Decorative Flower
Her Realm, Personal website and blog of Cole
Jan 24

Dear Men, Dear Media, Dear You

Many moons ago, I wrote a post entitled “7 Truths About Women.” I don’t think many people read the piece because the very first item on the list is something that people don’t understand. But let me back up for a bit.

I am signed up for the ChickAdvisor newsletter. I once won some makeup from the site, actually. It’s a Canadian-based site with a community, reviews and giveaways every week. This week’s newsletter features a giveaway that you can enter by commenting on a post entitled: I Hide This Beauty Routine from the BF – What Do You Keep Secret?

I didn’t even realize this was a giveaway post until now — see how much I pay attention? However, I was curious about the things that other women answered. Indeed, the author herself shared the same “secret” as most commenters.

Hair.

Hair on toes. Hair above the upper lip. Peach fuzz on the body and face. Hair that’s thicker or more coarse than we’re comfortable with. As a whole, the comments talked about all sorts of hair removal and camouflage

  • Bleaching

    Hair removal

    I’d rather be having fun than removing hair.

  • Shaving
  • Depilatory creams
  • Plucking
  • Trimming
  • Wax
  • and more

If you’re a man — or even a woman — and you didn’t realize there were this many ways to deal with hair, consider yourself lucky. No, really.

In reality, women are not fair-free creatures dropped from heaven with skin as soft as a baby’s bottom. We’re not. But we’re expected to achieve this so we invest all sorts of moneys into cosmetics and makeup to try to achieve to these standards, which might just be impossible.

Who’s feeding us these ideas, which so often make us insecure? It’s not men. Men, as it turns out, are not that damned picky. Really.

It’s the media. The media that’s fueled by pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies. The reason they tell us we aren’t enough. We aren’t good enough, thin enough, tall enough or what-have-you enough is because if we believe that, we’ll buy whatever those companies are selling. Magazines exist for the ads. Everything in between those is filler.

It’s not just about hair removal. Lips should be full and red, eyebrows arched, hair perfectly coiffed, skin tanned, nails filed and painted, breasts full and bouncing, skin clear and without imperfections, and we should always look fresh and dewy no matter what real life demands of us. In some ways, men face some of the same expectations. I don’t deny this. This post is not about you, men.

This post is about women who see images on the TV, on billboards, in magazines and online that suggest there are ways to be.  These ways do not typically come naturally. Sure, not every woman deals with toe hair, but if you ask among your friends, you’ll find that many do. Yet, everywhere we look, we’re told these things are not womanly or feminine.

The way we naturally are is not feminine, we are told.

And if we care about that, we spend countless hours trying to obtain the unobtainable. Some people care more than others, and some women care not at all. I envy them. I cannot go a day without shaving, moisturizing and donning expensive underwear. I often wear CC cream because I am so opposed to the natural appearance of my skin. The list of beauty items I’ve reviewed is far smaller than the list of things I’ve tried.

I once wrote this on a forum:

Shaved, waxed, plucked, lotioned, oiled, moisturized, pumiced and scrubbed.. and I still feel kinda icky. Being feminine is so fucking hard.

So when a woman spends more time in front of the mirror or in the shower than her partner likes, it’s because she cares enough about what the media has told her is wrong with herself. Things that are natural but that which she has come to belief are unnatural, perhaps even ugly or making her undesirable. She pays an inordinate amount of time concentrating on herself, sometimes to the point of not being able to enjoy herself, because she’s been taught that everything about her is wrong.

And if you ever made an offhand comment abut how her feet were too rough, the hair on her toes gross or point out the peach fuzz above her lip, you’re contributing to this way. She may spend half of her life in the bathroom with her secret routines because she’s afraid to show you the real, natural her because you buy into this bullshit.

No, you’re not the only one. Actresses, models and singers, pretty much everyone in the public eye goes through these routines. The only difference between those women and myself is they have personal stylists, makeup artists and other helpers to get the work done. I don’t have those people or any of the education and experience they have. So I’m sorry if I don’t measure up.

Wait, no I’m not.

I think it’s ridiculous that a woman’s worth is connected so much to achieving an appearance that is so time consuming. And when she puts in the time? She’s judged for that to.

I think I shall wrap up this rant.

Dear men: understand what’s going on and give women a break.

Dear media: go die in a fire, you fuck faces.

Dear you: you’re beautiful naturally. Nothing is wrong with you, but if you like a little powder and rouge or enjoy the way your legs feel after shaving, go ahead and do it!


Nov 26

Ode to UPS

Oh UPS! Wretched UPS!
You are not the best
Not by a little, not by far
You’re barely better than railway car

First you knock
but do you wait?
Who’d have thought
this was a race

It always seems to fail
that our paths should intertwine
Your drivers like to bail
with packages of mine

When you leave a box
It gets even worse
It always winds up “lost”
Could it be a curse?

How many times now
Have I expressed rage
I don’t know how
You keep ruining my day!

So UPS, my mortal enemy
I’d appreciate if you
could deliver things to me
Or else you’ll go kaboom!


