Saturday, June 26, 2010

My take on the Pursuit of Beauty!!!

I still remember one girl's horror story that my dad witnessed at his senior prom, which he would tell and retell again over the years. Apparently, the three-inch heel of one of the girl's shoes snapped off in the middle of an energetic boogie number. Unfortunately, I don't recall what my dad said happened to her afterwards, I just can't remember which of the following three scenarios most likely took place: a.) She immediately produced a back-up pair of pumps out of her purse and chucked the defective shoes into file 13 (thattagirl!) b.) She opted to quietly fade into obscurity after the painfully embarrasing mishap (uncool!) or still c.) She was suddenly struck by genius after popping a mint into her mouth and heroically snapped off the heel of her other shoe and carried on fox-trotting (way to go!), just like in the old Mentos commercial - does anyone remember that one? Gosh, I am soooo giving away my age!!!

But while that "shoe malfunction" (a variant of the new term coined by Janet Jackson) story never failed to elicit a hearty guffaw from my father as he would recount the horrific details, deep inside I felt for that nameless once young woman. How could he relate anyway? After all, only a fellow gal could understand the lengths we'd go to in the name of beauty, in her case, braving possible humiliation or worse yet, a broken neck or a concussion, just for the illusion of mile-long legs and a lifted rear??? Why else would the ancient Egyptians risk their eyesight with lead-tainted eye kohl for the desirable, what we now call, smokey-eye??? Or why do the Burmese women of the Padaung tribe endure the discomfort of wearing those cumbersome, and not to mention heavy, rings around their necks in order to elongate them, making Tyra Banks proud, but if not for the tireless pursuit of beauty?

And while we have smartened up somewhat and abandoned altogether (well at least in these parts) some of the archaic and barbaric beauty practices like toying with the risk of setting one's whole head aflame and some resulting nasty third degree burns from singeing one's hair??? Some of them still prevail, but the methods and devices now presently used have been tweaked to perfection over the decades with more regard paid to safety and common sense. Take for example the serious business of hair-straightening. Just like a lot of things, the flattening iron has come a long way from it's cruder predecessors. Does anyone remember the multi-purpose hairstyler that Conair, I believe, used to make back in the day? It had all these different attachments that could be snapped onto the tong-shaped device, enabling one to heat-emboss different shapes like hearts or stars onto their hair (hey, my four-year-old daughter Maya, would have loved that, too bad it's been phased out since!!!) It even had crimpers, and of course, regular flat plates for plain straightening - the product of sheer feminine ingenuity at it's best, one might have considered it to be at the time. But the only downside to the gadget was that they hadn't discovered the equally genius use of ceramic as a coating material yet at the time either, which allows the new currently used versions to just effortlessly glide through the hair offering a virtually seamless, snag-free straightening experience. The bare metal plates of the old styler also did not heat up evenly, causing "hotspots" that would literally burn hair to a crisp (on second thought, I take it back, I wouldn't want that for Maya now!) I've been very pleased with the performance of my sleek, compact and streamlined babyliss ceramic flattening iron that I had purchased back in 2006, but apparently, they have since begun to use tourmaline to coat these devices, which is in fact superior to ceramic, and is now the gold standard in hair-flattening. Personally, I prefer to use my handy-dandy round brush for my everyday hair-straightening needs. I like the more natural-looking end-product of using the brush compared to the edgy straight effect from the iron, which I reserve for when I'm going for a more trendy look every now and then. The barrel of my round brush is of course again, ceramic-coated and the bristles are synthetic. You might find it interesting to know that, originally the bristles of brushes used to be made out of boars' hair (which are basically wild pigs) Ewwwww!!! some might say, but personally, I think this is pretty neat, the practice being totally in keeping with sustainable development which is all the rage these days, SHAME ON YOU BP!!! I mean not a single part of the animal is wasted, from the hocks, down to the very hairs!!! The handle of my brush is ergonomically designed too and is filled with some kind of gelly substance for comfort, good thing, too, for the last thing I need is to develop an RSI from using it so much! I actually bless the day I mastered and learned to wield in a quasi expert fashion, my round brush on one hand simultaneously with my hair dryer on the other, because for the longest time I thought I was doomed to a sad lifetime plagued with frizzy-hair woes! Needless to say, I ♥♥♥ my hair brush and unlike my AMEX which I sometimes forget tucked away somewhere "chez nous," I never ever leave home, especially overnight, without my beloved (limited edition) professional Goody ceramic round brush with it's cool plasmium gel-filled ergonomic handle!!!

to be continued.....


  1. Wow good one when I think of the things I've done to my hair!!!! YIKES....scary stuff
    Once I was chemically straightening at a salon I could barely breath and everyone left me alone till I was cooked...what does that tell you about that product...give me a straightener flat-iron any time now so much less trouble...

  2. been there done that lori, bought the tshirt and the bumper sticker too....craaaazzzy, eh????