• Beauty and Fashion

    Should I Care About My Beauty or Lack Thereof?

    “You shouldn’t care what guys think.” It is the proportion of caring that matters. I hate being told falsehoods to comfort. It’s dismissive of my feelings and reality and can actually reinforce the perception or opinion since it makes me feel that since they dismiss my opinion they can’t actually answer my opinion, that what I feel is fact, true. Oh, and that is not just for the subject of beauty.

    “Beauty is unimportant.” It certainly isn’t the most important thing, but to say it is unimportant, to imply that it doesn’t matter is deliberate falsehood. It does matter, in a perfect world, we would all be good and beautiful. All senses are important, to dismiss it thus dishonestly is to try to aim for some sort of haphazard, inconsistent ascetism.

    “Beauty is subjective.” Yes and no. There are different tastes yes, but there is also some consensus on it as well. I think certain societies (ours, Panem in reality, thanks to Hollywood, and, I’m afraid porn and plastic surgery and botox all the innumerable things you can do to alter your face and figure) cement certain narrow and unrealistic standards and expectations more than others. But they can’t make everyone love the same things always, I’m realizing it is more subjective than I had formerly believed (feared?).

    I mentioned earlier about discounting what older relatives and friends said in positive praise of beauty. I would generally measure my place in an scale of beauty by two means. The first would be the obvious one of attention from the opposite sex. Particularly of the sort where a guy would go out of his way to give it.

    I feel that I’ve only received such attention that someone below average would receive. I do have a hostile air and expression, but I would think combined with real prettiness not even beauty men would not be put off by this manner and expression, and perhaps really prettiness (or perhaps only real beauty could achieve this) couldn’t truly look as hostile as I can? But then, perhaps the Barbie style is more expected here.

    My second standard is my own, if I see it, if I match what I think is beautiful. I think a lot of people might also mention society and societal standards generally. I think I use this as a source of measurement, but I don’t think it is the whole of this. I think I see many things and need to be satisfied within myself whether this or that meets my standard. I think when I have a high standard it is hard to fail to notice when I don’t even meet an average standard. And I don’t think this is insecurity, certainly I have that, but I’m talking about assessing.

    I think I’ve lived with this assessment and comprehension of what guys think for long enough that it doesn’t hurt as much as it did (combined with learning maybe beauty isn’t as objective as I’d thought), I’ve not achieved confidence exactly, more resignation, but yet, I’m less insecure. I’ve always HATED the thought of undergoing surgery and such like to achieve a false beauty. And learning all the little things many women do change, I find it enraging, it DOES hurt those of us who don’t, it does raise the standard of beauty falsely.

    I want to be both myself and beautiful, and if that is not to be, then I want to be myself.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    Potatoes, Parents, and Past Styles of Beauty

    I mentioned in my last post about parents and grandparents and some of their friends opinion’s on mine and my sisters’ beauty. One sister said we must have been very beautiful back in their day (rather than now) seeing as the compliments people are grandparents’ ages gave us.

    I wrote such comments on our intelligence* off as parental and grandparental bias. Although I would say at least the parents are rather less biased than usual on other things. And I certainly have had unflattering comparisons made between me and some of my sisters (only have one or no kids if you can’t at least blind yourself on the subject of equality, it only makes what they know to be true harder) by my mother. I and at least one other sister have had unflattering comments from my grandmother on our figures as well. I think the bias is more because we are theirs we must be beautiful, rather than seeing any beauty? Rather a complicated situation.

    I think my sister found this pin or I sent it to her. Less flattering from other people, but I certainly feel the potato comment!**

     

     

    *And then I went to college, grew up, and saw more of the world and more of the bias of other parents, um yes, we are at least what my dad, damning with faint praise described in response to my preteen question for more exactitude,” slightly above average intelligence.”

    **Should that matter? Yes and no, coming shortly.

  • Daily Life

    Creepy College Story

    I wear shorts as a precaution much of the time as I wear mainly skirts and dresses. My sisters started doing it first, it prevents embarrassing exposure, but for some reason, I didn’t have this habit in college. And I think this incident may have been one that made me finally realize the importance, perhaps also combined with my skirt partially blowing up when the college bus moved off.

    Anyway, I usually went to the more deserted 4th floor of the library where you could find more empty desks or seating. But for some reason, on this day I went to the back of the 3rd floor and sat down at one of those tiny double desks where you have to watch your legs don’t touch the person’s on the other side. There was someone sitting on the other side. I think maybe after that person left a few people came and went, I’m not sure about the chair. Somehow a guy ended up on the floor where the chair should have been. Meaning, far too near my feet for such a position.

