One thing though, I have always, always had no interest in, or any idea about faking it. I have been known to cry out in fear and confusion at how Rihanna would have a short red crop one day, and long blonde hair the next. I didn't actually know that many women of colour would get a weave or extensions. I just thought they were REALLY good with straightening irons and conditioning!
Then comes the tans. The deep, golden tans that everyone seemed to be obsessive about having. Where did these tans happen? What was this madness on 'Snog Marry Avoid' (vid below for the uninitiated) where ladies were rubbing themselves with what looked like childrens washcloths full of brown muck filled me with confusion. How was all this going on and i'd never met, talked about, or seen it in my entire life!?
So, one day I was in brighton, in the blazing sun with no sunscreen and got horrifically burnt. I sent the guy I was with into the local garage to get me some aftersun and I slathered it thickly on my poor burnt legs. What I didn't realise is this wasn't actually aftersun, it was gradual tan in medium/dark (if you're not aware, i'm so pale I'm not sure I register as a colour at all). The next day my calves were a filthy orangey mess, patchy and blotchy, and I realised in horror what had happened. I also realised that it was in the middle of a baking hot summer, and I was expected to be wearing a dress that very evening. I doused more of the stuff on and hoped for the best.....and bizarrely, that evening, whilst in a summer dress and louboutin rip off wedges, I was complimented on how I looked nice with "a bit of colour on me". It did actually help my confidence a little! So, where did this leave me, given my hatred of fakery?
Well, a bit ashamed, and hiding a bottle of Xen gradual tan in the cupboard whilst pretending that despite the fact I barely go outside in the sun, I had somehow 'caught it'. Well done me!
Circle lens example, courtesy of Dolluxe
And then there's this, the circle lens thing. If you're not aware of this trend, it's been happening for years in Japan, and is basically borne out of a desire for girls to look at child like, or cartoon like as humanly possible, thus enlarging the iris to an unnatural size to create this effect, sometimes with a vivid colour. I bought these last year as I was being a Ganguro Gal for halloween (if i've got the terminology wrong there, don't hate me, i'm not an expert of Japanese street fashion I just have a fascination with it). Anyway, I bought them, and I realised I felt much more confident with these bright big blue eyes, so now, I wear them constantly. It means I wear less make up to feel like a human, and can get away with mascara, foundation, blusher and lipstick, whereas before i'd go stir crazy on massive Alice Glass esque smoky eyes. I realised, another bit of fakery was boosting me....was it such a bad thing?
Alice Glass, looking awesome, always.
And then....my hair, due to the fact I dye it blue and pink, starting falling out an inch from the root. Brilliant. I'd always hated girls that got extensions, considered it vain and cheating. Guess what though, I ended up buying some clip in ones, dying them pink and blue and now I can't do my thing without clipping those bad boys in. Why? Well, again, it makes me feel a bit better about myself. But does that mean i've become everything I once hated? Maybe, but when I was hating the fakery, the poster girls for this stuff was Katie Price and Chantelle Houghton, girls who seem to make money from appealing to a males base instincts and being very very stupid indeed. Am I now a slave to shallow ways?!
Well....no, i'm not, because I realised this. In this world, people ARE very concerned with looks for a myriad of reasons. We are constantly harangued with images of stunning, flawless women, expensive clothes, salubrious lifestyles and being told constantly that we can do stuff to achieve this. I am not fooled by it all, but there are a lot of people out there whose lives are made a lot sunnier by having the LUCK, and nothing else other than luck, of having two parents whose genetic make up being mixed together made them one good looking bastard. Am I bitter? Well, a bit yeah, who wouldn't want to earn millions and be applauded for basically just being born and being able to walk and talk at the same time if commanded to? Certainly seems preferable to working as a cleaner or studying your arse off for years to end up waiting tables.
Leslie Ash, post botched lip and face filler
But where would I draw the line? Well, my opinions on plastic surgery have in fact softened. Firstly I would LOVE to get my teeth done, as they do make me ashamed to smile as they're yellow due to a childhood medication that was withdrawn, and crooked due to my wisdom teeth. Also, there have been times that I have cried out for liposuction and a nose job.
Then I remember stories like poor Leslie Ash (pictured above) who had always been a fox, from the first time I saw her in the amazing film Quadrophenia shagging Paul Daniels in an alley, to her being the rather perky,delicious girl next door in 90's sitcom Men Behaving Badly. Actually, nearly all her roles had been based on her youthful good looks. It wasn't unthinkable that this level of pressure had lead her to have her face disfigured, and subsequently mocked and ridiculed by the tabloid press. The whole attitude of the press, even when pitifully disguised in rags like Heat, is vicious when attacking people for getting fat, thin or older. Things that happen to humans, the cruelest being mocking age, which no human can fight, making it feel like a disease. I mean, it's bad enough having to accept we'll all sag to the point that our jowls will move independent of our faces. We don't need constant pictures of Joanna Lumley to remind us how unlucky we are in relation to her....
Katie Price. Shhhhh now Katie, we've all heard, seen, tutted enough.
What was I rambling about? Oh yeah, surgery. I wouldn't do it. I made this decision about six years ago when I had a cyst the size of a human head in my pelvis. I had a six hour operation to remove the thing and the recovery, for a relatively benign operation, took three months of recovery before I could even walk like I hadn't been beaten in the stomach with a baseball bat. It was terrifying seeing the results of trauma that your body goes through when operated on. The idea that people do that for vanity reasons, basically risk death through the million ways you can die through an operation, scares the knickers right off my bottom. No ta, i'll just have to put up with my crippling confidence issues instead, because lets face it, those confidence issues can't actually physically cripple me, which I think i'd prefer less....
So how do you feel about these things? Do you prefer to work with what chance gave you, or do you go to the level of enhancement that means a one night stand could be an extremely awkward situation the next morning, involving lots of reclipping, and mucky fake tan stained sheets? Do you care? Should I stop rambling now?
Thanks for reading. X