Thursday, November 04, 2010

Little. Beautiful. Different.

I am so late to tell you about this. So sorry. There's still time, though. This contest runs through the end of the night, you can still easily participate!

You know Chookooloonks, right?

Of course you do.

You know about her new book, right?

Well, you should. It's called The Beauty of Different. It's published by Bright Sky Press and the launch party is December 2nd in Houston should you happen to be there then. I wish I knew how to teleport.

I'm thinking about beauty a lot lately. I'm not a person who wears makeup all the time. I don't feel I know enough about it but, especially since I'm sporting more and more facial scars, I want to. So I enlisted Kath to teach me. She's an expert and she loves the art of makeup. She taught me more in 2 half hour sessions than I think I have learned the whole rest of my life put together. She warned me as we talked that it would take practice. So I've been practicing. I've worn makeup every day for a whole week. Probably the longest run I've ever had...thus far. Two things have happened during that week.

First, I find I've actually been taking better care of my skin while I've been painting my face each day. I wash my face twice a day. I moisturize. I've even started to exfoliate. Maybe being taught your makeup skills by a painter makes you want to prep your canvas properly. "This is primer," she said, "think of it like gesso for your face."

Secondly, yesterday my boss complimented me on my haircut twice. I had my hair cut almost two weeks ago and he's seen me plenty of times since then. I wasn't wearing makeup, too, until yesterday, though. I'm almost certain he was, unwittingly, responding to the face rather than the hair. How could he not realize? I don't know. Maybe we're all programmed to love the made up face without even seeing it? Or maybe it's just that I'm so good at what Kath taught me that it doesn't even look like I'm wearing makeup. (Probably not the latter, I'm still a little klunky.)

Yet both of the business card designs I chose for Blogher feature my with a clean, empty face. (And a tiara, but that's not relevant.) Somehow, of the few photos I had available to me, the two that were close enough up and well enough executed for a business card were ones I'd just taken, not even thinking about makeup.

My face is different now. From what? From when I was a kid, hell from 3 months ago. The scar on my forehead still bothers me a lot. I'm not sure I'll get used to the new one on my lip either. Is it beautiful? I don't know. It sure is different, though. I'm thinking about it a lot and I'm glad that other people are, too. (Not my beauty or difference specifically but beauty and where it lies in general.) I mean I'm familiar with "pretty is as pretty does" but sometimes I still wonder if doing is enough. I haven't yet entered a photo of myself in the Beauty of Different photo pool but I want to. I think it should be a diptych (note to self: learn to make diptych) of closeups of my face, both with and without makeup.

Karen takes incredibly gorgeous portraits of people. Sometimes it feels intimidating to think of sharing a self portrait with a community centered around a photographer who so clearly highlights the beauty in every single one of her subjects. I want to glow and speak like the people in her portraits do. Will I? Must I?

On my back she painted, "All about the yes!" So, I will say yes to the portrait, yes to my scars, yes to the makeup, yes to beauty and difference. And when I am tempted to say no (or please, god, no) I will have The Beauty of Different (cover pictured here) as a light to guide me back.


  1. Not to trivialize any of it...but honey? i dont even see the scars. I swear to GOD. I swear to even a higher power. I swear to MeMe and Em! I dont see them. But I get it. I get the fever blisters...under duress...and it's all I can see. I dont know how YOU can't.

    but babe? I dont see it.

    all I see?

  2. The first year of the 365 day project taught me that I was not the hideous monster that I imagined I was. I think it's easier to see the flaws in ourselves. But Ill tell you something Kizz. Those people around you, those people who love you (like me!) see you as the brave beautiful woman that you truly are.

  3. i have a hard time even looking at myself in the mirror (Dave says the same thing about himself, LOL) but there is one photo of me, taken recently, that I really liked. I actually looked happy in it! And the weird thing is...I usually AM happy, but my face doesn't show it at all. Weird.