    I was per usual wearing a dress with no protecting bike shorts, the dress was above my knees and my legs were crossed. I think because of my thigh-y-ness, that not much beyond thighs could have been seen, but I’m not sure. I think I’d let the shoe fall off my crossed foot. I suddenly noticed my foot was oddly warm despite nothing changing. I think I waited a bit too long before I looked down, and I swear a head (I believe face down towards my foot), moved from over my foot.

    It was so slight a warmth and then so quick a movement, I had trouble putting together what had happened, but I think the guy was smelling my foot. I swear his face was down not up my skirt, and the warmth would have been his face over my foot.

    My sister asked why I didn’t kick him? He moved too fast for one thing, for another I was too stupefied and uncomprehending to do anything more than slowly realize what just happened. I wasn’t scared, and I’m easily scared, and had I been scared I have the freeze response, fight or flight often comes rather late. I don’t know if that was because I’m an idiot or I did have a reading on the situation, that it was a freak thing, not a dangerous thing. Nevertheless, it was stupid of me not to immediately move. I believe he left first.

    Anyway, its a hilarious story, I think and the weirdest thing I can remember happening to me. I don’t have very many creepy stories as I’m not pretty* and have the added protection of (usually) being a craven coward who avoids discomfort before danger could even think of arriving and have resting murder face.

    *Older family members and their friends have differing opinions which leads into my next post.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Cottagecore and Finding My Life and Style Aesthetic and Romantic Academia

    I think I’ve shared some videos, maybe as a part of a things I love, but I was inspired to write a more dedicated post after watching this video by Ruby Granger about Cottagecore. Darling Desi also has a video about Cottage Core as well (and I recommend her birthday video on this as well). Also, I really enjoyed Mia Maples’ video about trying different aesthetics which included Cottagecore.

    My Aesthetic

    There are SO many elements in cottagecore that are so “me” and that bring together or overlap with lots of things I’ve always been interested in, or that I was interested in as a child or that I was becoming interested or re-interested in. Prairie style, slow living, rural living, handicrafts, milkmaid styles, vintage style, etc. I dislike the term though, “cottage” is a pretty word, but “core” is not. Someone on Darling Desi’s cottagecore video mentioned cottagecore being a modernization of “pastoral romance.” I could only find this pastoral literature entry, I suppose they meant that?

    I like how Ruby talks about making the style your own rather than just copying it, and I also like that she included Cinderella 2012 in her list of movies. Because besides not loving the name, I also prefer brighter colors, Cinderella 2012 is just about perfect in combing the colors and the cottage/outdoorsy vibes and decor.

    Also, I wish I could come up with a term for me. I like light academia and cottagecore and victorian and romantic and regency and vintage and ancient/classical and folk. It would be nice to have a shorter term. Romantic is rather vague, all of the other terms are too narrow. Perhaps Vintage Romantic Cottage Academia, which is a mouthful, but I think that is a pretty good summary. Or maybe Romantic Pastoral Academia? Or maybe just Romantic Academia, because I think nature featured a lot in the Romantic period, and then romantic is also a more broad term. Yes, I think I like that.

    My Cottagecore Suggestions

    I noted many of the books and movies and such that Ruby Granger shared it my video to try, and I thought I’d share (or reshare) any books, movies, etc. that I don’t think I’ve heard listed.

    • The Borrowers which is the series that is the basis for The Secret World of Arrietty, a movie that I know several Youtubers mentioned.
    • The 80’s Heidi. We always called milkmaid braids “Heidi braids.” I didn’t actually learn they were called milkmaid braids until my twenties I don’t think.
    • The Grandma’s Attic series.
    • If you are leaning really rural/agrarian, then Wendell Berry. Not idyllic rural/agrarian though. I’ve also got David Kline (Amish farmer) essay collections on my TBR which would also fit. I also have some books on shepherd’s lives on my TBR which would also seem to fit with this.
    • Definitely romantic nature would be the Gene Stratton-Porter books.
    • I think the tv series was mentioned, but I definitely recommend the Christopher Timothy narrated James Herriot books.
    • Friendly Persuasion seems like it would fit the cottagecore vibes, the movie, maybe the book too, I never got into that though.
    • Susan Branch. I just started her A Fine Romance.
    • I’m thinking the poetry of Robert Frost as well.
    • I also saw some suggested videos on Cottagecore and Tasha Tudor which I need to explore as well.
    For Style and Instagram
    • I love the styles of Adored Vintage. I don’t love the colors. This is a true cottagecore style shop.
    • I found this Instagrammer through another, and her style is just perfection. Bright colors, patterns, textures and gorgeous romantic/folk inspired styles. I want SO many of her clothes. She blends several elements of style that I love.
    • This Instagrammer has some super ruffly romantic styles that I love as well. More modern romantic style.
    • Foraging Pages describes her style on her bio as “academic cottagecore.”
    • JE Stanway. I think this might be cottagecore and light academia?
    • The art of Lore Pemberton, I’ve several pieces, and I want more!
    YouTube

