Monday, January 13, 2014

Permit me a vanity post. I am so embarrassed to post photos of myself and talk about my appearance. Yet other people really seem to respond positively to this stuff on social media.

Tonight I was checking my Pinterest and noticed that some stranger had commented on this pin. That made me feel very strange, not just because that picture is about 18 months old now, but also because, as I've said, I don't think of myself and the things I create as legit fodder for Pinterest. I think of it as a strange fantasy realm of beauty that I'm allowed to look at, curate and quote from, but not contribute to. The only reason I posted the pic of those glasses was because I had previously pinned the product shot when I bought them online.

I was thinking recently about lipstick because various feminists were posting on Facebook about buying some lipsticks from Etsy. I own a lot of lipsticks but none of them were as nice as the ones being discussed. But then I thought how foolish and vain it was of me to even fantasise about buying new lipsticks, especially in similar shades to ones I already have, when lipstick only emphasises how far from beautiful I am, just as nail polish only highlights my fat, stumpy fingers. And why do I bother angsting over whether my hair looks better short or long, up or down? When you look like me, nothing looks good. 'Beauty' is about mitigating the ugliness to mere inoffensiveness.

I feel like a complete hypocrite for writing some smarmy book about terrible it is that we judge each other's appearance, when I never fail to feel crushed by photos of me taken by other people in which I look like a bloated corpse (who died of carbon monoxide poisoning, hence the grotesque, ham-like pinkness of my face). As I have previously noted, you can only be 'fat hot' if you have a single pointy chin and a smooth, even distribution of the fat.

Recently a friend of mine posted a photo of me on Facebook in which I am wearing a tight top that accentuates the fat roll above my waist. I remember that day I was feeling quite self-conscious about the top but had reasoned that if I arranged it in a certain scrunchy way it would create a camouflaging ruched effect. Well it hadn't ruched adequately and I look fucking awful. Appalled that this image was associated with my Facebook profile, I immediately untagged myself and hid it from my Facebook stream.

But it is terrible indeed to ponder that this is just how I look in the world. This, and not my carefully posed and curated selfies, is what other people see when they look at me, and the mental image that comes into their heads when they think of me. It's this knowledge that makes me feel foolish caring about how I look. Literally lipstick on a pig.

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