Tag Archives: beauty

Friday Poem – Phenomenal Woman

In honour of the 2nd anniversary of her death, this week’s “Friday Poem” (and yes, I know it’s Saturday) is Phenomenal Woman by the amazing American poet Maya Angelou.

So this one is for every woman out there – and “always remember you are stronger and braver than you think” (courtesy of Winnie the Pooh – love that silly old bear!)

Phenomenal Woman

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms
The span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them
They say they still can’t see.
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman

Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need of my care,
‘Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.

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Friday Poem – Upon Westminster Bridge

A beautiful poem by William Wordsworth (1770-1850), written in 1802 in the form of an Italian Sonnet, which describes the beauty of the city.UponWestminsterBridge

Upon Westminster Bridge

EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

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Friday Poem – Barbie Doll

A poem by the American poet Marge Piercy (1936- )Barbie

An extremely accurate description of how one seemingly innocent comment can have such an impact on a life. We are all beautiful in our own way, whether we are big, small, freckled, muscular, mis-shapen nosed, etc. We cannot, and should not be made to feel that we have to fit in to the mould of stick insect, sunken-cheeked, false everything fashion driven looks. We should be happy in our own skin. It matters not one iota if we are a size zero or a size 20.

You are beautiful by being true to yourself!

Barbie Doll

This girl child was born as usual
and presented dolls that did pee-pee
and miniature GE stoves and irons
and wee lipsticks the color of cherry candy.
Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said:
You have a great big nose and fat legs.

She was healthy, tested intelligent,
possessed strong arms and back,
abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity.
She went to and fro apologizing.
Everyone saw a fat nose on thick legs.

She was advised to play coy,
exhorted to come on hearty,
exercise, diet, smile and wheedle.
Her good nature wore out
like a fan belt.
So she cut off her nose and her legs
and offered them up.

In the casket displayed on satin she lay
with the undertaker’s cosmetics painted on,
a turned-up putty nose,
dressed in a pink and white nightie.
Doesn’t she look pretty? everyone said.
Consummation at last.
To every woman a happy ending.

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Body Piercings

I will admit upfront that I am too chicken to even have my ears pierced.

I was also under the naïve understanding that as far as piercings went you could do ears, eyebrows, nose, tongue, belly button, undercarriage, and that was the extent of my knowledge.

But today my eyes have been well and truly opened up.

I was chatting with some girls at work, who said that pretty much anywhere went these days, and they were discussing having piercings on their arms and neck.

My eyes watered at the mere thought.

How on earth would you get your arm pierced – I thought you would need a very large pin! But no! I was mistaken. Apparently, from what I understood, they pop a whole in your arm and then scrape out surrounding skin before placing the piercing in. OUCH! It looks very pretty, one of the girls already had one, “but,” I enquired, ” couldn’t you just use some glue and stick a diamanté sequin on your arm instead. It’s a lot less painful, and you can take it off?”

These, seemingly, extreme body piercings seem to be all the rage. From piercings on your neck and arms, to more elaborate piercings, such as all down your spine, or side and then using ribbon to connect each piercing, to give the effect of lacing up a corset. Again, surely just buying a corset would be a lot less painful.

But, what about infection? Can you just remove these piercings, like you can ears and nose, to change the stud? No, would be the answer. It would appear these can only be removed by the piercing specialist who put it in.

Now, like I said, I’m too chicken to have my ears pierced – can give birth without drugs, but don’t ask me to stick a needle in my ear! But seriously, why would anyone put themselves through something like it – I just don’t understand. Is it art? Is it beauty?

Have a look at some of these photos and let me know what you think. Would you?

bp1 bp2 bp4bp3

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Is perfection ever attainable?

I only ask, because the other day I overheard a window cleaner saying to his mate that “the perfect woman doesn’t exist!”

And how many times are women heard bemoaning the fact that the perfect man isn’t out there either?

Are we all actually just striving for something that, in the end, doesn’t exist?

Who decides what makes a perfect man/woman?

We all know the sterotypes that are thrust upon us via various mediums – tall, dark, brooding and handsome men, and stick thin women, with perfect hair and skin, or blonde, blue-eyed with big …!

And as children, fairytales are all very well and good, but do women ever get the literary knight in shining armour who will fight to the death for her, and likewise do men get the beautiful perfect princess?

With the opposite sex put on extremely high pedestals for us, is it any wonder that after searching for perfection we seem to just give up, or settle and then bemoan our not-so-perfect partners’ foibles!

But would perfection be in fact perfect?

After all, if you had the stick-thin, perfect haired model could you put up with her eating nothing, except maybe the odd bit of tissue paper, and smoking like a chimney to stave off the hunger pangs, or if she did eat, hold her hair for her whilst she made herself sick out of guilt that she may have just eaten something that would put on an ounce?

Or if you had the dark, brooding handsome type, would it get a bit too boring with all that brooding and not any mental action?

