For Women Only: Tips For Staying Youthful Looking

Granma-hippieWaking up and checking our smartphones is a sign of the times I think.

I check to see if my kiddo needs me. I check to see what the schedule is like at work, the weather, how many of you read my latest post, and what some small-minded arsehole of a man has decided I need to know about making myself beautiful.

Ok, the last point – I really don’t wake up to read that. I am exposed to it.

This morning, while scrolling through my feed Cheech Marin shared a post that suggested what not to do to stay youthful looking. Some of the tips included;

Do not wear jersey anything

Do not wear long hair.

Don’t wear loose fitting anything, but don’t wear skinny jeans either

Don’t wear chunky, funky frames for your glasses.

Don’t wear a specific shade of pantyhose.

Although some of the suggestions may feel right to some of the women out there, it all felt a little too 1950’s-keep-your-ankles-crossed to me.

And really, Cheech Marin is sharing this? Cheech, I’ve got news for you; grown women don’t give a shit what you think, and perhaps you might take a look in the mirror? Oh, no, I’m not going there and being nasty about his looks. Nope. That’s not what this is about.

Cheech, like everyone else on the planet is beautiful because of his smile, his authentic style, and his way of being Cheech, nothing more and nothing less.

Which brings me to the essence of what I want to say; screw everyone else’s ideas. For instance, I demanded a small piece of chocolate cake for breakfast…

Ok, maybe make healthy choices for yourself so you don’t end up with gout, but do be (doo-be-doo) sure to enjoy this life.

phyllisMy suggestions for staying youthful for women and men;

Don’t let your weight hold you back from anything. Back fat and belly rolls do not mean you deserve to be holed up in the house alone. Laughter and curiosity are healthy, no matter what your size.

Wear your hair however you damn well please, and don’t worry about it all day long.

Make-up: Do whatever makes you feel good. Some days I’m glam, some days I’m  ma’am.

Clothing; Are you comfortable? Yes? Then that’s good.

Pantyhose – do whatever floats your boat – men, women and everyone on the spectrum.

Jersey fabric – absofreakinglutely.

Eyeglasses; You likely will need them as you age. Wear something funky, wear something classic, just fucking wear them so you don’t have to ask someone else to read menus or street signs to you.

Do not be so infatuated with yourself that you miss out on the wonderful world around you. Do not be a navel gazer…

And that my darlings is your list to help you stay youthful. Look outward. See the world, and engage in it. No one cares about your hair, or your panty hose, or the shade of your frames. We do care that you are clean, authentic and kind.

Don’t stink.

Be true to your personal values.

Be nice.

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The Buddha at Our Feet: The Wisdom of Annie

buddhist toesBecause life is short, and our intuition is bang on.

That’s why we need women in our lives like Annie.

Annie is my new pedicure professional. She’s voluptuous, has a full-rolling-belly laugh, and swears like a sailor. She also believes in spirits and the unexplainable.

I had stumbled into her shop after having a wonderful massage from another great lady, Erin, my massage therapist. She had just finished up our hour long appointment by rubbing sweet orange essential oil in my scalp on on my face. I looked the full part of a wild woman, and I smelled like heaven.

“Oh my god, it looks fantastic! I thought you had mousse in it.” Was Annie’s response when I tried to explain away my crazy she-wolf hair.

Annie could barely take her eyes off her phone when I walked in, no doubt skeptical about having to deal with another ho-hum woman who wanted her nails shaped just so-and-not-like-that-but-like-this. But both being straightforward and open women, it didn’t take long for us to connect.

Crouched at my feet was a wise-goddess disguised as a blue-collar-service worker.

Sometimes we stumble upon people in our lives that reinforce our own wild nature. Annie is one of those people.

At first, I thought, “Sweet Jesus, save me from the blabber-mouthed fool.” But she kept talking, and I realized that although some of what she said was shocking, it was all true. True to her, true in the world, and deeper than talking about the weather, or how our children were doing so well in school. Annie gets it.

