Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Freckles- Friend or Foe?

So why beauty products and why in particular Eastern?

If I am honest, when I went to Hay on Wye I was looking for a book on old fashioned housekeeping hints. The idea was that I could recreate them and write about how they worked in a modern society. In my mind I had visions of an enthralling blog that became a compulsive read the world over.

But the best laid plans. Futile searches in the first few bookshops led to a deterioration in this initial exuberance. As my attention wandered, I wandered with it, finding myself in the health and beauty section. Hidden away amongst the dusty old books depicting women with big 1980’s hair and dodgy leotards I found Beauty and the East.

It is likely that this book wouldn’t particularly have caught my attention, save for one fact. My Indian friend and work colleague has spent the best part of two years trying to get me to go with her to the beauty parlour.

It has crossed my mind as to why she is so keen for me to go. Is my skin in crisis? Does she just like my company? The truth of the matter was revealed one day after a delightful weekend in the sun. On seeing me she was horrified. Had I arrived with a blob of toothpaste on my face? Or possibly a rash had manifested itself during my 20 minute commute. A quick dash to a mirror allayed my fears, surely I was just a seductive brown.

Eventually, after a morning of frenzied sideward glances she took me aside and asked me what had happened to my face. Apparently freckles are some unsightly blemish as viewed through Asian eyes.

Later in the day I was regaling this story to my Filipino, Euro and African colleagues, fully expecting their response to be one of mirth, much like my own. It wasn’t. As I sat there finding myself explaining freckles I realised how locked in we are by the boundaries of our own cultures. How something so integral and accepted by one person could be so foreign to others. So, when I happened upon this flimsy, dusty paperback on Eastern beauty the decision was made, could I realise beauty through their eyes. The journey began.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Uberbabe or ubersensitive?

Ok, So two weeks have passed since my last entry, inspite of my promise to post regular updates on my foray into Eastern beauty. Infact, I have been splattering products on my face. I just haven't had time to write about it. Safe to say it has not involved either allergic reactions or supermodel talent scouts! An update will follow soon!