Nov 21

The State Is Super Efficient

I qualify for some state-covered services, including basic family planning (birth control, yearly PAPs, STD screening). Once a year I need to renew my application. This process entails me getting lots of letter:

  • A letter telling me the renewal is coming up
  • A letter with an application I have to send back with my updated information
  • A letter instructing me of the date for my phone interview
  • A letter telling me my benefits will end if I don’t return my paper application and answer the phone call
  • A booklet and letter informing me of my benefits (I get the same one every year, and they’ve already sent me one this year!)
  • A letter information me that I will soon receive this previous letter
  • A letter reminding me of my phone interview

Snail Mail

Piles and piles o’ mail

In the past two days, I’ve received three separate mailings. All of them stated they were sent on the 18th, the day of my phone interview, which I answered and finished in less than ten minutes. The first one said that if I didn’t make that interview, my benefits would end on December 1st. Um, how is a letter you “sent” on the day of my interview supposed to help me make my phone call? Plus, there’s no way that letter could have been sent on that day and made it here the very next day. You, my friends, are not Doc Brown.

Especially when two other letters, also with the same date, didn’t arrive until yesterday. That’s actually possible, but one of them was essentially a you-don’t-have-to-do-anything-but-don’t-forget-this-phone-call reminder. Which I think I got the point of when you sent me the first letter with the date and time less than a week ago.

I’m annoyed. Perturbed, really. Not only is it inconvenient for me to have to deal with all this mail. It’s confusing. The one letter arrived after my phone interview informing me that my benefits were ending if I didn’t participate in said interview. They’re obviously post-dating some stuff, which only makes it worse.

However, I will have received !seven! 7 seh-veeeennnnnnn different mailings in less than a month about this. The only ones I really need are the ones containing the application for me to return, the one instructing me of the phone interview time and one informing me of any changes. Hell, they can even throw the stupid booklet in there because, while I don’t need it, I’m sure they’re required to do so. That’s still half the freakin’ mail that I got.

And they wonder why we’re in debt.

Governor Walker, have you considered ending the mass murder of trees to save money? Maybe the money saved can go toward education or, you know, expanding state Medicaid. Oh, wait. Hahaha. Walker’s a douche canoe who rejected federal money to get that going. My bad.

This isn’t related to the governor at all, but I figured if I was bitching about “the man,” I’d add the most terrible “man” to the list.

 


Oct 29

What Is Wrong?

I haven’t been having a very good day. I don’t even know if that’s necessarily true. I’ve cried three times since I woke up but for no really good reason. I’m just blue. It may be chemicals or the turning of the weather. It certainly has a lot to do with my broken heart and some friends who no longer seem to have time for me. It’s partially the stress of planning a giant Halloween party and that freelance work isn’t as abundant as it once was. It may be that I’m too cold to think properly and I should just turn on the fucking heat already.

All I know is, whatever the cause, I’m done with it. I just wish it were done with me.


Oct 17

Weight of the World

Don't make someone a priority if all you are is an option.

Well, the duck can’t be wrong..

I always see this meme  floating around, and while I agree with it in theory, I don’t think I embody the meaning of it. No one makes me a priority. Hell, I don’t even feel like an option to most people that I love. I feel as though none of my relationships are 50/50 or anything close, not familial, friendly or romantic/sexual. It feels as though I am always giving far more than half of my share. And while some days I’m grateful to be able to do that, to be there for people, today is just not one of those days.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it’s a bad mood, the fact that I drank last night or this headache. I’ll certainly not be affected by it this much in just a few hours, that much I know. However, I don’t necessarily think that it’s because I’ll go back to thinking that my relationships are fair. I just know that it won’t bother me as much at a later date. Those aren’t the same things, and it’s kind of a bummer.

So, my relationships aren’t fair. They’re sort of one-sided, and there’s a reason for this. I am just a thoughtful person. It’s because of my anxiety. I analyze a lot of situations, and the things that some people never think of are the things that I can’t forget. This makes for one thoughtful person.. but one thoughtful person who doesn’t feel like she gets a lot back for all her efforts. I don’t want to sound entitled, but I guess I feel like if I can do these things for the people I love, can’t they think of me in return?

And I know that other people don’t think the same or view the same as I do. I also know that some people do think of me. Sometimes they do sweet things because they want to make me smile, but I don’t feel like anyone goes out of their way the way that I sometimes do. And they don’t do it in ways that helps relieve the stress, but perhaps they can’t. That’s not the roll of a friend. It doesn’t usually feel like I’m on a team, like anyone’s in my corner. Sometimes it feels so very lonely. That’s one of the few things I miss about being married.

If I do this with my friends, why wouldn’t I do it with my relationships? That’s the thing. If you tell me to cut someone off for being a douche, shouldn’t I do that with all my friends who make me feel exactly the same? Wouldn’t I be a hypocrite if I pick and choose the people who can walk all over me and those who can’t?

There is a tiny voice in the back of my head saying that maybe I deserve better from everyone, but logic wins out because idealistic thoughts like that only lead to disappointment when you have to deal with the real world. The reason that I put so much effort into these things is because I don’t really trust the people I love to love me back as much. I don’t have faith that they’ll apologize if they’re wrong, and I can’t help but think of the long-term success of the relationship over my current state of being. I have to be the one to do the work because if I don’t, who will?

It’s just how the world works, and I’ve got to get used to carrying it.