She gets feeling nervous about firsts, body image, the plate full of worries that every woman sits down to every morning. She knows what it’s like to look down and think; I’d rather go hungry than digest this shit, and she carries on. We are kindred spirits.

It is so easy to slip into the Stepford-trap of conformity, of body-hating, of tame language, or wanting what the Jones’ have. It’s so easy to not be satisfied, to crave more, to fall into the trap of feeling not-good-enough.

Women like Annie are few and far between. I have been blessed to have her in my life; a Buddha at my feet.

Once Upon a Time: Adventures In Plastic Surgery

fairytalecastleOnce upon a time I found myself in a plush waiting room with comfy chairs and glossy fashion magazines…

Today I found myself sitting in a questionably disinfected examination chair, clad in a mint green hospital gown and wondering what the hell is wrong with the world.

You see, I was in a plastic surgeon’s office. Not because I’d requested to have my belly banished, my nose narrowed or my melons maintained. No, it was a mistaken referral which should have been to a dermatologist.

In the waiting room, a screen played images of women’s bodies over and over, giving us all a good 3-D look at the natural flaws that ‘appear over time’. I saw nipples and bum cheeks, lips and noses. Not once did I see a man’s saggy testicles or jowly chops. Not once did they put man-boobs or beer guts in the glaring spotlight.

Nope. It was all women. Every bit of marketing was directed toward women and just how insecure we should feel about our bodies. Every single image dissected women’s bodies and divided us into pieces to be criticized and rebuilt into a singular image of beauty.

manBalderdash. How freaking boring is that? Pass the gin and bring me a man.

With catchy little tag-lines on brochures like, “Never Fear the Mirror”, and  “Love Your Lips”, it was a bit crazy.

The only thing I could think was,  “Fuck off. We’re perfect. Now get me outta here.”

My darlings, you are perfect as you are. Love your body and yourself, nothing less will transform you into a beautiful person inside and out.

Beach Life: Bathing Suits for the Rest of Us

Sennett-Bathing-Beauties-1915_thumbI bought a bathing suit today.

Yes, I know it’s the middle of Canadian winter. No, I haven’t booked a sun-holiday…yet.

I’m debating the merits of an Irish romp with my sweetheart, or a solo beach holiday.

Either way I’m taking a two-piece bathing suit with me that would have made my mother convulse.

You see, I was raised by a woman who suffered extremely low self-esteem and did her best to pass that little nugget of twisted psychology on to her youngest daughter. That’s me by the way.

I grew up in a small town and lived at the beach. Winter, spring, summer and fall. Summer was my favourite. There was nothing better than swimming in the lake all day, the smell of malt vinegar on the homemade French fries that they sold at the little snack shack that would sometimes be lifted off it’s foundation and dragged with the tide when the spring water was high.

Somewhere out there is a photograph of me grinning a grin so wild and wonderful, that I have held that image in my mind for all of these years. It’s a moment of bliss I remind myself I’m capable of, even as an adult.

There I was, white caps at my back,  standing naked, proudly holding my bathing suit at arms length. My waist-long, blonde, pig-tails tangled with lake water and sand, just daring someone to try and get that wet, sticky bathing suit back onto my body.

I may not have been skinny enough, pretty enough, or worried enough about what people thought about what I wore every day. But I was wise enough. Typical of anyone who suffered childhood trauma, I was quiet and very observant. I was constantly tuned in to the tiniest nuance of mood, just in case.

At a very young age, I came to realize that no matter how thin, how pretty, or how well-turned out they were, there were a whole lot of unhappy women out there. And that unhappiness was ugly. Like, soul-deep ugly. Their fear of not being good enough came out as anger and jealousy, and missed trips to fun places. It stopped them from smiling. IT stopped them from going to the beach, getting their hair wet, or smudging their mascara. Their insecurity overshadowed everything. They  let their tummies and their thighs hold them back.

