Yo. Like I’m sitting In the chair at Capella Salon in Studio City and lookin @ my gray roots, as in hair, as in “What’s with this shit, I’m so tired of spendin all my scratch on covering this perpetual patch.” I say to my homegirl Jody Cherevka, aka L.A. stylist Extraordinaire. And she, in her Deva Curl Y.G. wiz-dom asks, “Why don’t we like streak it or sumthin? Like, make it a gradual change. Talk it over with yourself while I mix up some stuff”. So here goes.
Of course I am finally back in lalaland. I’ve been here for a few weeks and have been jamming with stuff to do. I guess that’s what happens when you take off for a five weeks, but whatever… Anyway, here I am in the land of the beautiful, where the issue of age is far greater than any other place on our wonderful planet. Just open up an LA Weekly and whammo, on almost every single page you’ll be smacked with an ad or seven about lasering unwanted hair, botoxing wrinkles, shaking away cellulite, adding hair extensions, reshaping breasts, tightening up vaginas (no comment), extending penises (that big, eh?), applying permanent makeup (that’s a tattoo), burning calories in sauna-hot yoga (don’t they know the Indian yogis are skinny because they live in a hot climate, have tons of parasites and eat intestine clearing curries?), adding longer and more eyelashes and getting yourself a get out of jail card to consume medical marijuana because of your acute medical problems which may include the acute psychological trauma of staying young and flawless. Whew!
In this land of quasi perpetual youth it is no wonder that many who live here opt in for the extreme economic and emotional expense of maintaining their “looks” and “age” (whatever those may be). Living here and then traveling outside this bubble of “youthful” perfection has given me a different, though possibly skewed perspective, which in turn may be the reason I may be finally allowing nature to gracefully take her course on my head, why I also may (though i’m still thinking about it) forgo plastic surgery and instead chart out the lines on my face as if they were all a wacky google treasure map of my life experience.
My recent journeys have taken me both inside myself and out. In Austin, I observed young mothers who adorned themselves with both gorgeous and godawful tattoos, pierced their lips, transformed their earlobes by installing giant plastic hoop-rings and heaven knows what else and for what exact reason? I pondered. Their babies didn’t reject the tatted nipples, why should I find fault with their choices? But I am thinking about it, so it must be something for me, since those women appeared to be fine with it all. Why should their choices affect me so strongly? Obviously my esthetics are different from theirs. Is there a right or wrong? Should there be? What does all this have to do with my concept of beauty? I haven’t chosen to get a tattoo, so what is my problem, anyway? And my thoughts continue.
Age and beauty are relative, not merely social. No, really, I mean these beliefs are dictated in part by what and how our actual relatives, parents, grandparents, etc. showed us about maturing, beauty and acceptance. However judgmental, our families gave us a means by which we seriously consider what is “right” for us. My parents were “young” in body, mind and spirit, even into their eighties. They participated in thrice weekly aqua aerobics classes, traveled out of the country, cooking/dining with friends/family and engaging their minds in political and social debate. My father neither lost much nor ever colored his brown hair, which also never turned grey. From an early age, my mother dyed her locks from brown to blond; only her hairdresser knew for sure if she ever went totally grey. Neither parent had plastic surgery, they ate healthy (no fast or artificially preserved food, except the occasional hot dog at Costco once a month). Cancer got ’em both, 9 years apart but I wouldn’t be surprised if they continue to lead stimulating and vital “lives” in the great beyond. Oh yeah, while on this earth plane, they looked simply marvelous. Excuse the tangent.
Why are we, who live in the land of the angels, so consumed with looks? Hollywood itself may be the first and easiest answer. I for one am surrounded by actors who are working diligently at “making it” in this town. I keep hearing from many of the women, “I can’t divulge my age or I won’t get work!” My response, “Tell it to Meryl Streep… Or write, produce or star in your own tv/film piece.” This really doesn’t go over too well, nor is it really fair. These awful stigmas, for women (especially), were set forth years ago which have since created dozens of separate but equal beautification industries to enforce the fear of “flaws” and aging. The many thousands of actors in plastic surgeons’ waiting rooms, psychoanalysis, drinking in bars and attending, NA & AA meetings, clearly attest to how messed up the entertainment industry is for those who have bought into the hype. Even my dearly departed Max ((you can read about him in my earlier posts) was so uptight about revealing his age, even though he looked much younger than his 61 years. He was an actor with an ego but to me he was the handsomest man, I’d ever known, but that’s another story.
