One of the striking things about women is that most of us are faking it. I'm not sure if this is more true or less true in blog-land - what do you think?
This morning I got up and brushed my dyed hair. I applied lip gloss and maybe some blusher to create the illusion that I spend time outside and have a color other than that of a corpse because being white is okay but being too white is not. I put on a bra to elevate my genuine but unfortunately droopy bust. I put on 3 inch heels under my slacks to create a taller/leaner silhouette and to make my butt rounder. I chose a blazer with slightly padded shoulders to create a balance to the width of my bottom half, and also because a blazer skims over my tummy chub. Then I made sure to take my medication so I would be even-tempered enough to engage in the business matters of the day. This evening, I posed in a manner that makes my legs look longer and hopefully butt look smaller. While showing off my orthodontically corrected and occasionally Crest-White-Strips-bleached grin because smiling makes me face look younger, I made sure to turn my head slightly to the left to avoid showing my missing back bicuspid. I lifted my chin so my face/jawline would look thinner, and "smiled with my eyes" to appear genuine and engaged.
I'm only annoyed that my work day ran late because the light sucked and I wasn't able to get a good picture of all that effort. (Really. Must. Charge the damn camera and stop taking iphone pics.)
Wow. That's a lot of self-modification - a lot of fakery - for a natural girl. I'm a "natural girl" in that I am biologically female, have no implants (breast or otherwise), and have had no surgeries or medical procedures that affect my appearance. But every day I spend a lot of time masking my "deficiencies", whether they are real, self-perceived, or socially assigned. Each morning is a process of manufacturing the freeda I want to present to the world.
Every week I put a quote on my white board at week. This week's is "Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them. But do not let them master you." Helen Keller said that. Or signed it, or wrote it, I'm not sure. Are my "deficiencies" mastering me? Is this taking away from the quality of my life or improving it? Can you imagine what I could do if I devoted that amount of time to something productive?
Know what I figured out? That this actually IS something productive. My appearance is what is socially correct for my age, career, income level, race, and gender. And NO (wo)man is an island. We are a social species and dependent on others for validation and a sense of identity and the "appropriateness" and social acceptability of that identity. I receive positive feedback for all the effort I put into all this. Would I do these things if I were not blogging? Probably. It impacts my the way people interact with me, therefore my job, therefore my income, therefore my lifestyle.