    Obviously Darling Desi and Ruby Granger, but also Hannah Lee Dugan, her personal style is cottage core I feel, and she literally lives in a log cabin and van. As well as The Cottage Fairy.

    Lauren Johnson has some cottagecore inspired sewing videos.

  • Beauty and Fashion

    More Beauty Stuff and the Pseudoscience of “Green” or “Clean” Beauty

    I feel like a few years ago I mentioned this channel, but I’m not sure. I highly recommend Lab Muffin beauty for most sunscreen stuff (and for all the fallacies regarding “natural beauty” hint, its a marketing thing, its not science, please watch this!!!!! This was one of the main things to knock some sense into my head about “clean” beauty), except I needed more information and like the Odile video for the previous sunscreen hoopla  . . . guess what there is another (here is Lab Muffin’s video), this time US or just anything approved by FDA, although I think she said this mostly affected spray sunscreens which I don’t like anyway as I seem to inhale quite a bit of them.

    She does a lot of mythbusting, like one on the whole aluminum (I just spelled this the British/Australia way, lol) in deo which is one of the big “green” beauty bogey-man. I think I deleted all my “clean” beauty posts (if I haven’t let me know, and I will delete, but I had tried “natural” deo, and the ones available when I was trying them didn’t work, sincerely sorry to everyone who came close to me. However, I do think aluminum + sweat is what causes clothes staining which is my main issue now, I ruin shirts and dresses under the arm (why do I sweat like an active guy when I’m a sluggish woman?), and since there are better “natural” deodorants than there used to be, I might try to switch except for extremely hot situations, its just SO much more expensive (like 4 to 5x the amount of Dove).

    She does informative videos about myths and specific ingredients and such, and she has also done some product reviews, including this hyped Asian skincare which I noticed had one of my (now my only one left) Asian sunscreen (Biore), so I definitely had to watch! I feel happier that she approved this one. I think this has a level of alcohol some don’t like, but it doesn’t bother me (unlike some spray sunscreens I’ve tried available in US). I also want to try Shiseido – Anessa sunscreen she was talking about. I also want to try the vitamin C serum she mentions (once my freeze on serum buying is over, I’ve got to use up way more products than I have before I buy anything more, I’m trying to only buy replacements for the “main” things like if I need new cleaners and sunscreens and such).

  • Reading

    Little Women Literary Reference List and Alcott Reading Challenge

    When I was rereading Shirley, a lot of footnotes reminded me how often older authors were well-versed in literary works to be constantly referencing all their works, and this caused the list of Little Women literary references to mind, and then Tarissa’s Alcott Reading Challenge reminded me again.

    I thought I’d found a list, I’m pretty sure I did, but I guess it wasn’t comprehensive so I made my own? Back in 2017, I’d posted all the literary references I’d collected in various posts, but I’m going to compile them and put them in a page on here like with my Classics Club list. I need to see if I can remember to compile lists from other author’s works like this as well.

    I’d like to read some things off this list as part of the challenge as well as re-read some actual Alcott works.

    I know I re-read Old-Fashioned Girl recently, but I’ve been meaning to reread the Little Women, Little Men, Jo’s Boys trilogy as well as the Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom duo. And maybe A Long Fatal Love Chase. I’d like to get pretty copies of all these, so we shall see what I get too.

  • Reading

    June 2021 Reading Goals

    • Finish A Fine Romance. I am going to keep this after all.
    • Read Factfulness and return to my dad.
    • Read Confronting Injustice without Compromising Truth.
    • Reread Emma. I’m reading this as part of the Enchanted Bookclub.
    • Catch Up on The Silent Bells by ND Wilson serial.
    • Read the state history I borrowed from Papau and return.
    • Make inroads into The Idiot (aim for end of July).
    • Maybe On Writing Well.
    • Other fiction possibilities
      • Greenwillow
      • Maybe the other to Corfu books
  • Culture and Entertainment

    What I Watched May 2021

    Movies

    I’ve been trying to keep up with watching movies on the weekend. They’ve all been old ones this month.

