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boot to the head

ok, so i feel the need to talk about the shoe thing. i make no secret of the fact that, like many women, i like shoes. in fact, i like both shoes and clothes, not simply because i’m a woman, but because i’m an aesthete. in its simplest form, i mean that things that are pleasing to the eye make me happy because i like to have the presence of beauty in the world reinforced. in its more practical form, related to human beings, i equate a certain pride in appearance with a level of self-respect. you want to show the world the beautiful you that you see. or, from another point of view, you believe you’re worthy of beautiful things. (and i’m saying this realizing that it can easily be taken to an unhealthy extreme, like most things.)

aestheticism has gotten a bad wrap in general, because it is associated with vanity and shallowness. the two are not necessarily linked. the other thing that is commonly associated with aestheticism is an unhealthy addiction to consumption. after all, you’re spending money on things, things that you don’t need. i always wonder why this criticism, though, should be limited to those who by products for aesthetic reasons. would it be more tolerable if i wore the same sweat pants and sports shirt for five days but drove an suv?

the image of the slightly braindead woman who owns a lot of shoes and clothes is a convenient handle that people like to attach, because it makes other human beings easier to deal with. it’s a common phenomenon; pick a basic, easy-to-understand trait in someone, something that’s obvious and relatively simple to make light of, work from the assumption that this represents the largest and most important part of their character and do your best to convey this perception to others.

as you might be able to guess, i get very sick of having this mantle foist on me. i spend almost all of my life either voluntarily wearing masks or having them imposed on me by others, but this has to be one of the most objectionable. i’m left with the impression that i could walk into a room, give a dissertation on van gogh, establish peace in the middle east, and design an interstellar craft that is environmentally beneficial and i’d be greeted only with “that’s nice, but don’t you really want to be shopping?”

now, i’m not trying to deny the fact that i enjoy things whose function is entirely aesthetic, but i am uncomfortable with the mentality that takes an existing part of my personality as constituting the whole. after all, it’s that same mentality that makes assumptions about people based on their race or gender or any other handle that means that you don’t have to work to understand someone else. that sort of intellectual laziness and lack of curiosity is an insult to the potential of the grey lump between your ears.

so yes, i really like shoes. and there are a lot of people who think that everyone other than them can be reduced to a simple set of catch phrases and surface-level personality traits. which one of us is shallow again?


as long as you're here, why not read more?


i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:

am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

making faces :: soft touch

ah winter, how my lips hate you. it's too bad, really, because the rest of me likes winter, down to about -12 or so. but there's no arguing that i get dried out. nuxe rĂªve de miel is my super best friend at this time of year, even more so than otherwise. [i gave bite's agave lip mask a try only to find out i'm allergic to something in it.] but our [still] new apartment is somewhat drier than the old one [electric vs hot water heating], which meant that, for a long stretch, virtually every kind of lipstick was uncomfortable. the horror. [i wrote a post a while back about the formulas that are friendliest to chapped lips.]

faced with this dilemma, i decided to try something not exactly new, but [for me], out of the ordinary: being a gloss girl. now, i don't mind glosses. i buy them from time to time, and i used to buy more until i discovered that i just wasn't using them near enough to justify the continued purchases. my issues with glosses are that they feather…

making faces :: a lip for all seasons [summer edition]

this may seem like an odd time to think about summer, but not to think about coolness. it can be hard to wrap your head around the idea that summer is considered "cool" in colour analysis terms and, in my opinion, reads as the coolest of the cool, because everything in it is touched with the same chilly grey. winter may have the coldest colours, but its palette is so vivid that it distracts the eye. everything in summer is fresh and misty, like the morning sky before the sun breaks through. in my original post on the season, i compared it to monet's paintings of waterlilies at his garden in giverny and, if i do say so, i think that's an apt characterisation.

finding lip colours touched with summer grey and blue is, as you might expect, kind of tricky. the cosmetic world seems obsessed with bringing warmth, which doesn't recognise that some complexions don't support it well. [also, different complexions support different kinds of warmth, but that's another…