Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Confession # 8: Imperfections

How lame is it that I have only posted four times in August? Pretty damn lame!

I am not sure who or what to blame, the hot August blahs? It is not like I have been busy... it's definitely the blahs.

As penance, I'll end the month with a confession.

First, you should know that I am not very vain. I have blemishes and cellulite, just like the next girl; there are a lot of things I like about me such as my hair color and my hands, but there are also things I don't like that much. But as a general rule, I don't worry about my imperfections much-they are part of who I am and our obsession with physical perfection is just downright unhealthy.

My "beauty" routine, even when I have one (which I don't, currently) is very basic. I primp and preen very little.

I can't stand to spend more than about 10 minutes on my hair. I do get hair-cuts, that are spendy because I have short, freaky hair, but I get cuts that require minimal morning committment. I put some gunk in it and dry it. Done!

I wear minimal make-up, but only if I have somewhere to go. I never make myself up otherwise. I put on some eye stuff and maybe this barely-there foundation stuff (that is no longer manufactured :-( I can't really get away with anything more than lip gloss or a very neutral color lipstick. Once I put on make-up, I never touch it up or re-do it.

After I get ready in the morning, I rarely look in the mirror again... all day. I never feel the need to "see how I look." I NEVER look in the mirror if anyone is around, like in a public bathroom, or a mirror in a public space... NEVER! It just makes me feel weirdly self-conscious.

Second, I always feel like I don't have that much to complain about. I am not a beauty queen, but I am not extremely homely either. I run quite a bit, so my weight is normal, I have a tiny build, but don't think I am super skinny, really. A facebook friend wrote in her status update one day that she hates when skinny women complain about their bodies... I always feel like that is going to be the reaction if I say I am unhappy with something, because I know I don't have it so bad... so I usually don't share.

But here is something I have learned: society creates a space big enough for all women to be unhappy with their bodies.

So here are a few of my funny little imperfections:

1) When I was 13 I went to a make-up night with a church group. The beautician told me that I had eye-brows like Brooke Shields. I went around for months telling family and friends the good news. I grew up with out a TV, people, I had never seen Brooke Shields. Then I saw her... and never bragged about having eye-brows like her again. To be fair, mine aren't that... what's the word? bushy? It's not a unibrow, they are not abnormally hairy... but I have a sister that mocks me incessantly (because in my family we show our love by making fun of physical imperfections)--she holds her hands above her eyes and moves her fingers like my eye-brows are swaying algae on the ocean floor. Of course, she plucks hers into almost non-existence, which I find equally disturbing. To be honest, I have zero interest in plucking eye-brows. I try every once in a while and then quickly realize that I just.don't.care! I have eye-brows, so shoot me!

2) I have creepy feet. It's true. But just because I come out and say it, doesn't mean I want you to stare at my feet when you see me next, ok? They are the kind of feet that probably shouldn't walk around in flip-flops, but it is hot, so I don't care. Plus, I am sure someone has uglier feet, so I take comfort in that. I have short, wide feet (think brick-ish). My toes are short and stubby, like little nubs, and kind of curl under. They sit really tight together, like they were meant to be webbed, but separated at the last minute. I can do nothing with my toes-can't separate them, can't pick anything up. Also, I may or may not have fungus on two toe-nails, which I may or may not blame on Ecuador or genetics and which I may or may not refuse to solve by taking some anti-fungal pill for 6 months that is really hard on your liver. If you know anyone who has an incurable foot fettish, I can cure it. They will see my feet and will not be able to fantasize about feet ever again. Yes, I have that power. Does all this classify as TMI?

3) I am missing a tooth... as in, I had a baby tooth, it fell out, and there was no permanent tooth there to grow back in. One of my English students in Chile once, was a dentist and noticed it: "la teacher is missing tooth number 19" (or whatever number it is and in worse English, but defintely with the "la" in front) It is genetic; my brothers are missing two, the same one and then the one on the opposite side and I think another sister is missing one too. It makes for a little gap in the front teeth, which used to be more pronounced and bothered me more, now I don't care very much... I should have had braces, but my parents started orthodontic care with the oldest of 7 (I am 2nd) and then promptly got divorced, so the rest of us didn't get our teeth fixed. C'est la vie! One of my vain goals, when I have loads of dough, does include getting braces and then a titanium implant. Will you think less of me if I have "work" done?