You see, before I even reached puberty I had decided that fat would not keep me from enjoying the beach. Or the snow, or going out to eat a delicious meal. Later on in life, I decided that fat would also not keep me from making wild, passionate love to the man I loved. Some crazy idea of being not good enough would not keep me from having fun.

Being an average looking woman would not keep me from savouring all of the wonderful bits of life, and it certainly did not make me less worthy of healthy curiosity and joy. In fact, I think this joie de vivre is one of the qualities that make many of us beautiful.

I will never be solicited for the cover of Vogue, nor will I turn the heads of men because I’m the ideal beauty. But I will turn the heads of like-minded people. These are the people who buy big, bright bathing suits, get their hair wet, and laugh with every inch of their sun-soaked, skin.

Buy the bathing suit, not because it’s going to turn you into a model. Buy it because it’s a tool in your tickle-trunk of living fully.

 

 

Tuesday – My Perpetual Nemesis

Tuesdays have always been my  Nemesis, always wanting more from me than I have to give. They are a day that even my university roommate dreaded due to the oddities I happened to drag home with me, either in person or in spirit.

Tuesday – you may be a bitch, but I’m far more fabulous and hard-headed than you will ever be!

bagsarechanel

Gym Class Flashback

gymclassThere are few things I can recall being worse at than anything to do with High School gym class. I mean, the shorts alone were enough to make me weep, not to mention the knee-socks.

To say I’m not athletic is to say that Harper Lee is a mediocre writer. In other words, I sucked at gym. Other than basketball, and hitting a baseball, I dreaded that class more than anything, and was so thankful that the high-school-credit-gods decided that one was enough.

During gymnastics class I once did a vault and actually knocked my spotter unconscious with my right thigh. The same girl was victim to a line drive when she was pitching to me, which once again rendered her without response. When she offered to stand up in my wedding, I should have known the marriage was doomed.

Tonight, after a two-week hiatus, I took my chubby little buns off to the gym right after work and hit the cardio class. I hate this class. There is no joyful flailing of flab like Zumba or Urban Rhythms. It’s all very practical and ham-string agonizing.

My first clue that something was up should have been the lack of participants in the room. You see, this gym is busy enough that you have to be banded to attend class. It should have been full, but it wasn’t, and then I saw her. A woman who surely was the doppelganger of my High School gym teacher. The one that generations of students and their parents had nicknamed, “Spade-Face”.

Spade-Face inspired fear in the hearts of all girls with breasts. She was like a drill sergeant in purple and gold (our proud school colours) sweats, whistle and baritone bark included. Just looking at her made me pee my pants a little bit.

So, tonight in my mind, it was “Spade-Face” whom I was at the mercy of, with my middle-aged porcelain white thighs and tailored to fit sports bra.  It was a terrible class. She lost count, screwed up, and had the personality of a torn  gusset from a totally used up pair of panties.

But I made it through, without too much gasping or excessive sweating. I actually felt good when I walked out of that studio.

Spandex – the great fashion equalizer. I may wear a suit all day, and provide ‘expertise’, but when we get to the gym, it’s just my glutes and yours darling, and yours win hands-down.

As it turns out, I really wasn’t that bad when it came to athletics. Nope, like most young ladies who were abused, I just had incredibly low self-esteem, and would rather have worn a moo-moo over my svelte 16-year-old body than have anyone see skin.

Years passed, and I shed the skin of victimhood, to find out that I wasn’t such an athletic anomaly as I thought I was. I loved going to the gym, played squash, and even started running when I was in my mid-thirties. I even have a ‘sports’ injury incurred from competitive paddling. Go figure.

So, with this in mind, I have set some new goals for myself after a bit of a lazy go at living. Wish me luck, and I wish you luck too. This getting older may be harder on the ego and bones, but it does wonders for the spirit when we put it all into perspective.

Dear Princess

worldpeacepedicure“The State shall strive to promote those circumstances that will enable the successful pursuit of Gross National Happiness.” So reads the Kingdom of Buhtan’s ninth article of their Constitution.  Sounds pretty great.

