About two months ago I tossed away all of my beauty products and went green, or as I like to say, I became a dirty hippie. Which is ironic, because I’ve never felt so deliciously clean, and yes, being clean can be delicious if you replace your chemical laden skin-goop with this organic coconut cake-frosting of a body butter. I can’t promise you I didn’t try to taste it within five seconds of opening the lid, and I can’t promise you that it didn’t taste kind of yummy.
My transformation is still in progress. I stopped wearing makeup, save a single tube of Rimmel lipstick that I’m trying to replace with something I don’t mind ingesting/smearing on my mouth (I’ll stop talking about eating beauty products now). I’ve had to change my diet to keep my skin clear. While forgoing that daily mask of flesh-coloured gunk does feel good, my skin is also confused and splotchy; It seems my face isn’t used to breathing, so to remedy this my diet now consists of walnuts, cranberry juice, spinach, flax seeds, pomegranate seeds, dark chocolate and gallons of water and green tea*. As a result of this diet switch, my skin grows happier with each passing day.
Much to my surprise, leaving the house bare-faced didn’t cause me much grief. It was my wild hair that troubled me. When I discarded my lotions and my powders and pencils, I also discarded cans of hairspray and bottles of perfumed conditioning oils. Pomade was abandoned. Left with only an organic shampoo and a vinegar rinse, (a better description of the new hair regime can be found here), I slowly began to realize that I would have to accept the natural texture of my hair. Or I’d at least have to work with it instead of against it.
I didn’t take this realization very well at first; I did this for a while. I got a hair cut, hoping that it would ‘change things’ (it didn’t). For a time I tried to take a straightening or curling iron to my hair every morning (only to decide that I like eating breakfast more than I like looking good). About a week ago I finally rolled over and gave up, the oddly-proportioned puffs of hair on my head flopping about in triumph.
Then I found Shorpy. Shorpy.com is a vintage photo blog that features images from the 1850’s through to the 1950’s. Their ‘Pretty Girls’ series has become a bit of an inspiration to me as I try to make friends with my hair. In fact, these images of beauty from a pre-photoshop era might be helpful to anyone who thinks they need to ‘make friends’ with a physical feature. Really we should just stop being such assholes to ourselves and have fun with what what we have. These are women with curls and goofy crooked smiles, big hips and laugh lines. These are women who eat sandwiches and smile with their teeth. They all look happy and lovely.
I like to look at the photographs taken during the 1900’s to the 1920’s, which feature a whole lot of glamorous bird’s-nest hair. This was a time before women were coating their hair in synthetic proteins and plasticizers, so I suppose a wild-haired brand of beauty kind of made sense. Needless to say, my straightening iron will now be gathering dust in the closet while I play around with some of these vintage looks. The less time I spend wrestling with my hair, the more time I have to do important things, (like eating beauty products).
*I should mention that I eat other things too, like veggie burgers and fish. The other night I had steak and a tall can of beer. However, I’m trying to make sugar, processed foods and drinking a once-a-week thing, rather than an every day thing. I’m doin’ it for the skin cells.