There are other imperfections (perhaps not quite as "funny"), of course, let's see, just off the top of my head: my eyes are too close together; my stomach will never resemble flat again thanks to abdominal separation with my last pregnancy and a double c-section scar; and my legs, in proportion to my size are strangely puffy and amorphous, complete with cankles, fatty knees, and fleshy thighs.

Apart from those few things, I am the essence of perfection!

Anyone else want to share their funny imperfections on the interworld?

For other confessions see here, hereand here... and maybe here


mosey said...

I have such a weird imperfection that I can't even share it. Other than that, I'm reaching a stage where I think I can accept myself gracefully as I am. I saw some seriously heinous photos of me from a camping weekend - no make-up and my crows feet were on high contrast display. But I thought "I look pretty good". Lived-in, but not bad.

That all said, I *am* contemplating elective surgery for something that would contribute to better health. When I'm brave enough to talk about it, I'll let you know.

KM said...

that post was hilarious. thanks. oh and i have hideous feet as well. my chilean husband asks me if i was born in trenoble. he also calls them empanada feet.

Abby said...

Haha I'm super self conscious about my eyebrows. When I was in college someone told me I had "low" eyebrows like a caveman. When I was in college, I plucked them, not to oblivion, but tried to make them look a bit higher. Then I kind of forgot about plucking until a few weeks ago when I was bored (or momentarily insane) and decided to pluck them again. I went to work and a coworker said "Se te ven lindas las cejas" but I only heard "...cejas..." and I was super defensive, like "Cejas? Que pasa con mis cejas, oye??" and then I remembered I had plucked them, that she was giving me a compliment and blushed...oh man.

I have more imperfections but I think that one story is enough.

Annje said...

Mosey-I love that idea, "lived-in"... and of course, now I am curious ;-)

KM-see! I knew someone else had uglier feet!-we should compare someday ;-) My husband calls his hands "manitos de empanada"-they aren't, but it is funny how we have these perceptions of ourselves, often, because of one insensitive comment, as in Abby's case.

Abby-I love that story-all you heard was "cejas"-que pasa con mis cejas, oye?--hilarious!

Isabel said...

hahaha, creepy feet. We have that in common. I have two permanently messed up toenails from various hiking incidents, my second toe is longer than my big toe, and all of my toes go in weird directions so my pinky toe is crooked and smashed against the other toe. My grandmother used to tell me I had old man's feet, like it's a condition :)

I've got lots of other things that bother me, but I generally take your attitude and say, "I'm perfect except for...".

Heather said...

To continue with the feet topic, I do in fact have webbed toes, my 2nd and 3rd toe are connected about 1/2 way up. It's a lovely genetic trait that was passed on by my father. I wasn't really self-conscious about it until I starting getting pedicures and my Korean friends at the nail salon would laugh and talk to one another when they couldn't properly get the toe-separators to stay in!

I'm also pretty tall and have really long chicken legs, so I'm REALLY excited for warmer weather so people can stare at me some more!!!

sarabeck said...

Oooh! I like this post. I'm working on embracing all my perfections like cellulite on my thighs, random unplucked eyebrow hairs, little love handles and such. I've just gotten to the point where I don't care anymore. I used to. A lot. Now, I'm just comfortable with who I am.

John Carr said...

Don't want to bore you or anybody else to tears with my long list of imperfections.
I'll leave you with this one thought; beauty is what radiates from within us. I have seen so many "beautiful people".

Unfortunately, in so many cases, their beauty is only skin deep.
Having said that and having read some of your posts, I get the feeling you are beautiful person.

mrs.notouching said...

Hmmm... I am that skinny bitch on a diet! Intellectually I get it - it's annoying, but the reality is most of those "skinny bitches" are still not happy with how they look, they are just afraid to say it. My husband aways says that I am not fat, but my brain is. He is right and I know it, but will probably take years before I learn to completely and honestly love my body the way it is... and until then? I shall complain :-)
Oh and the weirdest thing about my body is probably an awkward disproportion - my upper body belongs to a 12 year old girl who can barely fill in S or XS shirts, but my lower body needs L pants... or very tight M. No wonder I love being pregnant - preggo boobs give me a little more balance.

Maggie May said...

having Brooke Shields eyebrows IS something to brag about! she's famous for her gorgeous thick eyebrows. i'd LOVE to have eyebrows like that.