Fluffy, stuffed and an important part of my childhood.

I have always loved cute fluffy things, for as long as I can remember. Both to wear and to surround myself with. When I was around 5 or 6 my mother got me this beautiful little light-blue bolero-vest made out of Angora and I died for it. I wish I could still fit into it, but 16 years later down the road my figure begs to differ. My mother would tell me stories about how I would not fall asleep if she held me as a baby, I would only drift off to dreamland on top of this little lambskin that became mine and I had for the longest time to sleep on. And then… the stuffed animals. I can’t even begin. So todays ridiculous rant is dedicated to our childishly adorable friends; the stuffed animals.

The first cut is the deepest.

My first stuffed animal is definitely my favourite. Not because I remember always having it or because it got me through some hard times by being a shoulder to cry on, but because it was the first. If anyone who reads this is familiar with Beatrix Potter, the wonderful children’s book writer and illustrator, you might also remember Jemima the duck. She was always so dignified in her little blue hat and pink scarf, wagging back and forth in a leisurely strut. She was my very first stuffed animal and so not only is there nostalgia, but it is also a very grand stuffed animal, one that is based on a good story and with some proper British etiquette in her back-feathers. I don’t think anyone will ever really truly forget about their first little cuddly stuffed animal friend.

Army of loyal followers.

Maybe it was just that I was a weird kid. But I sort of had a personal relationship with all my stuffed animals, from the white tiger my size to the tiny little hedgehog and white mouse. They had their own personalities and depending on my mood I would “talk” to a different one each time. Of course going to bed became tricky business; it was election time, and only a few could come with. I always felt bad for the ones left on the cold hard shelf but I had to make my Sophie’s choice, because a bed is only so big. They brought me comfort and protected me against evil monsters and spirits in the night. And when it’s cold out a stuffed animal friend gives you almost as good a warmth as the real pet alternative.

I actually think this is adorable despite the creepy look on his face

Blank glassy eyes, maniacal smiles… why are they so adorable?

Why do we (I) like stuffed animals? Come to think of it, most of them are rather creepy-looking. With tags in strange places, the odd seam ripped and horrifying facial expressions they’re not all that cute and reassuring. I firmly believe that it is only because of their strong resemblance to the actual animal that children are inclined to like them so much. You just have to watch Coraline to realize that button eyes are far from trustworthy and just because someone appears to smile they might be quite rotten on the inside. Sure, I had the occasional animal that got to be on the “bad” side, and were frequently defeated in the little toy-wars that me and my siblings frequently held on the sea of our bedroom floor.

The moral of the story.

I firmly believe that the reason we grow to love our stuffed animals so much is that every little boy and girl has some kind of built-in maternal/paternal instinct, and these little fuzzy objects are a gateway into social life and adulthood. In the books by A.A Milne, Winnie the Pooh is not only loved by Christopher Robin but also by all the fascinated followers of what later turned into a Disney-show. There are old movies that show the characters as their stuffed and lifeless counterparts, but in the fantasy-world of this little boy they become his best friends and companions on great adventures. And they all lead their own lives with their own personalities. Becoming attached to something that is truly an object doesn’t mean you’re incapable of making real life friends or that there is something wrong with you; it’s just a sign of a healthy imagination and a strong affinity for empathy and love.

Make-up; the Master of Disguise!

So I finally figured out what I want to do with this blog. I want to take a random topic every time I post and rant about it, and express what I think about it. So it will sort of be like a column in a newspaper, only less newspapery. Todays topic if you haven’t guessed it; make-up. P.S this is not personally directed at anyone I know and I do not mean to offend anyone who is a fan of make-up. If you feel offended by what I’m writing here you might want to think about why you feel that that description applies to you and if it might be true? Please leave comments!

 

M—– is to girls what the A—- was to Adam and Eve

No, I’m not old-fashioned. I do enjoy high heels and miniskirts as much as any other contemporary female and I am not saying make-up is the devil. But with the commercials today, many girls and women get the impression that the make-up they are wearing will be good and healthy for their skin, with a “light touch of cucumber” or “natural minerals” or “extracts of…” Of course, lots of make-up has good stuff in it. Which is exactly what is needed for us to happily buy that bottle or jar without taking a second look at the list of ingredients. I could list off a bunch of mildly harmful chemicals and heavy metals and light metals and gross stuff that we’d never put on ourselves but… I don’t know what those words mean and this isn’t the Medical Database. Also, when you’re caking on the cover-stick you might be making your acne worse! But of course we all know that. It’s just how we talk about how the romans would wear lead and bugs and stuff smeared all over their face, when in reality that is what we do. Make-up today is that innocent looking little apple in paradise. We think it looks awesome but the consequences aren’t all that great.

 

“Would you like a butter-knife with your foundation?”

