Re: I'm Sure Ogged Knows When Girls Should Start Shaving Their Legs, So I'll Just Ask Here

1

so I used my step-dad's razors and then continually got shit from him for dulling them.

I was totally with you here, because I remember something similar happening. I was getting shit in middle school for not having smooth legs, and my mom said something vague like "Well, maybe for your birthday or Christmas (months and months away) we'll get you a razor." And so I improvised. (And then the razor I got was absolutely awful and non-functional, so I continued improvising because bringing it up the first time had zapped my will to discuss puberty at all.)

The same was true of sanitary products, sadly, that no one would buy them for me and I didn't have money. Until I worked up the courage to figure out how to use my mom's tampons I used wadded up toilet paper for about...a year and a half? (What, did I live in Sudan?) Awesomely, I even practiced free bleeding.....

BUT THIS PART IS TOTALLY CRAZY. Your fucking guardians majorly dropped the ball, at your expense. Good lord.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:48 AM
horizontal rule
2

Your daughter's legs feel fine, Al. Don't sweat it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:56 AM
horizontal rule
3

Ha, no, if you're not surrounded by moral monsters, in normal life it's still advantageous cuz 7th grade.

I find it hard to believe anyone could be in 7th grade and not be surrounded by moral monsters. Unless maybe you homeschool.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:57 AM
horizontal rule
4

The twelve years old chez nous is a boy so it's more smell control vast waves of sweaty dance kits piling up in drifts (okay sliding metaphors there but at least both seaside-y) and trying to supply like 5,000 calories a day while searching vainly for really long skinny pants. Luckily "floods" don't seem to be a thing these days.

But would think various woman-specific grooming choices would be easier to discuss to the extent your daughter feels what you do in that line is truly a personal aesthetic choice which it's got to be by thus time otherwise why bother. Then so much more likely for her to feel free to adopt or reject anything for herself. Which beyond basics of good skincare being totally not a choice but imposed by maman chez nous the rest of ut us going to be in the her choice so might as well start there. If she wants to stake her pitch with Kahlo why the hell not?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
5

It's the immoral monsters you should be worried about.


Posted by: Opinionated Mike Wazowski | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:00 AM
horizontal rule
6

Hmmm this not thus and it not ut. Phone typing.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:02 AM
horizontal rule
7

Anyway, Al: Stock your own shelves with extra disposable razors and leave a little note on them that says, "[Older daughter], these are available if you want them. Please ask me if you have any questions, or want to try something else. Love, Mom"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
8

I wouldn't ever want her to feel she lacked the supplies or knowledge to shave, but I feel like offering would be interpreted as, "hey start shaving."

I don't know why you couldn't just tell her daughter something like: "You'll probably notice other girls in your class starting to shave, and you may decide at some point that you want to try it. Or you may not, and that's totally fine. But if you do want to at any point, let me know if you need any supplies/advice. I'm not saying this because I think you should shave; I'm saying it because no one ever said the same thing to me, and at some point I decided I did want to shave, and I had to use my step-dad's razors and he yelled at me, and I don't want you to have to go through that."

Leave her eyebrows alone.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
9

This is a stupid comment, I know, but: it's really weird in a way how much more politically charged this issue is for women than for men. Do I myself hate shaving but feel like I have to because of social pressure? Yes. When my boys are old enough to shave, do I care whether they do or don't shave? No. Will I nevertheless teach them how to shave, in case they decide they do want to shave? Yes. Will this be fraught? No.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
10

Agree with urple re the pins and disagree with hg as note going to be interpreted as directive on some level. But why not the same convo re brows?

Of course cravenly leaving discussion of "dance belt" to ballet master.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
11
baby teenager

Mine are 11 and 9, and I think of them as GIANT BABIES.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:16 AM
horizontal rule
12

I hated all conversations about puberty in any way, shape or form. Now there are tons of tips about emailing and texting your kid about these super vulnerable/embarrassing topics, and I think that's probably right on. Just to give the kid some space and take some of the intensity of the situation down a notch. The note is a stand-in for an email, with the advantage that it lays dormant until the kid is feeling the need to address the situation.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:18 AM
horizontal rule
13

Leave her eyebrows alone.

