Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Beauty #3

-"A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral."
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Last week, a friend and I planned a meet up to see an art show.  It was raining, and the venue was one of those 'down an alley, find the secret door' types.  We managed to find it, wily as we are, and set about climbing up a dark staircase unsure if we were in the right place or about to walk into someone's living room.  Fortunately, (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), we were in the right place, and were one of the first at the show.  We spent a little while chatting with the artist, though truthfully, it was a little awkward and I wasn't sure if he was a phoney or not.  We set back down the stairs into the rain and out the alley.  Back on the street, we were greeted by an old Italian man who smiled and declared us 'charming and beautiful' in our rain gear and black umbrellas (though my umbrella says merde il pleut).  A few moments later, we were approached by a musician and camera man doling out daisies to passers by for a music video.  At the top of the street, we said our goodbyes and noted the mini-adventure we'd been on was pretty fun and something we should do 'like, all the time'.

This little adventure in the middle of the week got me thinking.  I realized that every little thing done differently, whether you enjoy it or not, is a kind of adventure and will set off a reaction inside.  This definitely applies to beauty.  There's an adventure of authenticity that we all play and that makeup has a big role in.  Think about when you apply a new lipstick shade that changes your whole face.  If it makes you uncomfortable or you just hate it, your mind goes, "Um, no." and you look around immediately for a tissue, saying, "Get this off me."  When the opposite occurs, you apply a new trendy colour and you like it, the reflection staring back at you says, "Oh yes, that's nice, I'll take it."

If you always pick the shades in between, the ones you know you'll like, you're missing out on the brights, or nudes, or deep burgundies that might make that party extra special, be the accessory to your favourite dress, or show you that you're ready to try something new.  Who you are is more than cosmetics, but decoration is a pervasive human impulse, and standing out (in your own way) is a legitimate way of standing up for yourself.  Just because you've never worn red or purple or magenta, eyeliner or fake nails, doesn't mean you never will.  All it takes is a little mini adventure to see your reflection differently to totally reinvent yourself.

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