And because we are all seem to be striving to find the ‘perfect’ partner, when we hit a curve in the road, or a not-so-perfect one time after time, the pedestal starts wavering and then tottering and then falls over and smashes on to the ground leaving us feeling that we are not worthy of that ‘perfect’ love because of all the hurt we have endured and that all members of the opposite sex are bar stewards/b**ches ** [** delete as appropriate]

And once we fall into the trap of believing in the stereotype, i.e., all members of the opposite sex are…, that apparently is a rut we stay in until we snap ourselves out of it. So every potential partner we meet, instead of seeing the good, our subconscious tells us that it will all end badly and therefore we get what we deserve. Our words, thoughts and feelings form our realities, as they say

I have been in this rut for so many years I have lost count – previous encounters left me feeling that I am unworthy of being loved, therefore with each new encounter I try too hard and end up constantly being treated like a doormat with no feelings. That is my failing, no one else’s. My experience has led me to fall into the belief that all men will walk all over me, and consequently that is what has happened. I need to realise that it is not true of all men, there are some good ones out there … somewhere, and that I need to treat any new encounter as just that. A new encounter – with no hang-ups about Mr Wrongs past.

Everyone is worthy of being loved for who they are, even me, and everyone deserves to be respected for who they are.

We are all individuals, each uniquely different, with amazing qualities if we care to look beneath the surface.

Maybe we need to smash the ‘perfect man/woman’ ideal and become more flexible in our perception of perfection, then we will be able to find that there is a perfect someone out there for all of us?

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Brush-on False Lashes…

…and create the ultimate in long eyelashes!

I was sold when I noticed this little packet hiding amongst the make-up in the shop.

After all, who wouldn’t want a simple solution to making your eyelashes fuller, thicker and longer that doesn’t involve fiddling about with a tiny applicator and an even smaller pot of glue, smearing the glue on a set of false eyelashes and then making a valiant attempt to  stick the eyelashes on, over your already carefully applied eye make-up, without them either not sticking at one end, or indeed sticking up at an angle so it starts in the corner of your eye, but ends somewhere near your eyebrow!!!

So I bought some.

The idea is that you apply mascara, as normal, then apply the ‘lashfibres’, then after 30 seconds apply a second coat of mascara.

Simple right?

Well, yes, except the ‘lashfibres’ are, well how can I put it?

Ummm, basically you are applying fluff.

Literally, just fluff.

I tried it yesterday and felt rather daft after dipping the brush into the tube and then applying said fluff to my eyes. I had a serious attack of vanity humiliation. Seriously, why would anyone apply fluff?

The result – it didn’t really give the impression of a false eyelash, though my eyelashes did, to be fair, look a bit fuller.

But my eyes itched uncontrollably all day.

Giving it the benefit of the doubt, and could well have been user error in applying said ‘lashfibres’ I thought I would give it another go today.

Sadly, my eyes were just as itchy today.

So, applying fluff is just not for me.

I shall stick to false eyelashes, fiddly applicators and all.

Thankfully a friend showed me how to apply them, so they are much easier now and it’s been a while since I stuck one to my eyebrow 😉

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The Big Body Hair Debate

You don’t seem to be able to open a magazine or paper without some trivial article about body hair, whether it is in vogue to be waxed within an inch of your life, or au natural and as hairy as you can be.

Why is it such a hot topic for debate whether women shave, wax, epilate, depilate or not their hairy bits? Legs, bikini line, under-arms, eyebrows, facial hair (don’t think I’ve missed anywhere!)

When did it become par for the course to remove unwanted hair? Was it the 20th Century, or earlier? I have absolutely no idea.

When is it acceptable for girls to start removing body hair?

I vividly remember being 15 years old, at an all-girls school, and some rather spiteful girls making fun because I hadn’t shaved my legs – that was the first time I actually thought about it.

Teenage me did kind of resemble Anne Hathaway in the Princess Diaries before she got ‘beautified’ and Drew Barrymore’s teenage self in “Never Been Kissed” – gawky, geeky, braces, hair in plaits, definitely not cool.

Anyway I did initially shave my legs.

Then I moved on bought an ‘Epilady’ – ouch! And in-grown hairs were a nightmare – made a serious mess of my legs.

Finally I moved on to waxing – only a half leg though – below the knee, I’m blessed that I do not have obvious, noticeable hairs on my thighs. Certainly less painful than the ‘Epilady’ and cleaner than shaving – no chance of cuts (and I am seriously clumsy!)

I did briefly go back to shaving when I was a student, but I got an infection in my hair follicles, and ever since it has been waxing.

The only drawback to waxing is having to wait between sessions as the hair needs to grow in order for the next waxing to work, whereas with shaving you can do it as and when you please.

But it is a cleaner method of hair removal.

I have my underarms done too – I did once try to wax my own underarms, but realised you need 5 pairs of hands, and eyes on stalks to be able to see what you are doing – made me go seriously cross-eyed ;-0

Bikini line – well, I’m a convert to Hollywood. Like everything neat and tidy in the lady garden and to be honest it feels a lot cleaner when there is nothing there! And no, despite rumours it doesn’t feel like my ‘pants are lined with pins’ after a while as the hairs start re-growing.

Eyebrows – have had them waxed, and tried threading. The only thing I can really say about eyebrow waxing is that it is the only form of waxing where you cannot see what is going on. I’ve lain there on the beauty table as the beautician is waxing my eyebrows thinking “Oh, my God, she’s taking them all off, I’m going to have to try and pencil eyebrows in!” Seriously, because you can’t see what is going on, you can only feel the waxing and then the tweezing of stray hairs. When you find a beautician you really trust then you are on to a winner.

But enough about my waxing habits.

The real question is what do men think about waxing?

Do you prefer your ladies buff or au natural?

 

 

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