But yes, this.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:19 AM
horizontal rule
14

The message in 8 could be sent by email, if preferred. (Although: really?? This doesn't seem like a very awkward conversation. Save email for the sex talk.)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
15

What I did with Sally was wait until she brought it up and then get her razors. (Menstrual supplies, I think I bought a container of pads when she was ten or so, gave them to her, and told her that if I wasn't around when her period started, that was what they were for, and if I was, she should ask if she needed any help or more supplies. I check in every so often on whether she's stocked up.)

Other grooming things, I have explained that I'm hopeless -- I never really figured out makeup, hair, or eyebrows -- but that I was available for consultation if she wanted input, and being personally badly groomed didn't mean that I was philosophically opposed to that sort of thing, she should figure it all out on her own and I was fine with reasonable levels of makeup and such. (Reserving the right to say "You're not leaving the house like that" if she went over the top.)

She's been bringing up piercings, and I've been saying "Do what you like when you're 18 -- until then, earlobes only." Mostly because I hate negotiating this sort of thing, it seems as if I should set a boundary someplace, and waiting until legal adulthood for body-modification seems perfectly reasonable to me.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:23 AM
horizontal rule
16

Unless your daughter has eyebrows like Henry Kissinger leave them alone. Anything short of a bird's nest is no big deal.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
17

When I was 12 and 13, girls of that age were the most terrifying, iron-skinned creatures imaginable. It never occurred to me that they suffered such Aeschylean horrors as the OP relates.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
18

I have explicitly delegated all shaving/puberty-related conversations with Newt to Buck.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:24 AM
horizontal rule
19

thanks ogged, I knew I could count on you. I love you, man. yes, obviously I'll just tell her, "you know I shave my legs etc.; if you ever decide you want to, I'll show you how, I'll just leave the stuff in your bathroom in the meantime, here you go." (she's got a tall storage thing in her bathroom which is new, from ikea, with loads of room in it, so no problem there.) that's obviously the right answer. it's only...she's a very perceptive person, and to the degree than I genuinely think, 'hm maybe I would shave those legs were they my legs,' (which I slightly do), to that degree my offer will seem motivated.
her fellow 7th graders are oddly non-monstrous; she's happy in 7th grade. her school is kind of lame in many ways, because it's canadian, so they teach everyone about sharing and teamwork and stuff, but it's been very worth it from my point of view to switch schools and have a child who is genuinely happy in 7th grade. she's the annoying smart-aleck who knows everything and kind of lords it over everyone but I can't complain I have no idea where she came up with that.
1: heebs, wait, you're only now noticing this about my family? LOL no, but for myself also it was only recently that I thought of this and it fully penetrated how truly, unimaginably, insane this was of them. just...insane.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
20

In the schools in the 60s--yes, Columbus--a pamphlet printed by Kotex was distributed to the girls in the 7th grade. I'm sure some examples are still around, it may even be on the web. I read my sister's and learned from it.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:25 AM
horizontal rule
21

her school is kind of lame in many ways, because it's canadian

That will change when Rob Ford takes office as Dean of Partying Down.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:26 AM
horizontal rule
22

12.last to 14.

I found leg-shaving very awkward and awful to discuss, but maybe that's just my cold robot family. And how everything is taken as an friendly jumping off point to argue with - "But why do you want to shave your legs? Why? Why? We're just so curious in this family." And any poorly-constructed twelve year old answer will be met with more (friendly) questioning instead of just taken at face-value. "Everybody does it? But you often do your own thing!"


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:27 AM
horizontal rule
23

12.last to 14.

No, 14 to 12.last.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
24

My parents both used electric shavers, so no stealing razors for me (and WTF, Mom, I couldn't manage at all borrowing such an ineffective tool). Luckily, I had babysitting money and a convenience store within biking distance. I remember asking for razors when I started 7th grade (because locker rooms and mean girls), and my mother turned me down because the leg hair "wasn't noticeable." (I also had the wrong kind of bra! Quelle horreur! Quelle honte!) I think just leaving stuff out is fine in your cabinets or hers even without a note. 7 forgets shaving cream! Doesn't every little girl who doesn't know better start by dragging a razor over dry legs?

