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I Cut My Own Bangs

Bang (fringe) length – has little to do with beauty, and a lot to do with just being able to see! So, yes, I admit it. On occasion, I cut my own bangs. Okay, it is more than just occasionally. My hair grows very fast, so while I often let the sides and back grow two or three inches between visits to a salon, my bangs need more frequent attention.

bangs fringe cut own hair ToonadayAfter much trial and error, and close observation of how my hairdresser cuts my bangs, I have perfected my technique. I must do a pretty good job, too. My hairdresser ‘called me out’ on home bang cutting yesterday, and when I sheepishly admitted that I had, in fact, cut my own bangs she said, “You did a great job. You only missed about six or eight hairs over here on the left side…”

I don’t know what your relationship is with your hair, but I live with a head full of rebellious hairs. They curve and stick up in all the oddest places. Some years I let them all grow (except the bangs) until they are mid way down my back. Some years I have them all cut off to just a few inches. Neither style changes their nature – they still resolutely head off in a contrary direction, each marching to their own drummer.

I grew up in the days when sleek, long, straight hair was what all the cool girls had. All the tall cool girls.  All the skinny tall cool girls. Genetically, I am not a skinny, tall, straight haired girl. (The foundations for my distrust of the fashion and beauty industry were laid early, and I don’t even want to discuss why “A Good Hair Day” might mean something to me…)

But – every time I go to a hairdresser, I entertain the hope that a miracle will happen. My hairdresser will find the precise right length to cut each hair (because apparently she keeps track of the length or each and every one of them).  That perfect length will be the one where each hair nestles contentedly beside the one beside it. Not a single hair will object to the company of any of its 150,000 neighbours. I will be able to just toss my head and every hair will move into place without the touch of a comb!

Remarkably, this latest haircut seems to be as close to perfection as any I have ever had. Oh, there is still much mass confusion down at my neck, but the hairs on the side and top of my head are serene. My bangs, well, they are quite perfect and the hairdresser only had to fix the eight hairs on the left side.

Tragedy is when you cut your own finger. Comedy is when you cut your own bangs.

Do you cut your own bangs? Any horror stories about hair cuts?

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Distorted Perceptions of Beauty

At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all.
– Ann Landers (1918-2002) –

Why do you think women worry about how they look?

  • Do women tend to judge other women by how they look?
  • Are women bombarded by companies who want them to think that they don’t measure up?
  • Do women judge themselves by what is negative, not what is positive?
  • Do women pressure other women to conform to an idealized image of what is beautiful?
  • Do women equate aging to loss of beauty?
  • Do women believe beauty gives them a competitive edge in all facets of their lives?
  • Do women fear that men won’t like/love them if they are not beautiful?
  • Do women believe that beauty is of more value than intelligence?
  • Are women surrounded by media role models who are air brushed, photo shopped beauties?

An example of an Air Brushed and Photo Shopped Model:

The QuipperyHere are some other websites that discuss Distorted Perceptions of Beauty:

Real or Retouched? Distorted Perceptions of Beauty – An excellent example of very bizarre photo retouching.

Chasing Beauty: An Addict’s Memoir  by Lisa Hickey- “I want beauty not to matter.”

How much time do you spend trying to make yourself look better?

Do men worry about how they look? If so, why?

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Simply Eggcellent – Don’t be a Stupid Girl

I Believe Women will achieve the Equality they deserve when they can defy all the industries that make them feel unworthy.
I Believe Women will achieve the Happiness they deserve when they quit worrying about their age, and how they look.
I Believe the Media does a better job at Instilling Fear in people than it does in empowering them.

Many women, I’ve discovered, don’t share my beliefs. They are willing to support the industries that tell them they are not good enough – not pretty enough, not thin enough, not sexy enough.

Fortunately, there are women who do share a few of my beliefs and one of these is the writer of the blog Hippie Cahier.  She recently wrote an ‘eggcellent post’ “I don’t wanna be a stupid girl”. Also, be very sure to watch the video by P!nk called Stupid Girls. 

