I Want a New Body for Christmas

I have pink eye. Pink eye.  PINK EYE!  In both eyes.  I wish I were making this up.  My left eye started feeling scratchy and watery on Sunday, but I wear contacts and didn’t think too much of it.  Monday, my left eye was red and gunky, but again, I didn’t think too much of it.  Tuesday morning, though, I woke up to both eyes crusted together with nasty goo and once I pried them open, they both were red.  Angry red.  Oh lovely, I thought.

I put on my seldom-worn glasses and dropped off Daniel at daycare.  When I got home, I looked in the mirror, optimistically hoping that the redness would have faded.  Nope.  It was at that point that I accepted the inevitable: I had an infection in my eyes.

An hour at the local Fast Med, my new home-away-from-home, confirmed what I suspected:  conjunctivitis AKA pink eye. This was especially unwelcome news because I am a devoted contact lens wearer and my glasses options weren’t ideal.  I went through a rough period last year in which we couldn’t get my contact lens prescription correct, leading to major eye strain and despair on my part.  During that time I bought new glasses, and they have the incorrect prescription.  Normally they are tolerable for short periods of time, but I don’t know whether it was soreness because of the infection or who knows what, but after 30 minutes of wearing them, the left side of my face hurt like crazy.  I dug out my old glasses and while they aren’t as crisp visually, they hurt my face less.  Please feel free to laugh at me because I feel like the entire damn universe is picking on me.  I can’t go without some sort of correction because my vision is too poor.  Seriously.  I have like 20/2600 vision uncorrected.

Oh, and in case you are curious, I still have the Cold That Won’t Die.  My throat stays slightly sore, and there is so. much. snot.  I’d apologize for the snot comment but honestly, I don’t care.  As I tweeted today, there is so much sudafed running through my body, I wouldn’t be surprised if I started to make meth spontaneously. But I need to see, so I can put up with anything as long as I can do what I need to do.

old glasses and sick

Clearly at my most attractive with old glasses

However, I’m pretty pissed at my body.  I remember when I never got sick.  It was only a few short years ago.  I was immune to everything.  Now?  I think my body creates illness.  This pink eye is the last straw:  I need a new body for Christmas because my current one is clearly worn out.

Let’s see…pondering a new body… I like my fair coloring, freckles and auburn hair although I wouldn’t mind a touch more red in my hair and maybe a touch more blue in my eyes.  I would love to have perfect vision or at least vision that needed less correction.  And I could use a slightly stronger chin and a slightly less prominent nose.

I like that I’m tall, and I’d actually like to be an inch or so taller. My height and build camouflage a lot of sins 😉  I actually like my build and shape, but I would take 10 pounds off if I had the option.  A stronger immune system would be a must!  Oh, and less sensitive skin as well.

And maybe we could take inspiration from the following:

Fun fact:  I dressed up like Scully for a professor’s birthday.  That sounds dirty, but it wasn’t, I promise.  I had to put on the trench coat and collect him from his class to take him to the next part of his birthday adventure.  Oh and he was a huge X-Files fan.

Loretta Young

Loretta Young

Fun fact:  My boss at a job I worked in high school told me I resembled Loretta Young.  I don’t see it, but she’s pretty, so hey, why not.

Louise Brooks. That hair! Those cheeks!

Hedy Lamarr

Hedy Lamarr: beauty & brains

I wonder what we’d get if we mixed them all together.  Maybe something frightening.  Maybe something beautiful.

I don’t really want a new body for Christmas, but it would be nice if the one I had was well.  Please?

Who would you like to look like if you had the choice?

Humble Brag Meaningfully

I don’t know how many of you have been following the Samantha Brick controversy, but I’m obsessed with it.  She wrote an article in The Daily Mail about how hard it is to be beautiful and predictably received a lot of scathing comments.  Then she fanned the flames by writing a ridiculous follow-up piece that concluded her theory that women hate her because of her beauty is correct and sort of compared herself to Angelina Jolie.  My first reaction to the articles was the knee-jerk, catty response of “you’re not as beautiful as you think you are.”  I’m not proud of that, but I admit it.

It’s not that she so bravely wrote about the perils of beauty nor the debate over whether she is beautiful, merely pretty or just somewhat attractive, though that is what a lot of the criticism has become. I am fascinated by what her anecdotes reveal about her: that regardless of how attractive she is, her problems with women probably have more to do with her ego and her personality.  She doesn’t seem like someone with whom I would want to be friends.    She also seems to be extremely focused on her looks, and it would be a turn-off to be friends with or work with someone who saw every situation through the lens of her beauty.

If she had written about how hard it is to be smart or rich or any of a number of different things, would the backlash have been as bad?  Maybe.  Working at a university, I know there are faculty who think they are smarter than the rest and probably wouldn’t hesitate to state it, but writing about appearance is such a hot button.  Perhaps it is because beauty is so subjective.  After all, I think Angelina Jolie is beautiful but you might think she’s an anorexic hag.   Beauty is also something over which you have no control.   It’s the lucky assortment of genes that determined whether you’d have amazing bone structure, pouty lips, mile-long legs or shiny platinum hair.

There is also something sad about a woman prizing (only) her appearance so highly in 2012.  It’s reductive.  Brick has made herself into an object.  Is she intelligent?  Is she a good writer? Who knows?  All I know is that she is something to look at and admire, and she values and contributes to that objectification.  Beauty is nice, but it’s not all there is to a person.  After a few minutes, the impact of beauty fades and I start focusing on other qualities.  The intern who gave me the sand from Egypt is beautiful.  She truly has a face that I could see launching a thousand ships.  I acknowledge her beauty, but what really stands out and endears her to me is her intelligence, her quick wit, the way she picks up on concepts quickly, her drive and her sweetness.  None of those things has to do with her lovely face.  Sometimes I look at Daniel and find myself analyzing his features clinically.  And then I stop myself because he’s not a two-dimensional collection of parts.  His blue eyes are beautiful because of how he sees the world and finds treasure where others find trash.  His rosebud lips are gorgeous because of how his inflection rises on “cream” when he asks for “whipped cream.”

I feel sorry for Brick and her obsession with her appearance. Regardless of your opinion on the quality of The Daily Mail, by writing for them, she has the opportunity to reach a huge audience, and she squandered it to write about her looks.  If you are going to humble brag, at least choose to brag about something over which you have some control.  If you rock at your job, own it.  If you have published or are publishing a book, sing it from the rooftops.  If there is something at which you have worked for and are proud of, shout it.  To me, those are accomplishments worth celebrating, bragging about and debating.

Or maybe I don’t understand because I’m not pretty enough.