First impressions are important. So sometimes wearing make-up will create a great first impression, like a job-interview or a date. And sometimes people wear so much make-up that honest to god the first thought that pops into my head is “whoa skank!” or “she must have a horrible self-image if she thinks she needs all that make-up!” It can probably start simple (as many things have done in my life), you just pop on a little mascara in the morning before work one day and someone gives you a compliment and so you put it on the next day. And then two weeks later you try some neutral lipstick cause you’re going downtown with the girls and it occurs to you that guys are checking you out extra much tonight (though maybe it was that slutty dress but you prefer to think it was the make-up) so you put it on when you go to work the following week and ta-da! One day you’re standing there with a foundation three tones darker than your actual skin (because fake tans are so attractive, you know), your eyebrows are non-existent except for the eyeliner you’ve penciled in their place and you try to open your mouth to say something but the lip-gloss has caked your lips together and… you get the picture. Make-up in moderation can be fun and awesome but when people lose sight of what they actually look like you just end up looking like a sad scarecrow.

 

The “Morning After” Effect

The main reason I don’t wear make-up (besides it would take extra time to get ready in the morning and I’d have it smeared all over my face two hours later) is that I am so vain. Yes. I am horrified of the “morning after effect”. ‘What do you mean?’ you say. Well ok. I think we’ve all had this happen once or twice. You know how there’s this really pretty girl that you might work with or she’s an acquaintance of yours or you saw her once before at a party and then one day… she turns up with no make-up on and your mind, even though you try to stop it because you’re supposed to think “ah, natural beauty!” goes “omg that’s what she actually looks like? she looks so washed up and pale and not at all as attractive as she was…” Well, if you had met her that first and second time and she wasn’t wearing any make-up (or even just a little) the third time you bump into her you’re going to think she is just as beautiful. But thanks to your first impressions being those of her with make-up, your little brain considers it natural for her face to have make-up, make it a part of her face (like glasses would be on someone who always wears glasses) and then you see them again and oh noes! they look different and not as good anymore! Of course if the person stops wearing make-up for a longer period of time you will get used to what they actually look like and think they’re pretty the way they are again. But yes, that is the true reason why I don’t wear make-up. I want people to see me the way I actually look, so I never have to fall victim to the “morning after effect”.

 

And finally… Personality Galore!

To me, the most positive and fun aspect of make-up is the opportunity it gives you to transform yourself in to someone quite different from who people usually know you as. The first time I wore make-up in public I felt very nervous because in the mirror I had seen a completely different person and I was worried people were seeing someone else too. Of course by the end of that evening I realized people wouldn’t notice a difference because well, they had never seen me before. But it scared me that I thought I looked prettier and so I didn’t wear it again for a long time. With just a simple brush-stroke and dusting we can turn ourselves into sultry, sexy, innocent or casually business-smart women, whatever fits us for the occasion or whoever we would prefer to be. This can of course become extremely addictive. If you feel boring or shy, putting on that mask and becoming someone else is finally something you rely on so much that you can’t get out of bed without that make-up on. One of my English friends confessed that he had never seen his ex-girlfriend without make-up and that to him it was a little… different that I wasn’t wearing any. So this girl that he dated had either plotted so that she’d get up ahead of him or been in bed carefully applying it before he woke up. I mean I guess she could also have slept with it on but the point is, she was so scared of what she actually looked like that she couldn’t even be without make-up for a second in front of her own boyfriend. So as much fun as this personality altering confidence boost can be, make-up all too often ends up as a crutch, and instead of your friend and ally it’s your nagging and restraining mother, always telling you you’re not good enough and you need to be someone else.

I am woman, hear me roar!

It’s not what you think! I just had a wonderful girlsnight with two of my darlings and it made me really happy. Funnily enough the evening ended on this note of feministic rage and we all drew pretty (and hilarious) pictures as a sort of commemoration. The night consisted mostly of;

Bitching

Eating food

Drinking (very little)

Bitching

Eating food

Talking

Eating food

And so forth. You get the picture. But time like that with people that you know you can trust and who will give you their honest opinion without judging you, ah, it warms my heart. Just opening up your heart and talking about everything on earth, about everything in your life that might be stressing you out or bringing you down, and at the end of the night feeling sooo much better. So though we ended up not watching a girly movie (and darn, I forgot to borrow it too!) it was the most awesome of nights that I have had in a long time. I am now going to geek out and WoW a little.

*love*

Oh no! No no no no no! Nooooo!

It finally happened. I could see it coming but I couldn’t stop it. I think I’m going to start blogging! It won’t be an awesome blog, or very special, or super-interesting, it won’t be full of great pictures or anything like that, it’ll just be a little bit of me. Several years ago I attempted to blog on my Myspace account. Ha ha ha. What an epic fail that was. But I don’t know, this summer seems like a good time for blogging. Like a time to make time to share my adventures with others, who weren’t there, or reminiscence with those who were.

Last night I found myself singing “i’m soo-o-o tired” with my boyfriend on the back deck, a spontaneous duet serenading something we were both feeling at the moment. And something I’m feeling now, and have been for the past few weeks. Overwhelming sense of tiredness. It’s not because I work super-much or because I have too much free time, or even because of the season as it is in fact getting brighter out (yay!) but for whatever reason, dead tired. Yup. Of course I work 11 hours tomorrow and 11 more the next day so I think the first thing I need to do in this blog is say goodnight, I’m going to bed, don’t expect any posts anytime soon.

*love*