Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Riverhouse Spa

Laura visited the spa today, the one located in her bathroom. She withdrew armloads of beauty products gathered near and far throughout the state of Indiana, Chicago, Spain, France, Italy, and England.

She arranged these products, selected the day's torments, and began the procedure.
You see, Allure often tells readers that the following steps ought to be taken to make one's skin beautiful, lusterous, radiant, and youthful.

1. Be between infancy and the age of eight. If the former is not applicable, follow the remainder.

2. Exfoliate: This is when the beauty industry gives women the permission to use anything from sandpaper to industrial grade acid to remove the first few layers to the whole epidermis of one's flesh. For this purpose there are cleansing pads, scrubs, dermabrasion, chemical peels, and the steel wool you keep underneath the sink for stubborn stuck-on food caught on skillets.

3. Soothe: Women then apply a liberal amount of mud to their faces, cooling their third degree burns or those incurred from ionizing radiation and attempting to clean one's skin by purposefully making it filthy. Then one waits for the mud, clay, etc. to dry, firming to the point that the facial muscles are rendered immovable. The purpose of this treatment varies with the product's advertized talents. Some inspire skin to be soft, smooth, and bright. Others claim the oil wells contained in the pores can be erased, something I believe impossible without a full-scale Exxon Mobil engineering team and several oil rigs with hundred-men working teams pulling all night shifts for months on end until the strain of being seperated from family and the real world causes them to lose what fragile grasp on sanity such workers must have to volunteer for such duty, finally using their eating utensils to consume their comrades, if attempted on my skin. Still others intend to remove every blemish ever existing as well as those planning to emerge in the near future.

4. Cleanse: this means more scrubbing. Preferably with an oil-free and non-drying non-soap cleanser which will keep the delicate layers remaining from shattering in an explosion of dermis.

5. Toner: removing all other grossness which held on with all power imaginable.

6. Moisturize: Yeah. This "fixes" all the damage you just did. Kind of.

So there Laura stood. Products everywhere. Interesting packaging, bright colors, light fragrances. You know how it goes. She preformed the steps above. She applied her make-up. She went to work. She came home.

And now she writes this blog.

So here are the conclusions...

No matter what I do, what I try, what anyone manages to devise in laboratories around the world, there is nothing anyone can do to make my skin perfect. Perfection being the only result I will settle for in all aspects of life, this makes me rather angry. I can only wonder about people whose skin is more difficult to deal with than mine. I must have spent so much money on this stuff, all proven to be worthless to me. How do other people pay their bills?

I could quit. I have tried to do so before. I have told myself--why care? Your skin is your skin. But invariably, the next week, I am there in front of the mirror preforming the same procedures. It would take a divine intervention to make my skin stand on its own without this kind of terror. And that probably won't happen.

What strikes me as even more traumatic is the level of effort most people put into other parts of their beings. Me, I pretty much have given up on any body part covered by my clothing, but there are some people who work every day to have not an ounce of fat on their whole bodies. Me, I just buy the control-top panty-hose and pretend I exercised. Then I lie to myself and say no one but me knows the difference. Then I go to Olive Garden and work on my personal goal of consuming my body-weight in fried cutlets and soup.

There are people in the world who take this even more seriously, who become obsessed and have surgeries and diet and are still miserable. If I had less to obsess over in my life, I bet that would be me.

I would rail about how sad all this is, how cruel the world is to women, but we have all heard it before. And, in truth, it would be hypocritical for me to tell you this should stop. I buy the beauty magazines, the same as all the other girls my age. I look in the mirror too.

All I'll say is: this kind of living is pretty darn hard to deal with.

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