. Actually, there's something about her mouth in the second picture that reminds me of Monica Bellucci. I love that she continues to wear her hair long and wavy with that adorable heart-shaped hairline. Just Beautiful!

Lauren Bacall

It's a bit odd to me that Bogart and Bacall fell in love because I feel that they both have the same look in their faces. This smoke in the room lazy droopy relax of the muscles and the eyelids that reveal that they are suave and cool and collected that that they don't need to try to be recognized. That they don't give a care about anyone or anything. Lauren Bacall seems to hold that same looseness in the face even in this picture of her in her 50's but there is this womanly wiseness that she gained in her eyes, a cruel disappointment in her mouth.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor always seemed to be one of those actresses who were gilded in stardom. I mean, just look at the picture on the left. She knew what she was sexy as hell and used her bewitching violet eyes to do stop people in their tracks. It's no wonder to me that they cast her as Cleopatra... she almost lived like a modern day Cleo. I do like this picture of her when she is 50, I know nothing about her real feelings about her age, but just looking at this one image she seems to be pleased with the glamor and beauty and being surrounded by people, but there is something in those violet eyes that holds a slight sigh and I wish I knew what she was staring off into the distance at.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly has always been a favorite actress of mine. I love the picture of her on the left. There is something about the expression in her face that in my opinion is the purest expression of a woman: She holds a confidence in her body language- the way she holds herself that she is aware of her beauty and her womanhood, she is aware of the battles of men and women, she is happy with life and smiles with her eyes, and she is strong but there is a subtle sadness in her mouth of heartbreak that she never forgets, but rarely reveals. Now just as much as I love looking at the picture of her as a young woman, I like the one where she is in her early 50's, no doubt, shortly before she died at age 53, because there is a beauty in her entire face- the way she genuinely smiles with her mouth that pushes her cheeks upwards and curves beneath her sparkling eyes. She seems to be at a place in life where she loves, and she is loved, and she has reached a point of contentment.

Audrey Hepburn

I love these pictures of Audrey Hepburn because in both she has the same genuine smile like someone just called her name and she turned her head in surprise and smiled at them. I love in the picture of her in her 50's that she does not try to hide her wrinkles or neck, that she stretches her slender neck out and has her hair pulled back to reveal her beautiful elf-like ears. That really is something I've always loved about Audrey Hepburn is that there's something almost fairy-like about her.... her bright big eyes, her smart eyebrows, her doll-like face atop a long slender neck.

Comments, Please :)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Disney's Rapunzel Teaches Girls about Sex


So I watched the movie Tangled a few days ago and couldn't help but noticing that the crown is an obvious metaphor for virginity. Flynn wants the crown, but when Rapunzel knocks him unconscious and ties him up (kinky huh), she hides it from him. She then uses the crown as a bargaining chip to get her dream which is seeing the festival of lights, she refused to give him the crown until he brought her to the festival... just like how a woman could use sex as a bargaining chip for various things.

Rapunzel falls in love with Flynn and doesn't want to leave him after the festival is over. The evil witch confronts her and says something to the extent of,

"You know that once you give him the crown he'll just take what he wants and leave!"

TOTALLY a metaphor for sex. Rapunzel denies this and argues that Flynn would never do such a thing! The witch and the twin bandits tie Flynn up to a boat and make it look like he was sailing away... taking what he wanted and leaving. And Rapunzel, upon seeing this, believes it because she knows it was a definite possibility, and is crushed. Just as a girl who is crushed because a guy told her he loved her, had sex with her, and left her for something or someone more shiny in the distance.

If I wanted to over-analyze the movie even further. Even though the crown was Rapunzel's, she didn't realize it was hers because she didn't know she was a princess. She really cared little for the thing- sure, she thought it was pretty, she even wore it on her head for a moment, but other than that, she didn't think much of it. She didn't hold it in complete reverence... it wasn't wrapped up or in a chest, and when she hid it she just dropped it into a pot on the floor and hid it under a dusty loose stair. However, she knew it meant something to everyone else, so she kept it hidden.

If you look at the crown as a metaphor for virginity, the character is enhanced. Rapunzel/the average girl might not care a whole lot about her virginity at first.... not really realizing what it is, not really careing either way. But many girls will feel as Rapunzel does, that virginity is something that she should hold on to until the right moment. Some, do, some don't, and I couldn't really tell you who is better off as a result. But the fact remains that society puts a weird objectivity to a simple primitive act. Honestly- it's an action, like swimming or dancing. Why does society make it seem like it's something tangible that you can tuck away in a drawer next to your vibrator? Actually- I shouldn't ask that question because then it would force me, although willingly to delve into history and origins and such and that's not what we are discussing right now.

Just think of it. It's "losing your virginity". I really hate this phrase because it suggests that you had something and now have one less thing in your life... one less tool in your belt. Or like... you used to have the full 64 pack of crayola crayons with the crayon sharpener in the back, and you lost the flesh colored crayon, which isn't necessarily the prettiest of colors, but when you want to color in Ariel's face in your Little Mermaid coloring book, it's so important; because without the flesh colored crayon, you have to substitute it with a color that makes Ariel look sunburnt, indian, or if you just leave her face white, she looks like a ghost or a geisha!

