Monday, May 25, 2009

imperfectly imperfect

I have a huge nose. Although it was once a real source of 'pain' and embarassment, it now does not cause me to 'shade' the tip in an attempt to conceal the actual length or to ensure that I hold my head downturned slightly in photos in the hopes that I don't go down in history with my grandchildren remarking how cavernous my nostrils were. In fact, I found it wonderfully hilarious recently and loved the fodder for a giggle when a stranger commented that my sister and I had noses that 'any man would be proud of' (you know, big nose = big ....male parts).

In my generous and most comfortable times, I firmly believe that everyone is beautiful....Sometimes, it isn't blatantly apparent. And sometimes, that beauty is completely unconventional. But it is beauty. I feel wonder that our bodies work. Amazement that we are alive. Joy in the way science and whatever is 'out there' works and how we interact. I can feel that what you 'look' like doesn't matter. That what you wear is inconsequential unless it is causing you physical discomfort (too cold, too hot, too itchy...).

But in there lies the problem. I am fine that someone else looks different. I can notice these difference acutely, but it is just an observation.....Until it is me. When it is me, I hate to stand out. And when I stand out, I am talking about the near nuclear glow of my doughy, blue hued, transluscent, thoroughly veined skin. I try to be okay with the freckles that dot every visible piece of exposed skin. I joke that I look tanned when 'all my freckles connect'. I try to think of my skin as 'porcelain' or 'peaches and cream'. Really, it's just DAMN WHITE.

So, in an attempt to lose some of the glow-in-the-dark properties that my skin possesses, I bought sunless tanner. I was torn. Really torn about showing my daughter that I am completely comfortable with what I look like. I want her to be proud of what her body unfolds to look like and not feel pressure to change it. I HATE, despise and loathe to think what chemicals lurk in this bottle of orange-ish brown skin dye. I am embarassed to think that my vanity is contributing to pollution by way of causing a demand for these admittedly strange products. Horror that I have bought into the media's homogenized version of the colour that skin 'should' be.

But here I sit, now typing away with my false sunkissed glow complete with streaks and handprints of brown. I feel sullied and deserving of the snickers that my mottled obviously fake tanned skin have afforded me. I realize that my decision to paint myself 'tanned' makes me a hypocrite....a very orange hypocrite. But really, if you judge me, it may just be because you possess that lovely olive sun-kissed glow that us grossly blue-white hued people long for. If you were ghostly, like me, you'd get it...Right? *giggle*

13 comments:

Amber said...

I am ghostly white. I don't even really tan, I just burn. And while I have never purchased sunless tanner, I have spent many hours standing in front of it in a store and contemplating. Putting bottles in my cart and taking them out. The only reason I avoided it was because I was worried I would do a bad job, not because I'm evolved or anything. So I totally understand where you're coming from. :)

mandymichelleboggs.blogspot.com said...

Funny post considering it's where I am at right now. Both with body parts and tan. :-) I just got back from Florida where every woman was barely clothed, had gorgeous boobs, and was beautifully tan. There was an overwhelming sense of low confidence as I sat there with my really white body parts that were not near as vuluptious as the other woman. I struggle so much with wanting to accept my body and not be vain, but there are days I think "Just do something about it and end the inner battle." But will that really end the battle. I don't know?

Desha said...

I am just bummed it didn't work for you! I am also of the pasty variety, and I put on my bathing suit on Friday to get a little "color." I did color, but the wrong one! I now look like a lobster, and it is only on one side of my body. The other is still pasty white....

Alyssa said...

My mother and I both have close-to-transparent skin, while I'm okay with it, Mom is not. Right before a wedding last year she decided she wanted to get a spray tan. She was so excited when she came out of the booth with more color to her skin than she had ever seen. The joy didn't last long. She showered the next day and the color washed away from her skin, but not her hair follicles or pores. She had wee little orange dots all over her body. She has learned to love her skim-milk colored skin.

Lynn said...

I think every woman has a body part that they obsess over, that others probably hardly notice. I am obsessed with the horror that is my teeth -- I think they are dreadful, huge and yellow and terribly crooked -- but one time I mentioned this to a girlfriend, and she claimed she had never even noticed. Probably polite...but still, it gave me hope!

Do you think you will try the self-tanner again someday? Every year I get the most horrible farmer tan and I've often dreamed of filling in my shoulders with the fake stuff...but I'm so afraid of the bad results!

Shani said...

I'm as white as raw chicken. I'm learning to come to terms with it although its easier said than done. Wish you the best!

Rachel said...

Do you know Jackie...in all the photos i have seen of you on your blog, I never once noticed your nose - it might not be as big as you think!
I am white and freckly too, but I like using selftan because it "softens" imperfections ;-) I don't think there is any harm in feeling healthy and tanned. I use Vani-T which is as organic/safe as you can get, and easy to apply, just do a bit of scrub on your body, moisturise then use disposable gloves to apply - rub in circles all over, applying less (or none) on elbows, knees and feet....
Rachel

Jenn said...

I have an olive-skin tone...but I have crooked teeth. We all have something we don't like, I guess...

Lori said...

I have that olive skin. But my feature I hate are my dark circles. No matter how great I feel and how much sleep I get... someone always comments on how I look tired or sick. I wish there was surgery to fix them.
And forget that tanning crap. Chemicals is right. And expensive and not exactly easy to use. Throw on some sunscreen and go outside. We can't live our lives in fear of cancer. The sun has it's benefits too. Helps production of seretonin. Makes you happy. Throw that other crap out and go natural. And anyways, I think your skin is beautiful.

Rachel said...

No necessarily Lori....I am VERY fussy about only using organic and natural things on my body (and my family's)...

All of Vani-T's products contain:

·All natural and organic ngredients
·No petro-chemicals, mineral oils, parabens
·No artificial preservatives
·No artificial colours or fragrance
·No animal testing
·High in vitamins, active ingredients, luscious natural oils and pure botanicals

Rachel

Rachel said...

p.s. I don't sell them either, just in case you were wondering! ;-) Rachel

Annie said...

Maybe we're twins (Ha.) because my skin is that white white. Not that rosy pretty white but the see through blue-ish white.

I love my imperfections... most of the time. I guess I should say that those "imperfections" are actually just the things that make me different from other people and not necessarily what would be "ideal" to most people or society at large. I could have written this post about hairy/hairless legs. I want to be okay with the way I'm made- with hair on my legs- and yet there is a part of me that doesn't always feel feminine with leaving it.

My best friend took some pictures of me with her fancy pants camera that I just loved. They felt so honest. They showed all the little quirks that make me who I am. I liked one so much I put it on my "about me" page.

I love what you say about your nose. It's never stood out to me. I'll have to pay attention the next time I see you. Maybe you'll notice the ball on the end of my nose (if you haven't already) and we'll have a little chuckle over it all?

Oh and the freckle tan is most dignified if you ask me- especially if it's all we got to give our skin a healthy glow. :D

sari said...

I live in the middle of Arizona and am white. You could always come out here for a visit and we could glow together, ha ha.

My sister won a Max Factor contest recently and I went to the party. At 43, I really fought hard not to worry and compare because everyone there was SO made up and SO surgeried and SO...much. But you know what? If you have to fight hard to like the things about yourself, that's good. It is important to not just have everything handed to you.

I look at it like the high school kids who are so awesome looking and then you see them 25 years later and they've fallen apart because they peaked in high school but you're still doing ok because you had to work at it and appreciate yourself more.

And that long post is done. Sorry. Usually I just lurk.