Sounds like the sign that should be hanging on the door to my spa, right here in civilized Canada.

Sadly, there is no such sign, and the idea of happiness is a very selfish one inside our once-upon-a-time sacred-spa-space.

Today I made a visit to my spa. You know, that sacred space of femininity don’t you my juicy little plums? A sanctuary of women getting buffed, plucked, polished, wrapped, primped and waxed.

The spa used to be a sacred place of released sighs, silence, and minimal eye contact. It was once the modern day equivalent to the ancient sanctuary of the fabled ‘Red Tent’. Except no talking, just a few quiet whispers between BFF’s.

Alas, like most sanctuaries the spa is no longer sacred, silent or civilized.

Tonight, my visit was longer than usual. Anything over and above my routine waxing and bi-monthly pedicures is considered spa-indulgence. I’ve been in a funk, and with no one but myself to consult on such delicate matters as my own mental and emotional health, I did what we all must do; I took myself for some pampering and much-needed TLC.

My quiet time was contaminated by women who are ignorant of social grace, or just grace in general. To you my dear readers, I give my open letter to the spa Princesses.

Dear Princess,

I can only imagine how difficult it was to squeeze yourself out of your five-million dollar home and drive yourself (gasp) to have your shellac filled and your stubby toes polished. My heart goes out to you. Truly it does.

Do you realize how ridiculous you look with your oversized, designer bag filled with what appears to be very official looking ‘work’ documents sitting on your lap, as you simultaneously juggle your blinged-out cell phone in your chemical-coated talons?

That wouldn’t be so bad, if the rest of us could simply divert our eyes or even focus on the chick flick that’s playing.

But we can’t do that because you’ve got your lips, which look disturbingly like the arse-end of a baboon in heat,  buzzing a thousand miles a minute at a volume Beethoven could have heard above his 5th-freaking-Symphony!

This is a spa, not a public phone booth. You are an adult, not a pre-teen at a pajama party. Stop acting like one.

Oh, and just so you know, the women who work in the spa are people too. The rest of us don’t really give a rat’s patooty if you like your decrepit looking toenails, “Not that short.”

That you have to cover your phone and yell at the woman who is crouched at your feet, less than a metre from your face, is an indicator that you should really pull your rude and demanding head out of your tiara-lined (and likely bleached) bumhole.

Clearly money is no object, and from the look of the rock on your ring finger, hubby could afford to send staff in to help you out. But I suppose that wouldn’t give him any ‘me’ time.  That, or your ‘rock’ is actually  a little stone you picked up at the flea market along with your spray-on tan and hair dye.

Forgive me sweetpea, but maybe I’ve got you all wrong.

You’re not the cultured sophisticate you want us to believe. You’re just like us aren’t you?

Do everyone, including yourself a favour. Leave the phone and the warrior-princess bravado in your ginormous knock-off handbag. Lean back, exhale, and relax. We’re all in this together darling. No one here will let your secret out of the bag.

With much love,

Your similarly stressed out sister. XO

Please share this with your similarly fabulous gal-pals. Mwah!

 

 

 

Don’t Pinch the She-Dragon

"Romantic love is a passionate, spiritual-emotional-sexual attachment between a man and a woman [two people], that reflects a high regard for the value of each other's person." ~Ritu Ghatoury~

“Romantic love is a passionate, spiritual-emotional-sexual attachment between a man and a woman [two people], that reflects a high regard for the value of each other’s person.”
~Ritu Ghatoury~

I really get tired of men complaining about women and how unbalanced the world has become since we’ve demanded educational, professional and wage equity.

Let me be blunt gentlemen; how often do you feel compelled to let someone put warm wax on your testicles and then tear the hair out, just to make your gal’s ride-along more pleasant? Hmm?

I thought so. Unless you want your scrotum to expand and shrivel like a slinky, I’m quite sure you settle for a bit of manscaping and a good scrub.