    Dial M for Murder. Grace Kelly. I guess worth a watch, not really that intriguing to me as it wasn’t funny or or mysterious. And the suspense wasn’t all that extreme either.

    Listen, Darling. This was a cute for one watch. I wouldn’t rewatch.

    My Favorite Wife. I did a post on this, I thought it quite funny and worth rewatching, tons of witty quotes.

    My Favorite Brunette. A spoof of film noir mysteries. Too goofy a humor overall for me, but there were a few quotes I thought funny.

    ~~~~~~~

    “Ronnie”
    “Yeah”
    “I think you’re a very brave man”
    “I know a sniveling coward when I see one. ” Looks in mirror, “Hiya sniv.”

    ~~~~~~~

    “An hour later we were at the Poulet d’or, one of those real swanky cafes where they eat mink for breakfast.”

    ~~~~~~~

    TV

    When I first heard of My Family and Other Animals I’d also heard of the tv show which is The Durrells (and heard it was rather vulgar) but forgot about it. It came to my attention again, and I wanted something to watch while I knitted, so I started it. The tv show is described as being fictionalized, and I only read book one, the only similarities I’m seeing that I remember are the main character names and some of their interests, but I think I want to reread the first and then read the next two.

    While the show does have some vulgarity and coarseness (the worst is that captain, I mostly skip his parts), its mostly not too bad for me. It’s the soapiness that’s getting to me. I’m on season three and had decided to stop, and have skimmed a bit more. And since I can’t seem to stay away from Wikipedia synopses, I’m seeing more soapiness layered on. I thought maybe I’d skip and watch the absolute final episode. We’ll see. But, but, its a bit addicting. Edit: yes, I went back to watching, it’s just so bright and happy on Confu in spite of the attempts at drama, and the music is so cheery, also got another hilarious Spiros bit, this time fighting with Zoltan who is also funny (he would say the funniest). Also, I am skimming through stuff I dislike more.

    Spiros is hilarious, I think a lot (most?) of the best quotes are from him. And the way he always calls them,”Durrells.”

    ~~~~~~~

    “What have you got against Sven?”
    “Nothing. Except he is not Greek and he is not British.”
    “Some people aren’t Spiros.”
    ~~~~~~~
    During the massive storm, “Hello Durrells, welcome to England.”
    ~~~~~~~
    “You know I love the British, but you make everything so  complicated.”
    ~~~~~~~
    (Zoltan to Margo) “You make the stars come out at night.”
     “What does that mean?”
    “It’s called poetry, Greek peasant.”
    “It’s called bull****, Turkish cretin.”
    ~~~~~~~

    Speaking of soapy dramas. I’d seen Allen Leech in a Hallmark movie, so I looked up the Branson and Sybil bits of Downton Abbey. I’d only watched like 1.5 episodes nearly a decade ago in college (and felt like I’d lost IQ for that much) and what I’d seen of him in photos, his chubby baby face blonde boyish type hadn’t appealed to me, but in the Hallmark movie, oh, my. Well, I think he was rather tubbier in DA, and wow, the acting is horrifically bad. I watch Hallmark which is hardly superb acting, but I think because it’s light and fluffy, it’s fine to have fluffy acting. Also the DA acting is worse than the Hallmarks I like. So bad acting plus drama (which needs more solid acting anyway), yeah pretty bad. Not tempted to try any more of that.

  • Daily Life

    June 2021 Goals

    • File state taxes
    • Set up security system
    • Keep up and continue to improve on my apartment organization and cleanliness
    • In that vein, more specifically finish digitizing my recipes
    • And clean and off table and keep cleaned off
    • Start my new job
    • Watch my spending, pay off some debt, save, and get my net worth back up since I quintupled my negative balance since April
    • Keep up on my exercising, work on stretching, and try to get in better habits of walking
    • Work through my backlog of borrowed and books I own but haven’t read (and may not keep)
    • Sell some stuff and find more to purge
    • Keep up habits of using up excess beauty supplies
    • Finish my niece’s baby blanket and perhaps another or at least make significant progress on it
    • Fix printer scanning issues
    • Work Private Plan
    • Better blogging and Instagram habits
    • Train Bjorn (my sister calls him the electrocuted chipmunk)
    • Work on getting back into more nonfiction
    • Participate in the Enchanted Bookclub’s Emma readalong
    • Continue to watch movies, try to focus a bit more on my list though
  • Culture and Entertainment

    Fun Lately

    I’ve felt I needed more podcasts for a while. I’ve caught up on my favorite so get an episode only once a week or once every two weeks. I think it was a recommendation or ad, that caused me to see The Friendship Onion which is a new podcast by Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd. I guess Billy Boyd’s voice is more of a distinctive one, but I don’t think that it was merely a lack of distinctiveness and memory that caused me to feel that Dominic Monaghan’s voice changed considerably while Billy Boyd’s is instantly remembered?

