Naked

If you look closely at most of my publicly available pictures, dawtah, you’ll see something funny. You’ll hardly see a picture of me where I have my face bare of makeup.

This is a Google search for images of me. There’s one picture of me with no makeup. One.

That’s funny because in real life I walk around about 80 per cent of the time precisely the opposite way. I almost never wear makeup. However, my public photos don’t reflect this because, by and large, I’ve insisted on being photographed only when I’m in full makeup. By “full” I mean foundation to finish, as it were: base, powder, brow liner, eye shadow, mascara, eye liner, blush, lip liner, lip colour—twenty minutes to half-an-hour of application of product that cost several hundred dollars just to look, in most cases, “natural”.

I’m a public figure and pictures are permanent. I thought it was a better idea to make myself look as polished as I could because you never know where those pictures might end up. My concern came not because I’m living the kind of life TMZ would care about; there has been a study that found people rate women’s competence on how much makeup they wear—none at all makes you look unprofessional, it seems. (But a makeup manufacturer sponsored the study so I wouldn’t trust its results completely.)

Of course, it’s ridiculous. Nobody tells a man he has to put on layers of talc, mica, metal oxides and wax on his face before he looks “presentable”. There’s an undeniable double standard and a kind of tyranny regarding women and make up. It’s presumed that women look better with makeup on than without—and who wouldn’t want to look her best? But now, dawtah, I’m questioning that. I have begun to allow myself to go barefaced to meetings and possible photo-ops. (I use “photo-op” to mean the kinds of events at which you think there’s a good chance you’ll be photographed). It’s less time consuming and I don’t have to worry if something is slipping or running or cracking or clumping. And also, I’ve finally come to a place where I can see myself and notice that I look okay without makeup. It’s not a face I should be ashamed to show the world.

Naked as I was born, I look beautiful. And you know what, dawtah? So do you.

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Talking about natural black hair

The most awesome black beauty blogger (and herself a Caribbean dawtah!) Patrice Grell Yursik (whose blog Afrobella.com is a place you must go to) was on Al-Jazeera English TV to talk about black beauty.

A bit long but watch it. You’ll enjoy it.

 

Reading list

This reading list was created by A Mighty Girl, a resource for books and movies for girls.

 

http://www.amightygirl.com/mighty-girl-picks/top-read-alouds

It is full of classic books and also new titles. You might have heard of some of them. You might not have heard of any of them. But go to your nearest library (or if you can afford it, the bookshop) and see which titles you can pick up. You’ll find girls with courage, ingenuity, wisdom, heart and vision. Brave girls, bold girls, smart girls, and girls who are not afraid to speak their minds. Shy girls, quiet girls, girls who are afraid… but girls who discover their inner strength in the end. Maybe no Caribbean girls, but I promise I’ll work on that list soon.

 

The skin you’re in

Image

 

Skin is such a big topic. It might seem really silly and superficial to start a blog for Caribbean girls with a post about skin, but to me it’s actually really serious.

Think about it. What’s the first thing anybody sees when they look at you? Yup, your skin. And we females can obsess, sometimes in an unhealthy way, about our skin. The colour, texture, tone, whether we have pimples or freckles or hairs sprouting from strange places… and let’s not forget the hair that’s biologically supposed to be there whether we like it or not. Skin is the largest organ on the human body and it’s even an indicator of our overall health. And, politically speaking, the colour of our skin is still a big issue in the Caribbean.

So, yeah, skin.

The first thing I want to say is that no matter how your skin looks, love it. Whether it’s dark, light, in between; whether it’s flawless or spotty; whether it’s loose or tight; whether it’s smooth or hairy… love your skin. It can be hard to make a decision to love your skin because we get all these messages from cosmetics companies and movies and music videos that skin should be perfectly smooth and hairless, and definitely not greasy. The truth is, the pictures we see in magazines are very often Photoshopped to remove what are perceived as flaws. (If you haven’t seen it already, watch this video to see what I mean.) So don’t hate your skin because it isn’t “perfect”. Nobody’s skin really is.

The second thing I want to tell you is that your skin is alive. Silly thing to say, right? But your skin needs sunlight, water and air, just like other living things.

Sunshine is important for Vitamin D (which helps your bones and teeth, funnily enough) and the vitamin is formed in the body when we absorb sunlight through our skin. It’s also important because sunlight helps improve your mood; there’s actually a kind of depression people get when they don’t get enough sunshine. So get out in the sunshine! Remember to wear sunblock, though, because sun can damage your skin if you get too much of it.

Also drink lots of water. Drinking water is great for the skin because the hydration is necessary to keep it supple and soft. Don’t drink too many soft drinks because they’re full of useless sugar and really don’t give you anything but gas. (“Soft drinks” includes fruity drinks, which are usually mostly water and sugar, and contain hardly any actual fruit. Eat an orange and drink some water instead, it’s much better for your skin. And the rest of you, come to think of it.)

What about air? How does your skin need air? The clothes we wear can affect our skin. If they’re too tight, they can cause chafing (ouch!), and if they’re made of synthetic material, they don’t allow air to pass through to the skin. In this tropical climate, let me tell you, cotton is your friend! Slinky tops and jeans might look cute, but switch it up sometimes and wear natural fibers like cotton, silk or linen, which allow sweat to escape and air to pass through them. Your skin will thank you for it.

There’s tons more to say about skin but that’s enough for now. Until next time,

Love

Lise

 

(image source: http://www.mylot.com/w/image/2313944.aspx)

Dear Dawtah…

I think we should talk. Not one of those, “Oh oh, what have I done now?” talks. No, this is more of a, “Hey, did I ever tell you…?” kind of talks. I hope we’ll have a few. We can talk about clothes, and your body, and life and other stuff. I just love you and want to share some of the things I’ve learned over my life.

Love

Lise

ps: You see this? It’s yours.

 

Image created by Reto Stöckli, Nazmi El Saleous, and Marit Jentoft-Nilsen, NASA GSFC
[turkaña]