Do you check your horoscope every day? I do it. Here's what astrology.com has to say about me today:
Do you know how sexy you are? Probably not, because you never have to think about it -- you're effortlessly elegant. Part of the reason you're attractive is that you have much better things to think about than how to be attractive.
First of all, thank you, astrology.com, for the lovely compliment. Does this mean you like me better as a brunette? I think it does.
Seriously, though, this leg of the project has had me thinking a lot about my vanity, my self esteem, and how these things are intertwined with the way that I look. This blonde project evolved in the first place, you see, because I wanted to see what it would feel like to embody this European standard of beauty, this blonde haired, light eyed image that is so intricately woven into the fabric of our culture as THE beauty standard. I knew when I first went undercover that I'd never be waif-thin as I should be, and I'm probably too short to really embody any sort of statuesque, model style beauty. But hair is something I can change, I already have light eyes, and I'd also always wondered what it would be like to be blonde. And so it began.
As the experiment wore one, though, I became increasingly aware of those ways that I fall short of the aforementioned beauty standard. Sure I had blonde hair and light eyes, and sure I was getting lots of attention. But my thoughts were constantly also fretting over things like my weight (Oh my god! I think I gained a pound--I'm off food for the week) and my skin (that wrinkle in between my eyebrows is growing! shit! does my health insurance cover Botox???) In reality, I am intelligent enough to know that I am a healthy weight, have healthy eating habits, and can do nothing to stave off wrinkles, aside from taking great care of my skin. But inside my head there persists a little voice, urging me on, closer and closer towards this very unhealthy notion of "perfection."
Don't believe me? Consider this quote, from a journal entry I penned the night before I dyed my hair brown:
I am nervous. And mortified. What if I hate it? What if I no longer look hot? What if it makes me look fat? What if people don’t think I’m sexy anymore? What if the Mathematician doesn’t love me anymore? What will become of me as a brunette?...
Without the blonde I think I’ll look less pretty, and I think I’ll look ordinary. On the upside, I think people will start to treat me more seriously, and perhaps be more interested in my ideas than in me being hot. But a part of me doesn’t give a shit about that. Which is at once mortifying, and brutally, truly honest.
So, it seems that once again, the stars are talking to me today. It seems that they agree that it was time for me to take a step away from that vain blonde person that I was, and spend a little time focusing on more important things. So, in honor of this decree, here's a photo of me from this morning, taken without make-up, while sitting here, writing, and drinking my coffee.
New Year, New You. Here's to brunettes in 2007!