As I started this year-long project on July 1, 2010, December 31st marked the six-month milestone for me. The more I delve into the personal and social definitions and constructions of beauty, I realise how inextricably linked they are to sexuality, body image, gender politics, marketing, economics and many other issues.
As I mention on this blog’s homepage, part of this project is keeping a daily beauty diary. In it, I write down any thoughts I have on beauty, body image and myself. I also record all the everyday things I do to take care of my body and “make myself beautiful”. Below is a sampling from this daily journal.
July 1, 2010
I am very excited to be starting this art project, a year-long exploration of beauty. In terms of how I feel about my body, which is the purpose of these notes – to track and chronicle how I feel about my body as the year progresses – I want to truly love my body. I want to truly appreciate and accept my body, and truly believe that I am – and so many other women, of all shapes and sizes, are – beautiful. …
I love how my hair looks today; it is lovely and luxurious in all the rights places. I also like my outfit – black cocktail dress with cream and rosebud cardigan. As always, disgusted with my stomach, though marginally less so today – although this is only because I haven’t been eating carbs for the last few days.
August 4, 2010
Took a shower and moisturised all over. While in the shower was seriously contemplating re-doing my toe nails but am now reconsidering. …
Funny how, as women, we have all these beauty things to keep track of. There are so many levels to it, too. Have to constantly keep track of hair, skin, make-up, nails, bikini line, leg and armpit hair (not to mention the unfortunate women who have to also keep track of facial hair, hair on their toes, etc), eyebrows… Within all these, there are levels of extremity: do we buy cheap shampoo, or the expensive moisturising stuff? Will people (particularly people we are trying to attract) still love us if we buy the less moisturising stuff? Will we still be able to win at the sex/love game? The same goes for face cream, eye cream, waxes and everything else.
September 9, 2010
Modelled all day today. Belly and uterus totally bloated. Did eye-makeup twice. Bit of a palaver with hair wax – definitely a case of less is more.
October 11, 2010
Cleaned, groomed and painted my toenails today. Don’t really like the shade of red I have right now (it was cheap, and looked darker from the outside of the bottle). Maybe I’ll splurge and get a new colour sometime soon.
Shaved my legs and armpits when I was in the shower. Pubic hair is a sprawling mess at the moment, but at least I don’t have to model, and I am enjoying the fact that I can have it au naturel for awhile, even if I fear that small animals are getting lost in it.
Started my two-week no wheat diet today, as recommended by Sarah [the nutritionist I visited]. Feel pretty good. I’ve decided to focus on all the things I can eat, instead of fixating on the things I can’t eat. Went to yoga this evening. It was fabulous. As the teacher said, “It’s like taking yourself to the laundry.”
November 27, 2010
Wore my sexy new jeans today; felt very nice.
Watching a travel show from the late 1980s, which briefly interviewed an American woman. She said that TV is what tells little girls what to look like and what to be like. What are those messages, is what I want to explore – and who comes up with them in the first place? And who benefits from them? Is it the big cosmetic companies? The fashion/marketing industries? Is that too cliche? What are the larger implications of these messages – that we waste too much time and money on attempts to attain an unattainable beauty and please men? Or is that cliche too?
December 15, 2010
Put on lurid blue nail varnish at Linda’s today. I’m a new woman. Funny how these female rituals are so comforting.