Ok... going back to Tangled. Honestly, some people would be appalled that I and some other people might have a dirty mind, and scold me for, "dirtying up such an innocent story" But do you remember the original story!?!? Rapunzel's mother and father were not a king and queen but poor peasants who loved each other but could not conceive. They were growing old and the witch told her to plant rapunzel in the garden and eat it and it would help her conceive. She did and had a beautiful baby girl! (SEX) and then fast forward a bit and the prince comes and visits her, why do you think he's visiting her every day? To have SEX! You don't believe me, well when the Witch discovers the boy has been visiting Rapunzel (because Rapunzel is pregnant more or less) she cuts her hair, throws her in the woods, and turns the prince into a bird, Rapunzel then gives birth to twins in the forest. She raises them there for 2 years until she's joined with her love and he turns back into a human etc etc.

So I have no problem with Disney throwing in this sexual inuendo, however I don't feel it stays true to the original message of the Grimms classic... But neither do any of their book-based stories. On that note, what is Disney trying to say with Rapunzel? Is it saying that girls should hold onto their V-card for a while until they know that the con artist isn't conning them for her crown, then give it away? It almost seems like Disney is saying, be cautious, but not TOO cautious.

It seems this topic must be delved into later. But yes, see Tangled. It's enjoyable. Tell me if you agree about the crown/sex metaphor!

Monday, April 18, 2011

The TARDIS's Holiday in Chicago

Rare photos have just been released to the public of the
TARDIS in the heart of Chicago!

, when the Doctor is not around, the TARDIS is a bit more than just the average blue box. Some timelords take a beautiful box and hide her away from the rest of the world, but this TARDIS just wants to have fun!

She was first spotted on the EL. First, let me just say, I really have to respect her for using public transportation. Being the ultimate transportation between time and space, the fact that she showed enough interest and compassion to walk in a train system's tracks, shows a level of integrity that I could not have imagined. She did not have any money to buy a ticket, but a kind man and the security guard were so taken by her blue beauty that they gave her a ticket and let her through.

When she arrived at the the Lake Street subway station, she met two doctor who fans who immediately recognized her and took pictures of her. She was a little shy at first, she's not used to so much attention, for usually she just stands still and although she'll stand right in the middle of town, people don't seem to see her... it's not that they can't see her, they just mysteriously do not wish to; but after hearing the joy from the fans, she quickly stepped out of her shy state and became a social and flirty TARDIS.

She talked to some musicians performing at the station, neither of them had seen or heard of a TARDIS and squinted in confusion at her strange ensemble, but they were grateful to see something so incredibly BLUE that they smiled and played more Beatles music. Thinking that she was out of the watchful gaze of the Doctor, she became a tad bit flirty with some of the passerbys; however, she kept on having the strange irking feeling that she was still somehow being watched.

She then surfaced into a forest of skyscrapers, taxis, and pedestrians. Overjoyed by all that she saw, She understood why the Doctor loves humanity so much, why despite their smallness in the great chasm of the universe, that they have something that none of the other species in the galaxies do... but she just quite couldn't put her finger on it.

Now, I don't know if this is common knowledge or not, but the TARDIS is a very theatrical being, especially when she is wearing something as stylish as her Laura J Couture dress. So upon seeing the theaters around her, she ran up to the Oriental and bought herself a ticket to see her very first Broadway play! However, when the man selling her the tickets asked her if she wanted a house seat or a box, the TARDIS looked herself up and down and was a little confused.

Then, she found theatrics on a smaller scale on the street when she stumbled upon a puppet show! She waved to the puppets and started to dance with them and unintentionally drew in an audience of about 15 people. One woman took a picture with her and started to dance with her... the woman didn't know what a TARDIS was or who the Doctor was, but she really enjoyed Laura J Couture and was astounded to see something so incredibly BLUE.

The TARDIS then walked across passed the Willis Tower, the tallest skyscraper in America; the Picasso, State Street and the Marshall Fields/Macys clocks, Michigan Avenue, The Art Institute, and finally arrived at Millenium Park. Soon after arriving there, she heard an excited squeal behind her and heard, "It's a TARDIS!" she turned around to find two girls run up to her and take pictures of her. The said they were from Canada and didn't expect to see the TARDIS in Chi-town, but it was a surprising bonus to their trip.

She arrived at the famous Cloud Gate statue, more commonly known as "The Bean". She loved seeing the way the lovely Chicago skyline curved and contorted in the reflection. And for the first time saw her own reflection, and perhaps being a bit of a vain TARDIS, she twirled and admired her blueness in the Bean.

More tourists and Dr. Who fans took pictures of her, and she kept attracting a little butterfly dressed as a little 4 year old girl, but after hugs and conversations about the mysterious Doctor, the TARDIS began to miss her dashing timelord and let the winds of Lake Michigan and time carry her back to him, but not before leaving a lasting impression upon the city of Chicago.

Below are some of the pictures that the paparazzi took of the TARDIS enjoying her time in Millenium Park. Thank you Kriss Abigail for submitting such lovely photos.

(Photos by Kriss Abigail)

Behind the scenes of this adventure:

So I re-vamped my TARDIS dress after it fell apart during the shooting of the Cyphan Promo video and met up with Kriss to go gallivanting throughout Chi-town for a day in my dress for BBC America's TARDIS building competition.

If you like my design, please vote here: http://www.wheresthetardis.com/entry/100011

It sort of gave me a huge adrenaline rush standing out in the big city hearing all the different reactions. Almost all of what I wrote in the blog above was true: I met several Doctor who fans who took pictures of me and with me, some people who didn't know what I was dressed up as but it really made their day and they took pictures and complimented me all the same, and some people who literally exclaimed, "What the hell......". I had a lovely outing being the TARDIS with my photographer. I felt a little bad because we kept getting interrupted during the shoot to be photographed by other people, and eventually we had to tell them to stop so that we could get our shots in before it became dark and cold. Although it's April, it was 45 degrees out and we were right by the lake.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011