    The Minimalists had Jeanette McCurdy (of iCarly) on again. And apparently she now has a podcast called Empty Inside. So I gained two new podcasts in a week, such luck.

    I’m not on TikTok, I was afraid of a new time waster, and then at one of my jobs we had mandatory security training mentioning the security hazard the TikTok app is for anyone who uses it. I suppose that is another safeguard of my time, nevertheless, I feel like I’m missing out on the new Vine like I missed on the old one. I occasionally see hilarious compilations on Youtube which make me feel like I’m missing out. One of these was this video If Dog Breeds Were People.

    My sister has an (she was told) Aussie Doodle (we see NO evidence of the Poodle, he’s copper and longish haired shepherd look). The Australian Shepherd energy was spot on.

    She also has a chihuahua (there is NO mistaking the heritage of those piranha teeth), daschund (also hard to mistake that shape), possibly terrier mix. Her personality absolutely, to a T has those elements displayed in the video. They were killer. It’s so hard to pick favorites.

    Now, my little Bjorn doesn’t match the pom, the Golden retriever one, however, that’s him.

    Also, I feel like I shared this one, but I can’t find the post, and it’s too good to miss. If People Acted Like Korean Drama Characters.  I’ve only seen part of one, but from that and what I’ve heard, it sounds like they run to type like Hallmark (Amy mentions how comforting formulas are in this post). The kiss scene in the one I saw was exactly like that, lol. And the end is just, genius.

    And finally, more poking fun at dramas, this time period dramas. I happened on this page and this page shared by other Instagrammers. I spent some time scrolling the first one and laughing, there are some amazing gems, and sending some of the memes to my sisters and sister-in-laws. The 2nd one had this gem.

  • Daily Life

    What I Accomplished May 2021

    • I got a new job that I start in early June. This is my first direct hire adult job!
    • I read 5 books, including one of the borrowed and TBR I own stacks on my nightstand, I also started another.
    • I watched several movies.
    • I think I did manage to make my apartment considerable neater and more picked up. I’ve not listed or sold anything and didn’t sign up for the yardsale though.
    • I’m trying to get into habits of using up my excess beauty items.
    • While I didn’t finish a baby blanket, I knitted, maybe about a third of one, thereby getting more into the rhythm of knitting again.
    • I’m working on getting a considerable portion of June’s blogging planned out.
    • I’ve also been working on Blogilates glute challenge. I’ve missed some days, so its going to be over a longer span than 30 days, but still, I’ve been more consistent on that than I ever have on anything besides walking for years. I’ve also manage to stretch a bit after most days. I’m going to see if I can do her squat and ab challenges next.
    • I’ve digitized most of my recipes from my recipe album into my Evernote cookbook notebook stack.
    • I’ve worked on getting Bjorn (thanks to belly bands) more freedom. Now we need to work on the not chewing up of carpet, baseboards, etc. (as I’d like my deposit back!) and my stuff!
  • Reading

    What I Read May 2021

    A classic heavy month. I didn’t read many books, but most of the ones I read or at least finished this month were classics.

    Villette by Charlotte Brontë. I finished this this month. I enjoyed rereading this in a readalong well enough. But the self-indulgently emotionally tumultousness in this style of Romanticism (or maybe just Romanticism period) is not my thing. I was quite over Lucy’s frequently self-imposed (and seemingly rather enjoyed) sufferings and smugness.

    And So I Began to Read: Books That Have Influenced Me by Faith Cook. A family friend gave this to me. I found it interesting, but she only mentioned religious books which I’ve little interest it, theological works I mean.

    The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot. I wrote my extremely flattering in this post.

    Can You Forgive Her by Anthony Trollope. Definitely a Trollope fangirl. I though I might have enjoyed this more than some of the Barchester Chronicles. So now I have the luxury of enjoying the rest of the series.

    Shirley by Charlotte Brontë. I started this as the next book in the same group as Villette. But oh, I forgot just how much I loved this, in the kind of love that makes me want to hold it close and not share too much. Someone in the group mentioned how Charlotte wrote more in the realism style rather than Romantic (Romantic proper, it is still romantic, of the still-waters run deep kind that I absolutely adore).