Those of us on the outskirts of Hollywood’s artificially imposed standard of living can also become infected by the malaise of “perfection”, though maybe not quite as bad.
Yes, we can also blame the other “media”. If blame is what we must do. TV and film are still “Hollywood” and also purveyors of fashion. Women and men have both been slaves to fashion, each in their own way, but there are deeper issues here than blame and blame does not solve anything and heads us in an unproductive direction. The cultural malaise must be healed.
Take me for instance. At 15 I was full of angst (what teenager doesn’t go through that in our beauty culture). I thought it was my nose, which was anything but turned up (I later discovered that turned up noses have their origin in syphilis…Google it,I don’t have time here). I convinced my overly concerned parents to pay for rhinoplasty to give me a better outlook on my young life. Did it? Temporarily. The angst got suppressed for years and had little to do with my nose, though it is a nice one, I breathe petty well through it and it doesn’t look fixed. Okay where was I?
Age. Beauty. Fashion, yeah I’ll go there.
Lets take shoes. I just bought a pair of clogs. They are so comfortable and really fun. When I’m not wearing them I’m in running shoes or sandals. I’m going for speed and my tootsies have gotta feel oh so good. Ive asked myself: Why the hell would any woman wear heels so high that eventually the bones in their feet come through(ouch!)? But they do. That’s what happened to my mom when she was my age… Then she had to wear all sorts of orthotics to help her compensate for the years she wore high heels. Take a look around or just ask any podiatrist.
Take a look at this article when you have time: http://www.osteopathic.org/osteopathic-health/about-your-health/health-conditions-library/womens-health/Pages/high-heels.aspx
Besides, high heels make you look like you’ve got something up your ass and you are trying to get away from someone without them knowing! Nasty. I checked out this page just to see what others were saying about heels: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/10/high-heels-lead-to-celebs-hard-falls/
Bras. Oh yes, I AM going there. Because it is so important for the health of all women. While Victoria may have a secret it’s not the one you think it is. Wearing underwire, pushup and cleavage enhancing bras may be “sexy” but not when the women who are wearing them discover they and their lymph glands are being sacrificed. Could it be that these sexy undergarments may result in breast and lymph cancers? Funny that instead of teaching women to wear healthy, breathable and mildly supportive bras they are encouraged to have regular mammograms? Kind of ass backwards if you ask me. Besides we all know that mammograms promote benign cysts to metastasize, don’t we? Oops I forgot, those corporate pink ribbons keep getting in the way of the real truth about breast cancer…that too is another story about which I may write soon.
You can read about bras, underwires and mammogram risks on these pages. Yes, there is conflicting information. I believe in erring on the side of caution. It is up to you. About Bras- http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/05/19/Can-Wearing-Your-Bra-Cause-Cancer.aspx
and don’t just read my blog…you can read this: http://tinaspharm.wordpress.com/2012/10/18/3-unusual-ways-to-decrease-breast-cancer-risk/
Also about Mammograms: http://www.rense.com/general48/mam.htm
Yes I know some of you out there are breast cancer survivors and it may be very difficult to read/realize and come to terms with the FACT that the medical establishment has capitalized on OUR fears and may very well have caused the very thing it has purported to prevent. This is scary but remember the well informed patient is better equipped to be healthy …that means eating up and digesting all information, not solely that which is being dished out by the conventional pharma/medical industry.
So where does this leave me? I’ve mentioned hair color, plastic surgery, beauty, shoes, tits and more tits. It’s been a few days since my seat in the beauty chair. I am now highlighted, and heading toward joining the white haired ladies brigade. I ain’t rushing. I’m letting nature kinda sorta take her course. This means I’m not going to be visiting my Y.G. Jody very often, except for a few more lightening streaks, or is it streaks of lightning? … perhaps a trim, a deep condition, or one of her fabulous scalp massages…yeah, I’m still going for the feel good aspects of the salon experience. I’ve purchased a couple delightful over the shoulder boulder holders that are sans wires, and some sexy but comfortable shoes.
I’ll keep in touch.