Yesterday was all about being fat in public. I woke up and was persuaded to go to Olive Garden for lunch. (Have I mentioned how much I love Zuppa Toscana? A few years ago, for a couple weeks straight, I went to OG for lunch every day. It was so delicious.) Then I headed over to Fry’s Electronics to pick up a microphone and surge protector for myself, and I had to pick up a pair of headphones and a video game for my youngest BIL; it is his 14th birthday today. After a quick hour at home to check my email and drop off the goods, I was off to see the play Ripper at the Deb Fennell Auditorium. Apparently this is a HS auditorium, though I’ve never seen one this nice.
So basically it was a lot of stress about whether my body was going to be deemed inappropriate by the people around me, whether I would fit comfortably (or at all) into the seats, whether someone I didn’t know was going to sit beside me and if they were going to be snotty about the arrangement. Even OG is tough these days, because they have arms on their chairs and the booths sometimes don’t have enough room. I didn’t realize how taxing all this was going to be on my psyche until I came home for the day. I was exhausted to say the least.
On the way home, though, my heteroromatic life partner had to stop at Walgreens. I have been wanting to buy a red lipstick and some mascara for awhile so I decided to go in.
This is what I came out with. The options are overwhelming and I had no idea what to buy. We’ll see what happens with these. I tried to look for “Wet’n Wild” since Make-up Agony Aunt and her followers recommend it a lot. I didn’t see any though.
Now I realize that for some buying make-up is not an act of resistance. Women are expected to be attractive, to paint their bodies (not too much) and adhere to a certain standard of beauty. For many years I probably would have agreed with y’all. That’s not how I feel any longer. I realized that I don’t even know if I like make-up. When I was 13 I experimented a little, yet I was so freaked out by all the rules and limitations and “signals” I was apparently sending out that I just stopped. Then I became too self-conscious because I was fat. I’ve always tried to hide behind a butch façade. Then I became a feminist and prescribed to the idea that make-up was submitting to patriarchy and thus I would never do it. I also didn’t want to have “girly” girls talk to me, or to think I wanted to discuss boys and make-up and hair. Yes, I was one of those special snowflakes that let my inner misogyny fly in the name of feminism. I was pretty gross.
The reality is, I’m not sure what I am. How can I decry an activity without, one, ever trying it, and two, examining the reasons I don’t like it? I’m still allowing the dominant culture dictate what I do instead of deciding for myself. I’ve talked a lot about this with friends, but I was too busy proselytizing instead of focusing on my own behavior. I’m not sure why now is the moment to put it into action. I feel good about my purchases, however, and I’m intrigued by this experiment. I’m a little excited and nervous about how my self-expression and gender representation may (or may not) change.
This is how I resisted today.