I think that if you have tweezers or other more advanced equipment, she'll probably feel free to use it. If she wants things waxed, she can ask. When I was getting my makeup done for senior prom, the family friend doing it mentioned that I didn't seem to be properly plucking my eyebrows. I asked what was wrong with them - I had no idea that anything might be, and I'd never even thought to pluck, much less get them waxed. My mother jumped in and told me they most certainly needed tweezing (now, Mom, really, right at that moment?). Frantic to look perfect, I asked whether they could do it quickly. Alas, they said, it would be red and puffy, so I'd just have to go with my hideous, obviously unkept natural brows. The key thing to know is that I have very light eyebrows, which are two distinct arches and it is nearly impossible to tell from more than three feet away whether they are groomed or not.

The feminine products story is outrageous. (I got no tampon explanation, either, but they used to have little instruction sheets, and once I used a few of my mother's, I started surreptitiously adding them to the grocery cart. Not very sneaky, but my father did the grocery shopping, and he surely wasn't going to second-guess my choice of hygiene product.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:28 AM
horizontal rule
25

heebs, wait, you're only now noticing this about my family?

Somehow this particular episode makes it new all over again.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:29 AM
horizontal rule
26

Doesn't every little girl who doesn't know better start by dragging a razor over dry legs?

Yes but I somehow have never gotten razor burn and still shave this way, on occasion that I'm going to a wedding or something. I have durable skin.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:32 AM
horizontal rule
27

we have conversations about a million awkward topics--I think I phrased this wrongly. I took the approach of explaining human reproduction in age-appropriate ways from the very start, modifying them as the girls grew, so there was never a point at which we had "a talk." my older daughter explained the whole thing to her entire class when she was 9; I heard from the mom of one of the boys. I was like "did she get anything wrong?" no, she knew the whole deal, that's fine. we've discussed things like going to get her HPV vaccine soon and maybe putting her on the pill so she gets her period once a year or something--it's so painful for her, just agonizing, and her cycle is so short. she's bleeding 1/4 of the time. fuck that.

it's more...why do I feel like I want to tell her to shave when she's however old, or when she looks like "x", or what?


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:34 AM
horizontal rule
28

Honestly, I'd wait for her to bring it up. Why push her down the adult-grooming path before she actively wants to go there?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:37 AM
horizontal rule
29

27.last: Not to be cheesy, but because someone should have done that for baby teen alameida and didn't?

I don't remember exactly when I asked to shave my legs, but it was after I got teased for having visible hair and so I was probably 12, the year I got teased for everything. Then at 18 I stopped shaving them and my mother wouldn't let me wear shorts or skirts and I basically haven't ever worn shorts since because I got a complex about my legs and blah. So I won't do that (especially because not shaving is culturally appropriate for black girls, so I wouldn't have to even if I were so inclined.)

I'm a little freaked out by the eyebrow thing. I halfheartedly plucked mine a little to go to court after not having touched them since the baby came because if I was meeting Selah's mom for the first time I didn't want her to judge me for not doing it, but Lee basically made fun of me for it and thinks it isn't a normative female thing these days. I think it is, though, but I never even thought about it until I was in my 20s.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:41 AM
horizontal rule
30

Might be regional, but urban East Coast it's a normative female thing. I don't, and not because my eyebrows naturally approach the plucked ideal but because again I never got the hang of it and am cripplingly lazy, but it's a norm.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:43 AM
horizontal rule
31

Feh. Spring is coming, and with it the need to restart shaving my legs myself. That, being dark-haired and pale-skinned, I do. I spent a year or so getting them waxed a couple of years ago, and then realized that it gave me horrible ingrown hairs and quit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:44 AM
horizontal rule
32

26: I didn't have problems, either, but it was certainly more pleasant with shaving cream. Now, I use conditioner as a cheap substitute so I have one less thing to remember to buy.