Usually I don’t mind my monthly  visit to tame the jungle-book-down-under. I  am loyal to my aesthetics guru, and she knows me.

Today when I showed up for my appointment, the receptionist let me know that Maria had been admitted to the hospital last night and was ill. Immediately my first thought was; What’s the appropriate thing to do in this case? Send flowers? Send a card? After all,  Maria was the gatekeeper of my she-dragon, and person in whose delicate hands rested the scales of whether or not I would be the lounging, sensual recipient of the skillful cunninglingus of which I have become accustomed.

In other words, she plays a huge role in my ability to enjoy life to the fullest. Maria also guards the secret identity of the little-man-in-the-boat,  whereas even my most intimate of lovers only gets to view the magician by candlelight, or the shadow of my thighs.

After disrobing, and stretching out on the waxing table, ‘Quiny’, as she introduced herself began the most painful, ridiculous bikini wax I have ever had, and I’ve been doing this for a while folks.  I’m quite sure the first layer of skin on the left side of my veil-of-pleasure is still stuck to her last waxing strip, but was afraid to look.

If an aesthetician has to ask, “That hurt you”, more than once, the outcome may be gruesome.

To her credit, Quiny was good with a mirror and asked on several occasions that I look and make sure she was doing a good job. I began to wonder about Quiny’s motives.

I also thought that perhaps having my woo-hoo waxed immediately prior to an hour and a half long sitting-mediation at the temple was not such good planning.

Finally, after what seemed like  hours at the hand of Quiny-the-Torturer, I sat up on my elbows, looked down at my  girly-bits and said, “That’s enough”.

The pain was so intense that I wasn’t sure whether she was pinching or pulling, and I sure as hell didn’t know what she could possibly be pinching or pulling at. I was convinced my outer labia had already been ripped off and tossed in her little white trash can.

Quiny held the mirror up, “You look”, she said. And she smiled. I’m not a violent woman, but I wanted to smack that smile off her face with that ridiculous mirror like I was using a squash raquet.

“I’m sure it’s just fine,” I said, quickly squeezing my thighs together.   I made a mental note to go see my regular Goddess of the Wax tomorrow at the hospital and take on advocating for her medical care.

So gentlemen, don’t give me any bitching or moaning about having to act like a gentleman to garner the attention of a lady.  Real ladies care about what they bring to a relationship, including a neat and tidy valley of delight.

The next man I hear whining is being sent to Quiny so she can have a go at your hairy man-bits. Then we’ll talk.

 

Mirror Mirror

Bush Trimming / Horticultural Bikini Wax by Banksy

Bush Trimming / Horticultural Bikini Wax by Banksy (Photo credit: dullhunk)

Spa visits are rife with interesting conversational tidbits. In my own mind that is.

Now, I have, as most ladies do, a regular aesthetician.

I’ve found a waxer and polisher that I like, and I have been faithful to her for the past five years.

We know what to expect from  one another. I drop my pants, and she efficiently goes about her business, with the soothing sounds of water and the pan flute flowing from the sound system.

Water and the pan flute don’t drown out the sound of screaming. That’s somewhat comforting, knowing the music isn’t a cover up for torture chambers, just an attempt to relax you as hot wax drips just  millimeters away from your little girl.

Today my groomer was away. Gone. Not to be found. I was at the mercy of another woman, and my anxiety hummed up an octave.

As I spread my grand, gorgeous self across the waxing table, I began to wonder at all of the unspoken thoughts I have, and that my aesthetician must certainly have.

First of all, I always wear ugly undies. It is not desirable that the woman waxing my personality-below-the-belt find my gitch interesting or attractive.

Mainly I’m concerned that they my panties are old enough I won’t care if wax gets on them, and that they are clean and odourless.

If we’re honest with ourselves darlings, the only two reasons that we go to the spa are that we’re too lazy to do the work ourselves (’cause let’s face it, with a little practice any woman can keep her pubes groomed and her nails painted), and, it’s an hour or two long escape from our men and children.

