Summer Solstice

21 06 2017

Lately I’ve felt like I’ve been burning the candle at both ends, constantly finding myself at the end of the night with an unfinished list and chatter on my mind. The world continues to get more chaotic, and respites seem fewer and farther between. The need for self-care is far greater now than ever before, yet we struggle to disconnect ourselves long enough to truly recover from the daily atrocities that surround us. To be indifferent is not the answer, but sometimes we need to ignore and forget, if only for a little while.

Or maybe the answer is not dis-connecting, but re-connecting.

Nature often reminds us of our insignificance. Despite all the human-related news and technologies, we are still struck down by flash floods and volcanoes. We are still stuck on this never-ending rotational orb, through darkness, and light, day in and day out.

When I feel overwhelmed, I shift my scale. Instead of focusing on the immensity of it all, stop to look closer to your own two feet. While I may not take enough stock in the little things that bring us joy and beauty every day, today is a big opportunity.

Today is the tipping point. The longest day of the year. Make it count. I rose to the sunrise and was inspired to write. Thank you, universe, for reminding me of what is important.

 

“Summer Solstice”

She  tiptoed through the night

Mottled with inky darkness and human light,

Languidly climbing to the precipice

Of spring and summer.

For 6 long months, she traversed.

She focused on this moment,

When she would find equilibrium

For one brief but beautiful second.

She paused there, at the top,

Darkness all around her,

As a pinpoint of light begins to appear.

It rapidly explodes into a scene

Rivaling Tambora in Indonesia.

Epic eruption, decimating the weight of

A thousand hours of struggle.

Silhouettes of trees, dappled with flames,

Sunlight strewn through them like lava.

She inhales deeply,

Absorbing the dawn,

Filling her lungs with vermillion blaze.

Hovering under ominous clouds,

Foreboding of nebulous worries,

She knows the climb back down will still be difficult.

She takes one drousy, prolonged blink,

Opens her bleary eyes,

And begins her journey.

~KRW

6.21.17

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Batting for Vanity

7 01 2016

twiggy bwI know I will never be accused of being a fashionista. I buy 90% of my clothing second hand, and then adapt it to fit my own style. However, am I seriously the only one who is waiting patiently for this ridiculous trend of eyelash extensions to die??

 


Don’t get me wrong, I’m married to someone who brought boxes of wigs,Halloween-Party-False-Eyelashes-100-Pair-Mix-Order-Beautiful-Carnival-False-Eyelash makeup, glitter, and eyelash falsies into the relationship, so, I get that playing dress up can be quite fun. (Actually, the glitter may have mostly been mine). I’ve even donned a pair of sparkly eyeflippers a time or two. But, not every day is Halloween
(or Pride), right? 

 

Gateway Drug

Everywhere I go, more young women are wearing fake lashes not just for special occasions, but EVERY DAY. For coffee. To the post office. To church. Trust me, Baby Jesus does not think less of you for having blond eyelashes.

These women are spending hundreds-even thousands– of dollars a year to maintain an impossibly unreal look, all in the name of vanity. And, sure, I get it, you were born with tiny blond lashes and you just want people to notice your soul by gazing into your baby blues. (There’s this thing called “makeup,” which might be a safer option.) What does this say about our society that we are expected to look completely unnatural in order to be ‘normal?’ 

I contend that lash extensions are a gateway drug to extreme body image issues, akin to other disorders. I mean, look at this ‘before and after’ below. This person was absolutely beautiful without the fakes. Next up, nip and tuck!

pinterest missmaven

Did you know?

  • It takes 2-3 hours to get fakes glued to your eyelids. And you better have showered right before your appointment, because otherwise you’re gonna be pretty gross while you wait another 24 hours to get near water.
  • Lash extensions are attached to individual lashes, like when you were a kid and pulled cardboard tubes over your arms so you could chase around your older brothers yelling, “I am TubeMan!” No? Oh, maybe that was just me…
  • Your tort- er- treatment only lasts 4-8 weeks, since they fall out according to your normal hair growth cycle. Then you get to pay for it all over again. Feel like an addiction yet?
  • Lashes require blow-drying by a tiny specialty device that looks like something Ken dreamt up for Barbie after she dumped him and took off in that red Corvette. Otherwise, as so eloquently described by Ms. Tunell, “after showers, your lashes look like a sopping wet tarantula and on windy days, they arrange themselves into a crisscross formation.(I love this article by Ms. Tunell, describing her experience with extensions.)