 Another blogger who writes about women, both historically and in the present, is Barb at Before Morning Breaks. In this post she tells of a new fashion hell: Before Morning Breaks Considers Changing Buttletts.

Please use the comment form below to link to any of your posts, or any posts you have read elsewhere, that encourage women to ‘Not be Stupid Girls’!

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Some of my other Rants about why I wish Women would ignore the industries and the media that they are slaves to:

A 3 Dressed Up As a 9 – Sondra the Snow Goddess before and after she is photoshopped so she looks thinner.
A Skinny-Obsessed World – “Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.” J.K. Rowling
The Beauty Hype – I’m against women being told they must color their hair or hide their wrinkles or paint their faces or wear certain clothes or lose weight – in order to be beautiful.
Mother Nature Defies the Beauty Industry! Can you imagine what the world would look like if Mother Nature listened to the human Beauty Industry?
How to Run in Stilettos – “Courage is no match for an unfriendly shoe“. Roger Moore, as James Bond
What Dressing Like a Slut Says – So ladies, wear revealing clothing if you want to. But don’t ever think it is safe to wear anything you want where ever you want. Life isn’t about Why you shouldn’t be a victim, it is about how NOT to be a victim.
The Glass Ceiling is Made of Cloth – But really ladies, if you can’t peacefully co-exist with your own body (just as it is when you hop out of the shower) why do you think you are playing on the same field as the men you are competing with?
The Many Faces of Women’s Equality – I’m all for women’s liberation and gender equality. I just don’t want to see the children get trampled in the morning rush to the office.
The Power of Grey Hair – Mia Gallagher believes our fear of mortality is behind the fear of ageing and treating ageing as a disease that can be cured with potions. “If aging is a disease then life is a disease.”
Women, Liberation, Freedom, Beauty – As Naomi Wolf explained in The Beauty Myth: “An ideology that makes women feel “worth less” was urgently needed to counteract the way feminism had begun to make us feel worth more.”

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The 1 Weird Old Tip Scam

Nothing irritates me more than a certain ad on webpages. You know the one – a belly that inflates and deflates. “Cut down a bit of your belly everyday by following this 1 weird old tip.”

I have ignored the ad until today. Today I wanted to find out just how weird this tip could be. Would it be as simple as My Strawberry Diet (which was not really so much a diet as a matter of eating a bunch of strawberries and working hard all week.)

So I clicked the picture. This led me into the world of those who would like me to believe that the answer to the obesity epidemic is the African Mango Diet. If you had clicked the ad, you would likely have been led to a different weird old tip because the same ad is linked to any number of other small diet-product sellers. (If you are interested in how these diet scams work and what the Federal Trade Commission is doing about it, there are a few stories on the internet.)

But let’s get back to the African Mango Diet. It is a pill made from the African Mango seed. It is sold by any number of online companies who want you to believe there is a miracle pill that will make you skinny. Call me a skeptic, but I don’t believe there is a diet pill out there that has no serious side effects, and causes people to safely lose 22 pounds in a month.

There might be, however, online companies who want your credit card number so they can keep charging you month after month for products that don’t help your battle with the bulge, but do a good job of making your bank balance smaller.

There is no such thing as a weird human being, It’s just that some people require more understanding than others.
– Tom Robbins –

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A 3 Dressed Up As a 9

I don’t think people should be judged by their looks, do you? There is a catchy song by Trooper that confirms the stereotype that men are only interested in women’s looks, and that women will do what it takes to meet a man’s expectations:

You looked a whole lot better to me
From twenty feet away
You’re just a 3 dressed up as a 9 ….
– Trooper –

The Fashion and Beauty Industry have certainly capitalized on the desire of women to be younger, thinner, firmer, smoother…. and if the product can’t actually do what it claims, then the Advertising Industry will find a graphic artist who will make sure that expectations and reality appear to be one and the same. (If you Google ‘Airbrushing Celebrity Before and After’ you’ll see  some excellent examples.)

red and whiteLet me demonstrate how simple it is to alter a photo to make a model ‘more beautiful’. In the photo above, Sondra the Snow Goddess is modelling the latest in scarf wear.