It’s sad that having our pubic hair pulled out is a break from how hard we’re expected to work at home.

So today, with my legs spread open, the only work I do is hold up one side of my Wal-Mart panties as my groomer applies warm wax to the edge of the pleasure pit, and then mercilessly pulls all the hair out. Yah. Nice.

Her method is slightly different, and she’s muttering a bit.  I’ve gone so long to the same Vietnamese owned spa that I’m convinced  if my labia were to speak, they’d be fluent in Vietnamese slang.  If I ever travel to that part of the world, I think I’ll just wear a dress and walk on my hands.

This goes on, until she assumes she’s balded me sufficiently in all the right places. I have a general sense that all is well in the valley of passion, and prepare to get up, and regain my dignity (aka put my pants back on).

Instead, she holds my shoulder down and offers a mirror. “Here. You check.”  Pardon?  Um… No.

That’s just a little to finicky and a bit kinky for my taste. Looking at my own lady bits in a mirror in this small space with another woman is like the B quality porn warm up to mutual masturbation.

Nah. No thanks. I’ll just take your word for it. I’m having someone come and check your work later on. With their tongue. I’ll let you know what they think.

Next time I’m not just walking in. I’ll be sure to book an appointment with my aesthetician – no mirror required.

We make our way over to the spa chairs, where there is a warm, bubbling spa waiting for my toesies.

There is no eye contact. We both pretend she hasn’t just seen my holiest-of-holies, and I relax as she buffs and polishes the less taboo bits.

There is no tip generous enough in my opinion for the women who do our dirty work.

 

My Muse the News

g&tOk, almost a full week under my belt since the holidays, one gin and tonic in after a good run, and I’m ready to enlighten you, my highly intelligent, gentle, gorgeous readers.

The news is often a muse of mine. More often than not, it’s the soft, girly news that gets me riled, with a lovely blush of course.

Today my first inspiration came by way of fitness gear reviews. Just looking at the The Canada Goose Hybridge Lite Skirt, and I knew I was in for a treat.

Seriously darlings? I almost squirted my gin and tonic through my nose I laughed so hard. My sweeties at Canada Goose, and more importantly, any women who are thinking of purchasing this. Quit – for goodness sake – trying so hard. A down mini? Yes, that’s exactly where I’m cold darlings, my ample, luscious thighs and the warm, cozy womanly wonder that is snuggled underneath. And, yes, what a great idea,  I need something quilted to pad my fat ass. Thanks Canada Goose.

Roxy spandex shorts. I thought they were a headband. No thanks. The poor bloke running behind me tonight was likely traumatized enough with my three layer, granny panty wedgie without having a frill framing the entire tragedy.  Dear fitness designer….chubby chicks need clothes that fit or the rest of the world will poke their eyes out.

Hair goop to tame your fly aways after a work out. Really? Really? There are no ‘fly aways’ after a good workout, only the gleam of glistening. Yes, we glisten my lovelies, we do not sweat. Men sweat, and that’s why we love them. We do not need hair goop, we need great hats, headbands, or fast drying, ultra compact hair dryers.

Frankly it frightens me somewhat (please pour me another my sweet little plum), that the most practical piece of beauty advice came from Lady Gaga (whom, by the way I think is incredibly talented, and a savvy business woman). The Lady’s advice? Smooth some almond oil on freshly washed facial skin right before bed, followed by a light application of your usual moisturizer.  Sensible. You know what I say, sensible is sexy. Please send almond oil.

The centerfold? It was a smorgasboard of 11 moisturizers, all aimed at our delicate, feminine wallets of course.  Prices ranged from $24 to $275. $275 for moisturizer?! Sweetie – no. Just no. Enjoy some healing waters or a massage for half as much, and I guarantee your skin is glowing afterward. Better yet, let your lover moisturize your body for free.

No need to read the silly center-full-colour spread gals. I’ve saved you the work. You can go ahead and focus on real news now.