 

Is This Really New???

Here’s the deal. Eyelashes have a long and sordid history. In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder thought that eyelashes fell out from excessive sex and so it was especially important for women to keep their eyelashes long to prove their chastity.” So… that’s creepy.

Later, women plucked out all their lashes and brows to comply with the trend (think medieval & renaissance times). Then, when thick lashes came back into style in the late 1800s, there were insane treatments- like this one explained in an article by the Dundee Courier in 1899:

 

“ An ordinary fine needle is threaded with a long hair, generally taken from the head of the person to be operated upon. The lower border of the eyelid is then thoroughly cleaned, and in order that the process may be as painless as possible rubbed with a solution of cocaine. The operator then by a few skilful touches runs his needle through the extreme edges of the eyelid between the epidermis and the lower border of the cartilage of the tragus. The needle passes in and out along the edge of the lid leaving its hair thread in loops of carefully graduated length.”

 

(Cough) I’m sorry… WHAT?!?! Cocaine??? Yeah…

But what’s really creepy is that this trend IS BACK. Internet ads now tout a “minor outpatient procedure,” where cosmetic surgeons  remove hair follicles from the back of your head and replace the grafts on your eyelids. For realz. It’s retro cool. Like, 117 years retro. Thank goodness we haven’t progressed since the 1800s!

 

The Faux Trend

kim-kardashian-eyelashes-300x287In part, you can thank big fakes like Kim Kardashian for breaking the short reprieve that started in the 1970s, when women were finally embracing their natural beauty. In fact, that trend of a more natural look lasted through the 1990s, and it’s only really been in the new millennium, with the rise of internet, that we’ve come to expect that we should all wake up looking as made up as the internet stars worth millions of dollars.

 

The princesses of faux are cashing in on the trend (that they are pushing with a new line of false lashes) claiming that, “Faking fuller lashes are a thing of the past. For 2013 faux lashes are being worn BIG and without apology.” Who can argue with that logic?

 

So, who cares???

You should. For several reasons. Forget the whole deal about realistic body image and depressed senses of self worth that we are imparting on the next generation, let’s move on to some other reasons that are more about you.

  1. Hygiene. Eyelashes are naturally a protective shield for your eyes, and serve a very important role. Excessively oversized lashes are more prone to catch and hold dirt and bacteria, which could lead to infections. Considering the care that one must take not to get the falsies too wet, this is even more likely.
  2. Formaldehyde. Yeah, the stuff they use on dead bodies, that’s what’s most commonly found in the glue they use on your face. As long as you don’t get that cigarette too close to your eyes, you should be safe from going up in flames, but you are still at risk of severe irritation, allergic reactions, and, in extreme exposure, this nasty stuff is linked to some cancers, per the U.S. EPA. But, everything in moderation, right? There are also lots of low-quality products out there that will be more likely to contain suspect materials.
  3. Loss of sight. It’s very rare, but any adverse reaction too close to your eyes can quickly escalate into very serious conditions like conjunctivitis, keratitis, and even- very rarely- loss of sight. Among beauty treatments, eyelash extensions account for the greatest number of eye-clinic consultations in Japan, where they have been very widely used.
  4. Hair Loss. If blindness doesn’t bother you, maybe this will. Improper attachment of fake lashes can actually damage your natural lashes, causing traction alopecia. This means that there is too much excess pressure on your hair follicles, which can actually stop normal growth of your lashes, or cause them to fall out. Imagine if someone tied a 5 pound weight to the hair on your head. That’s how your lashes feel.

~~~So, I say that if you want to be like the Kardashians, why hold back? Are you too chicken to go with a little more bling? I mean, what could possibly go wrong with attaching dozens of sharp objects near your eyeballs? I’m sure your job interview will go great once they see how committed you are to things you are passionate about. ~~~eye makeup from BH_matassianeye_com