Are the don't mess with her eyebrows folks advocating saying no if she asks? I think if she asks, take her to get them waxed every however often, because not doing it is an asshole move. Tweezing herself will be sucky if she makes a mistake and has to wait for them to grow back. I think you could also easily mention the grooming you do as your choice but that if she wants to do any of it, to ask. Does she know what you do to look how you want?

29.3 Eyebrows are a Thing now in a way I don't think they used to be.

For a boy to start shaving is seen as a rite of passage into awesome manhood. For girls, it's more like a loss of innocence and entry into having to do a bunch of crap to look socially acceptable.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:47 AM
horizontal rule
33

For a boy to start shaving is seen as a rite of passage into awesome manhood. For girls, it's more like a loss of innocence and entry into having to do a bunch of crap to look socially acceptable.

Yes, exactly. And I do still generally do some sort of minimal eyebrow upkeep, but it's been very easy lately to decide that since I don't have to look at my face, I don't have to do anything to make it easier for others to do so. Works for hair too!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
34

My family is not as fucked up as al's was, but it was still quite fucked up.

I remember watching ads for pads on TV where they would drip blue liquid on them to show how absorbent they were. I used to ask my Dad about it. He'd say, "Talk to your mother about that." Since I never talked to my mother about anything, I let that go.

I saw that the other girls were shaving in the 6th grade, I copied them in the 7th. I remember one girl saying something out loud about how there was a girl who hadn't started shaving until that year.

In the 8th grade my girls' school gave out Changing Bodies, Changing Lives. I didn't reach menses until 14 1/2, the spring of my 9th grade year. Most of the girls were already menstruating. I was at boarding school, so you could see what your roommates and other dormmates were doing. I tried pads for a couple of months, realized I couldn't stand it and braved my fear of tampons, learning quickly that I could handle o.b. but not the other kind.

I can't say that I recommend this system.

I got my brows waxed when a makeup artist at the Prescriptives counter pointed it out to me, and my friend said that the woman had a point.

Bikini waxing is something I only picked up a few years ago. No landing strip, but I started with just a clean up, because I didn't want to show off my hair when wearing a swimsuit.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:05 AM
horizontal rule
35

Now I get my eyebrows threaded, and I do feel more put together. I am inept at tweezing.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
36

29.3 Eyebrows are a Thing now in a way I don't think they used to be.

This is true, but it deeply pisses me off. Mostly because I think furry eyebrows look nice.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:11 AM
horizontal rule
37

I never knew there was anything wrong with my eyebrows, but one of the few times I've ever had my hair cut at a "hairdresser" instead of a "barber", the hairdresser basically begged me to please let him do something to clean up my eyebrows. He acted like it was really causing him distress, having me walk about of his shop with my eyebrows looking that way. He offered to "fix" them for me for free, as part of the haircut. I declined, but his level of what seemed to be genuine concern was a bit disconcerting.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
38

I'm talking with Kid A about this now. We agree that we never considered doing anything about our eyebrows but we think we have nice eyebrows anyway. I think I grew up thinking it was something that old ladies did.

My mum is not interested in any of that sort of thing, and despite being quite olive-skinned has very little blonde hair, so I just made up things for myself. My mum must have at one point told me not to shave my legs, because I started using Nair cream (which is called something else now) around 13 I guess.

I realised a few years ago that my daughters had never seen me buy disposable sanpro, so I showed them that this paper stuff exists and is probably easier to use at school, and then just always made sure there was some around (as well as washable pads). They have money, so they buy their own if they want anything different.

I don't shave, and they know why I don't, and so I did say to them that obviously they could if they wanted, but they know my views on it. And we discussed methods and I bought a bag of disposable razors when they pointed out that they couldn't buy them themselves because you have to be 16.

I don't remember it being particularly fraught. Perhaps one of them asked me one day why I didn't shave my legs. Kid A says she googled "how to shave your legs" and so on long before she ever did, and found out lots that way, so Daughter X is probably doing the same if she's interested. Kid A also says there's no need to talk about these things because if you ever see any other people in your life it will become obvious.

