*blushing* - THANKS! n/t

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Posted by Anne Beltestad on October 12, 2002 at 01:50:21:

In reply to: Up with YOU, Anne! I'm glad to share a planet with you. n/t posted by Lauren on October 11, 2002 at 23:33:29:

: : hi all,
: :
: : some time ago I was contacted by someone who got my card at
: a "Modern
: : Bride Magazine" pseudo-bachlorette party back in late spring. She
: : said she was a party planner, it was a corporate event for this
: past
: : Wed. I didn't think much of it but she wanted all sorts of things
: I
: : never provide, such as an invoice and my social security number(?!)
: : and was businesslike to the point of unfriendly on the phone.
: : Whatever, I thought. this is Manhattan after all.
: : Well, I got there on Wed. night and walked in the door of the bar,
: and
: : it was, of all things, a release party for Tampax's new product,
: : "Tampax Pearl"! Apparently this new tampon is revolutionary not
: just
: : because it's more comfortable than "the plastic you have been
: using"
: : (huh?!?) but because it's pearl-colored, and thus "more feminine".
: It
: : even comes in a scented version (I thought that was BAD for
: you...?).
: : The woman in charge of this new product made a little speech and
: : showed a video presentation. I was fortunate enough to be hennaing
: : someone, with my head down, so I missed the latter, but it's the
: : speech I want to share with you here.
: : "Tampax Pearl" apparently is significant for the New Woman who can
: be
: : described as "Power and Pearls." Apparently two scientists from the
: : University of Michigan (women, no less) had conducted a study about
: : women today, and our views of ourselves. This new woman feels
: : confident in herself, is independent and successful, and yet "not
: : afraid to be feminine." So far so good, right? Well, the examples
: : used to describe this phenomenon were, for example, feeling
: : comfortable wearing makeup to an 8am chemistry class (note,
: chemistry,
: : not French!) and being independent and spontaneous enough to
: decide,
: : on a whim, to get a manicure during a shopping trip!
: : I couldn't help myself. I laughed out loud. I did refrain from
: : snorting food all over the table (they did feed me!), or making too
: : many comments, or allowing my brain to even BEGIN deconstructing
: this
: : crap.
: : The really sad part was that as the henna artist I was trying to
: bring
: : a breath of fresh air and an idea of some more holistic beauty
: ideas
: : to this event. I believe that every person I henna gets a little
: bit
: : of a blessing, something to make them feel special and calm. I
: even
: : told the beauty editor of Cosmopolitan that where I come from,
: women
: : don't necessarily shave off all their body hair. ("Really? How
: : Quaint!") I did tell several people how old henna was, and that
: : trends may come and go but that this "womens' art form" lasts.
: : My point is is that as a feminist and a henna artist, as a scholar
: and
: : a human being, this is the tide I'm swimming against. Henna honors
: : all people, from the person with disfiguring scars to the
: : flat-stomached teenage beauty queen, from the six-year-old to the
: : crone. I want to share something of beauty with these people,
: : something different that, even for a moment, makes them feel calm.
: : Yet it's hard when I hear that "being independent and *still*
: : feminine" means caring about beauty. No mention whatsoever of
: women
: : athletes, doctors, artists (oh, sorry, the girl from The Sopranos
: was
: : their spokesperson for the evening. NOT the sharpest knife in the
: : drawer to say the least), scholars, stateswomen, lawyers, spiritual
: : leaders, single moms, advocates, etc etc. Not a mention. The
: : achievements were in terms of being feminine, being pretty.
: : I believe with all my heart that it is my duty to combat this.
: : Needless to say I arrived dressed like Indian meets Post-Punk meets
: : Nordic Witch, riding my bike from Brooklyn in this all-black jangly
: : getup with a weird Icelandic sort of hat, and I must say when I
: left I
: : was proud of myself, of my mom and all the strong women I know who
: : don't buy the party line about what a woman is supposed to be. Now
: : let's keep it up!
: :
: : up with REAL women!
: :
: : Anne


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