I had no idea where I was — everything was black. I gathered that I was lying in a puddle of wet sand, as it felt cold, coarse, and prickly all over my back. I opened my eyes, and the first thing I saw was a blinding light — it was piercing. I blinked hard to flush the tears out of my inflamed eyes, but they kept welling up. I could see three big men towering over me like curious giants gathered over their prey. The men flowed and ebbed with my teary vision.
~ Will Chluho, Lemonade Revealed
… Along both sides of the escalator were also hundreds of billboard advertisements, many for cosmetics, jeweled watches, designer clothing, spa services, and beauty salons. Commerce was a big game in Hong Kong, and women’s luxury commerce often seemed to be the biggest game of all.
I let my eyes skip over the ads, feeling them push me toward the usual attitudes of improvement and correction. This manipulation had never bothered me before, but today it felt aggressive, violent even. It made me want to crumple and hide, but also hit back.
“I don’t have to play,” I thought. A years-long frustration took a sudden, surprising, shape. I could stop. I try and try, and it never works; I never become beautiful. So why not give up? What would happen if I simply stopped buying all those new clothes, new shoes, accessories, and hair products I think I need? What if I stopped using concealer, enhancer, and wrinkle corrector, and what if I stopped hoping that they would work? How would I feel then? How would I look? Would doing that silence the nasty inner Voice? Would I start to feel a beauty apart from all the unattainable femaleness around me… or not?
~ Phoebe Hyde Baker, The Beauty Experiment
Even when a bird walks, one feels it has wings.
~ Antoine-Marin Lemierre Continue reading “Snow Goose Pond”