Here is Sondra after a session in Photoshop. Her eyes are more symmetrical, her lips have been plumped up, and her whole body has been elongated. Do you think she looks more ‘beautiful’? The right answer is “No, of course not!” Any other answer is dead wrong.

Perhaps the simplest way to make Sondra’s photo more dramatic, without altering her body, is to add a frame to her photo. If your Blog theme doesn’t add a frame, you can do it yourself before you upload. I use a program called FastStone Image Viewer to add my copyright and a simple frame.

Would you like to make your own Sondra the Snow Goddess? The directions for these Mini Crochet Snowmen are at Cut Out and Keep. I used Crochet Cotton, and though this made a very cute snowman that was only 1.75 inches tall, next time I would use a heavier wool and bigger crochet hook.

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A Skinny-Obsessed World – Is ‘Fat’ Really the Worst Thing We Can Be?

Paige, at ‘Mastering the Art of Life’ recently wrote a post called ‘My Life as a Number’. She talks frankly about women’s obsession with their weight and dress size, and how those two numbers, if they don’t fall within the criteria dictated by society, can overshadow all the other characteristics that truly describe a person. Paige ends her piece with a quote by J.K. Rowling from the J.K. Rowling Official Site.

In a post called ‘For Girls Only, Probably’  J.K. says in part:

“Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.”

“I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them has fleshier knees than they do. Let my girls be Hermiones, rather than Pansy Parkinsons. Let them never be Stupid Girls.”

The Media Awareness Network describes what is at stake for women in a post called Beauty and Body Image in the Media. The quest for an image that is unattainable for all but a few can have devastating effects. This post ends by saying:

Women learn to compare themselves to other women, and to compete with them for male attention. This focus on beauty and desirability “effectively destroys any awareness and action that might help to change that climate.”

On a recent vacation, I watched as a skinny 8 year old girl in a bikini bathing suit interacted with a group of pre-teen little boys by saying to them, “How do you like my new bathing suit?”  She proceeded to model it, but she was quickly abandoned by the boys who had no interest in her bathing suit, or her, apparently.

In reality, she just wanted to join in the game they were playing, and once she resumed normal child broadcasting, she was welcomed into the fray. But somehow, somewhere, she has already started to be programmed by the Beauty Industry, and I find that very unfortunate.

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Do You Like You? Being Comfortable in Your Skin

‘Try’ by Colbie Caillat : “It’s this song I’ve had in my head my entire life about personal insecurities, imperfections, self-confidence issue. I thought I was the only person who felt that way and now I release this song that so many people around the world are relating too, so many different age ranges, men and women.”

Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction.
– Kevyn Aucoin –

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably realize I am not a big fan of the Beauty Industry. It is not that I am against many of the products. I’m just against the entire multi-billion dollar machine that tells women they aren’t good enough unless they use these products.

I’m against women being told they must color their hair or hide their wrinkles or paint their faces or wear certain clothes or lose weight – in order to be beautiful.

I’m against glossy advertisements that sell a dream that is unrealistic and unattainable.

I’m against skinny models and botox and fad diets.

I’m against any activity that pits women against women in a contest to see who is more beautiful. I’m against child beauty pageants, the catty world of tabloid magazines and touched up photos in print media.

I’m against anything that makes women feel inferior if they don’t conform to a set of standards.

On the lighter side, I am curious why Google sent people to my blog after they typed in these search terms:

– are there medical research on how to get rid of grey hair
– picture of someone who looks older than their age due to stress

Was Google thinking of this photo of me when they sent people to my site?

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