Does everyone go through periods when they hate themselves? I don't hate myself, but I have sudden insight into why some people hate me. In Houston, I had a flash of memory about my brother telling me something a mutual "friend" of ours had said (looking back, I guess we weren't really friends); he said, to my brother, "Your sister has all your worst qualities, only more so." I think he meant self-righteousness. I thought it was funny at the time, and I still think it's funny, but it also makes me ... not sad exactly, but wistful. Thank god I had the obliviousness of youth on my side, so I didn't walk around with the crushing knowledge that a lot of people had, shall we say, reservations about me. Another mutual friend once said that my Indian name would be "She who gets too much attention."
I've become obsessed with the fallout (ha ha, ugh) from the "Yellow Rain" segment of Radiolab. I haven't even listened to it yet, the original or the edited version, but I'm experiencing some extreme form of self-righteous (natch) indignation and schadenfreude just reading the angry comments on the Radiolab site, as well as Matt Salesses's essay on the segment, its failure as storytelling and as good science (good scientists don't begin with a foregone conclusion). This is the second time that NPR has taken a highly charged topic (the other being factory conditions in China) and totally botched it with a format that is just quintessentially not built to handle such serious and controversial material. I know it's not fair, but I'm just utterly convinced that the segment was racist and sexist. I asked a younger coworker, who is Taiwanese, what he thought, and he seemed very placid and neutral. I told him "You need to work up some more world rage!" Some rules of thumb for adult life: When in doubt, assume the guy is hitting on you, and assume almost everything is racist and sexist.
In less depressing news, I loved this interview with Dita von Teese in which she talks about her beauty routines and beauty in general:
I loved selling makeup, I hated doing makeovers…but I had a theory: when I was doing people’s makeup I would always—and this always worked for selling—look at them, study how their makeup was done, and I’d do it the exact same way. [Laughs] Hopefully a little better, or change a little something. I discovered early on that people have their ‘drag’… and very few people really, truly want to stray from it. Generally, and I include myself in this, I have my drag and I don’t want to anyone messing with it. I remember when I was little, I was watching the Phil Donahue show or something—that shows how old I am—and they were doing makeovers and they took all these ladies that had been wearing the same makeup for 20 years—you know, the green eye shadow, red lips, bouffant red hairdo, that type of lady. These were ladies who had never had their hair and makeup done any other way. I remember seeing the final makeovers and I was so devastated by how boring they made these women look…and how they looked kind of deflated, kind of disappointed, like they didn’t want to be made-over. Don’t take a lady’s green eye shadow away.
I pencil my mole in a little, but it’s tattooed now; I had it tattooed when I was 21. I went to a famous rockabilly tattoo parlor down in Orange County, and I actually wanted to have him do it in a heart or a star, and the guy was like, ‘There’s no way I’m putting a heart or a star on your face.’ Thank God he said that. [Laughs] He said he would only do a dot, thankfully.
Confidence is the important thing with beauty, mostly. It’s really about doing what you believe is beautiful. I feel most beautiful when I have my red lips on and when I have my cat eyeliner on and my hair curled—that’s what I feel good in, even though lots of people will see me with straight hair and no makeup on, and they’ll say I look so much younger. I don’t really care, though. I don’t care if they think I look prettier without the makeup and hair—it’s about what makes you feel good about yourself. I like having makeup on; I like the discipline it requires.
The confidence thing is a platitude I suppose, but it's the "I don't care" angle that I love. People always think you are doing things to please them, and that's why they try to get you to change. I mean, if you want to make people happy, there are probably better ways to do it than with your haircolor.