Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Written On The Body
Thanks to all for the great comments on yesterday's post! I have never been offended by a compliment on this blog or a compliment in any situation and extend many thanks to everyone who appreciates either the pictures or the writing. All the comments are helping me in figuring out the role of photography in my book and life. And to my dearest beautiful Jodi, I do remember that moment and laughed hysterically again thinking about it! This next post is further rumination on the same subject, albeit a slightly different angle.
My friend K (her real initial) is exquisitely beautiful. I knew this before she posed for Playboy, before she became a model. I knew it because when we were in high school and college, men adored K and women, well, women were tough on her. And whenever we went out, people fell all over themselves to get things for us, to help us in a way they did not when I went out with my friend M or L. We never were ignored, the way I often was alone, dressed like a siren if your idea of a siren is Karen Carpenter, circa 1971. K hated men; a victim of sexual abuse, she'd decided that if men were stupid enough to be drawn in by a beautiful face, a Barbie-like body, and an airhead act, they deserved what they got which was to be treated like hell. She'd had a hard life in many ways so I understood this guerrilla feminism. Knowing her father alone would be enough for most women to begin to despise the entire sex. Once I went to pick her up for a night out at the uber-glamorous, now defunct Bennigans. She had not gotten home from work yet and her father began to strip in front of me, pretending to tuck in his shirt; I could not get out of there fast enough.
I wondered what it would be like to be really beautiful like K. I had my own charms, but they weren't terribly obvious. I had, in no particular order, unruly hair, bad skin at points, weight fluctuations, and eyebrows that I wish someone had informed me needed plucking. I once got me and my friend Cal into the Macaroni Grill, circumventing an hour wait so I suppose there's that velvet rope consolation. The first article I read on being pretty was in a women's magazine and the author did not sign her name. She talked about how taboo it was to say you were attractive and how, while it got her attention from strangers, it didn't make her life much easier. Which I'm sure made people sick -- boo hoo, you're so pretty; it must be awful! Kind of like complaining about being rich. The only people that can say money doesn't matter and not sound like assholes are poor people. But, as everyone knows, beauty fades, no matter how much money you have or what kind of disturbing procedures you do to yourself. Once a friend of mine listed all the things she'd missed about herself when she died which gave me pause. I miss some of those things already! Orwell says by fifty, we have the face we deserve. And I hope that everything I have loved deeply, even the damage, is written on my body, constantly evolving into something even more real than the charms of misspent youth.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.” Confucius
Question for readers: Any good traditional movie/drinks/desserts that you associate with Thanksgiving?
Benedictions and Maledictions