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