Saturday, March 6, 2010

full makeup

Oh good, the full makeup look is back, says Hilary Mantel (Friday Guardian)*, and now we can go back to doing what we did until "a flat-footed and scowling version of feminism" came and spoiled it by making us feel like whores. I say 'us.' For I personally was never particularly big on the makeup, apart from when I was trying to cover teenage spots with Max Factor pan stick, and the feminists I got to know were into heavy-duty eyeliner and mascara - I came late to it (feminism) on account of being flat-footed and a late developer. No good trying to do the full makeup now, I can't focus without my titanium varifocals and obviously if I have them on I couldn't be applying the shadow, mascara and what have you - though transformation can apparently also be brought about by wearing the right kind of foundation cream:

There are few failures so bleak that they cannot be brightened by Touche Eclat or Dior Skinflash.

I have nothing against the idea of trying to reinvent oneself, I do it a lot, sometimes several times a week. This doesn't mean to say that I am frivolous, it's just giving myself the best chance of something actually sticking - and look, I really have given up smoking, and I am still (I know it's only been ten days or so) a vegetarian. I commit to writing projects that are sabotaged by immune-system-on-the-warpath but although the big picture fails, things get written and it all counts - for me, at any rate, because that is what I do, will always be doing, one way or another. At the moment it seems to be another. But I am open to the possibility of change for the better - new strategies. If I were in Colditz or some high security jail I suppose I would be one of those who is constantly scratching away at some new escape route. Just to be clear, I am not speaking of "cure," as things stand this seems highly unlikely. Just possibilities.

So I have got myself a month's temporary membership to a private swimming pool - a kind of spa place attached to a posh hotel, where the pool is empty, quiet and warm, there are towels, lotions and everything needful so you don't need to bring anything except a swimsuit. Swimming in public baths doesn't work for me, I get cold, exhausted and have to mix with the riff raff. At private pool, I am the only riff raff. I have been swimming twice this week. Sheer bliss while I was in the pool - the strange freedom given to the limbs, moving through water with ease, as though there were no impediment. It's a dangerous undertaking, of course. Anything remotely aerobic can get the sickness moving around the body like a swarm of wasps, so I have to be careful, and the muscles, the base of the skull, the usual hot spots, feel bruised. But I woke one morning with a voice in my head telling me to begin swimming, just as I woke one morning last year with a voice telling me to "eat light-filled foods" (it wasn't entirely clear to me what this was but the poetry of it pleased me and I assume I'm on the right path with becoming veggie). There is a chance that I am going bonkers (if the voice begins to tell me that I am the new messiah you will be the first to know), but for the moment I feel as though I don't have much to lose by following these inner promptings. If I don't actually feel any worse, then that will be a progress of sorts.

If it all goes pear-shaped I can just get myself some Touche Eclat.

* blogger isn't letting me put a link at the moment


Mim said...

I can't live without my lipstick, and a walk on the beach.

Thank you for the picture of you in the water, moving.

Reading the Signs said...

The colour red suits you, Mim. When I try to wear lipstick it never stays put.

Cusp said...

Listen to the inner voice I say.

What could be nicer than swimming in a posh pool ? ...probably only swimming in your own pool.

Do you get all togged up in luscious white robe and towelling turban a la Joan Collins in the 'apres-natation' area ?
.....Pimms on the terrace ??

Bet its not tepid Horilicks in the Viewing Area like it was when we were little ;O)

Fire Bird said...

Oh that sort of swimming sounds luxurious. I too hate public pools but love being held by water... Make-up is alien (and rather distasteful)to me (I'm probably one of those flat-footed feminists)but I quite enjoy the transformations of wearing different clothes.

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp darling, it's posh, but a bit more work-a-day than your Joan Collins vision - no 'apres-natation' area, perhaps I should complain about this - and the fact that the four-digit lockers are quite temperamental. There is a gym with lots of, you know machines and equipment, someone to give you a personal 'induction' (no, I don't think) and all kinds of classes - pilates, yoga etc, and no end of pamper treatments. Explains why the pool is so empty much of the time, everyone is busy pumping iron and toning the pelvic floor.

But a lovely terrace and lounge, yes. Drinks don't come cheap there though.

Fire Bird, I think The Flat-Footed Feminist would make a brilliant title for something or other - a novel probably. I'm sure HM would put me down as one too. Just as well really.

Zhoen said...

Funny, I felt much more oppressed by the dictum that I had to wear make-up in order to be presentable. And support a huge, unnecessary industry while scrimping for food. All a matter of perspective and personal experience.

I'd love a private pool.

Reading the Signs said...

Zhoen yes, re the makeup, me too. Ditto clothes and anything that spells s-h-o-p-p-i-n-g.

Anna MR said...

My sweet schwes - listen to The Voice, I say. It seems to be saying good things (tell it to shut up if it starts to say bad ones, of course). But do I remember who Hilary Mantel is? Or have I ever known? My mind draws a blank - an interestingly common occurrence these days, shh - but I shall go and google her and, in fact, the article you mention. Sometimes I long to be one of those beautifully turned-out women, one of them who seem to be that way all effortlessly and naturally (with some dramatic make-up or without). And at others, I long to be a Ms Natural, but still all nice with it. What I manage instead... oh nevermind. But you are lovely, mascara or no.

The word ver says hemingad. It is an interesting word, I find, and one which deserves to be repeated. Like someone was insinuating something or another about Hemingway, no? Can't quite figure out what, mind.

I'll think on it. If you know, tell us. Mwahs in the meantime.


Reading the Signs said...

HM is a properly good writer, and this article is a nothing, not even tongue-in-cheek funny, and the feminist jibe so lame. Between you and me, I actually do have a thing of Touche Eclat for hiding the shadows around my eyes. Not worth all the money. This is my gripe, thanks for listening, Schwes, it's all about products really, the buying of them and what one invests. And who cares? Not my inner Voices, that's for sure, not even the one that tells me to go and buy a packet of Camel Lights and a three-pack of Green and Blacks dark chocolate and almonds.

The WVLs get this way sometimes - suggesting things that they don't quite follow through - tempting you with Hemingway, begad.

Kahless said...

Wow - you blog has had full make-up applied. I was thrown when I arrived as not what I was expecting. I guess youre going to say that you changed your blog scheme ages ago and it just goes to show its a while since I have visited!

Anyway, my bacon butty is awaiting... *I say teasingly*...

vegetarian????? I am impressed! I wish I was a vegetarian but the problem is I dont like vegetables!


Reading the Signs said...

That would be a problem, Kahless, the not liking vegetables. What, not even salads? I suppose you could just live on baked beans and poached eggs.

You like my new look? Dove grey is the new black.