Thank you for the fantastic guest posts and for keeping the comment love flowing while I was on hiatus. I think I might keep the guest post thing going once in a while though because it was a lot of fun and gives me an excuse to be lazy for day, both of which are good things in my opinion.
I'll be sharing some of my vacation shenanigans for SCF because you know if it involves me, Twin, and a hotel room, there are some fun things to be shared.
In the meantime, I'm going to turn my space over to another guest poster who got the shaft on my vacation rotation. This guy and his wiley mustache and southern draw could charm the pants off just about anyone so consider yourself warned! The Blue Orchid....it's all yours babe!
Writer’s forward: My thanks to my dear Random Girl for giving me the house keys to the house of her blog site for a moment. I hope that my madness herein does little to dissuade her own loyal readers from a hearty following. As to my own readers over at The Blue Orchid of Texas, please show her a little love for allowing me to roam free over here for a moment.
Your Hair is a Mess
I confess that this writing of this piece started off down a path only to wander across a couple of fields, jump a fence or two and then land only generally in the area from which it sprung. All of that to say that perhaps you should take care when you start digging or you might end up hitting a water main and then blowing water everywhere. My original idea was thus; that in general, as a society we make a pretty damn big fuss about our bodies, our sexuality and our attitudes towards both. We spend an enormous amount of time, energy and money on our attempts to satisfy our urges to find a sense of balance and happiness in those areas. But it seems that everything points to the simple truth that we are more desperately unhappy than ever before with everything in our personal and corporate baskets of selfhood. Why?
For anybody still reading, let me make something perfectly clear: I’m not claiming to have all the answers, alright? For all the answers you are going to have to wait until November until the folks with all the answers start writing prescriptions to the Nation. No, I’m just someone who is always asking questions about why we seem so willing to be hurtful to ourselves and others over things that should be natural, fun and even relaxing. Also, this piece of my mind seems to be mainly focused on women readers as I’m convinced that they are pretty much catching the brunt of our society’s increasingly costly and often foolish demands upon ourselves. So, guys I know that we feel the heat sometimes too but honestly I think it’s the ladies that are dancing on the coals right now.
I’m not naïve enough – well only slightly but damn if it’s not self-imposed – to believe that any one particular generation had a leg up on another one but I’m going to step out and say that at the very least, there were generations before us that seemed to be a bit more relaxed about their bodies, sexuality and even attitudes than we are today. Do you think that it’s possible that in the rush to “fix and improve upon ourselves” that we have actually tipped over the wagon and fallen into an ugly patch of narcissism and self loathing?
As you consider that, I need to let you know that I don’t blame you for perhaps feeling displaced and a bit unsettled in your self-hood. In the last twenty years or so, our culture has become listless and in the absence of facing any real distraction of hardship (sorry old sport but the so-called “Great Recession” was not the Great Depression that my Grandparents went through) has taken to worrying on itself like a skinny dachshund on rib bones. So, if it’s possible that our culture is living “bored” in a culture of entertainment then does that explain why we are such jerks to ourselves? Partly, but I think but there is some other baggage we like to carry around with us as well.
Now I’m a big fan of word pictures but I’m going to slap a warning label on myself before I even broach this one because I suspect some of the ladies out there – maybe men too – will instantly knee jerk on me and point out that the “good old days” weren’t always so good and had plenty of drawbacks. Fine. OK, granted but still I would like for you to consider our Grandmothers. Certainly there were loads of cultural norms and expectations upon them that we simply don’t have to endure today but there were also freedoms from self imposed rituals and cultural demands that they enjoyed. Consider even the smallest of “norms” for women’s bodies today. Aside from cultural pressure to be skinnier, lighter skinned across every inch of your bodies and have perky breasts that tear at the very fibers of your sweaters you are increasingly being told that being completely hairless is beautiful. Loreal, be afraid. Be very afraid.
While today we may roll our eyes at women’s bodies having hair on them, have you considered the desperation that has been built up around making women feel awkward and even embarrassed to have what was once considered to be normal and natural body hair? I remember back in the seventies when the first Nair products began to surface that women found it novel and of benefit to be able to soak their legs in this lovely noxious fluid to spare them of having to shave their legs. Fast forward to today and women feel like they have to take every single bit of hair off their bodies – save their heads –for now anyway.
Now, don’t hear what I’m not saying. I think that some grooming is a fine thing and I’m certainly only partly with the French on their version of a “natural woman”. There is something to be said (a lot) for a smooth pair of legs in stockings (held up by a lovely garter belt of course) and I’d prefer for my lady friends to not have more hair under their arms than I do. Still, that doesn’t make body hair a bad thing on women. It’s just a personal preference in my opinion. Having a preference shouldn’t translate into a taboo on the other side of the spectrum. Honestly, I’d rather be around a woman who is perfectly comfortable with some hair on her body than one who is frantically obsessed with having it all constantly removed.
And if you are a guy who is blazing down the hair removal highway then God love you but really just consider what the unrelenting vanity is costing you – not in dollars so much as in an appropriate body self image. Having said that, if you in fact have more body hair on you than your average werewolf then OK, fine maybe a little trim would do you some good.
Somewhere lost – and whimpering now – in America’s now seven billion dollar a year habit to beautify itself is a voice of reason, a reassurance that you are actually a lovely work of art now, even before the Photoshop of our cultural demands catches up to you. Today, now – will you please just take a long minute to appreciate yourself before all the voices around you take their cut and tell you that you need to just do this one more thing to be beautiful?
Now go fix your hair – it’s a mess.