The boy has some slightly darker hair on his upper lip. I have no idea when to tell him to shave that. (He's not allowed facial hair at school - perhaps I can just leave it until they point it out!)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:29 AM
horizontal rule
39

I knew that I was starting to turn into an old man the day the barber, without asking, took a comb and scissors and trimmed my eyebrows. I'm no Kissinger, but I had to admit they looked a lot better that way.


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:31 AM
horizontal rule
40

And when I say it wasn't fraught - talking to the girls about it wasn't. But I do remember having a funny conversation with my friends about it along similar lines to this post - if I mention it will they think I think they should, even though I don't, etc.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:33 AM
horizontal rule
41

Grooming-wise, YouTube is, I understand, wonderful. If you want to know how to blowdry your hair properly, or pluck your eyebrows, there are millions of instructional videos out there.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
42

C definitely needs to trim his eyebrows. He pulls his hat down low and curls them up over his hat, which looks insane.

Kid B has started filling hers in with an pencil actually. I think because she used to have bleached blonde hair and so her eyebrows looked reasonably defined, but now she has very dark brown hair and her brows were getting a bit overwhelmed and faading away. It was a bit startling though at first, and I can't say I prefer it to natural.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:36 AM
horizontal rule
43

I knew that I was starting to turn into an old man the day the barber, without asking, took a comb and scissors and trimmed my eyebrows.

The transition to old-manhood truly begins when you find yourself thinking seriously about the best method for dealing with nostril hair.


Posted by: MAE | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:37 AM
horizontal rule
44

I hated all conversations about puberty in any way, shape or form. Now there are tons of tips about emailing and texting your kid about these super vulnerable/embarrassing topics, and I think that's probably right on

We just need Ezra Klein to do a good explainer.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:45 AM
horizontal rule
45

The woman grooming scene can be fraught because the socially acceptable thing gets caught up with the sexual norms thing so that while a man may feel oppressed by The Man to shave wear a tie etc for women there is a whole boatload extra helping of you're just doing that to attract men sexually and are therefore pawns of the patriarchy. As I grew up in a suburb dominated by equal parts Mormons and holly rollers I can def understand this POV. My lapsed Unitarian parents pretty much insulated me from taking any of the social pressure re grooming too seriously.

But here's the deal, for me a world without fun cosmetics and delicious perfumes would be a less pleasurable place. There is totally an experience of this stuff that is about aesthetic choice and enjoyment wholly apart from any desire to attract men sexually.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
46

Also the key to communicating with the young ones and not so young ones re puberty sex etc is to ramp up steadily so that you start with reminding the little dude to do a good job including with soap in the tub for the foreskin and then a decade later you're discussing scheduling his flu shot and HPV booster at dinner and reminding him it only protects against one form of STD so still gotta use a condom totally doesn't faze anyone. He just rolls his eyes at that like at everything you say.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 10:54 AM
horizontal rule
47

To be personally neurotic about this sort of thing: whenever the topic comes up, I mention that I, personally, am shockingly undergroomed. I do much, much, much less skincare (soap, very occasional drugstore moisturizer)/makeup (lipstick for a party maybe once or twice a year) /haircare (I brush it most days, and braid it or put it in a knot of some kind more often than not) than I perceive as a norm. And in a not-terribly-important-but-I'm-still-naggingly-curious-kind-of-way, I have no real idea to what extent I'm getting away with it -- whether my undergroomedness looks actively peculiar for a woman of my age/class/profession, or whether it's not noticeable.

No one ever says anything negative, so it's not really a problem, but I'm kind of unsure about how obviously weird (in my particular social setting) I'm being.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
48

My mother did not want me to shave my legs as she thought it would make the hair coarser. She never shaved hers. Mine are more hairy but blond. So in secondary school in winter I'd have this forest of blond hairs protruding through dark tights.
I shaved my armpits though and my mother had razors which I would use. Nowadays I get stuff waxed every so often and leave it for ages in between.
Caitlin Moran has a good bit in How to be a Woman about how she is herself to some extent brainwashed by the depilatory-industrial complex (she doesn't call it that, I don't think) but ideally it would just be a fashion choice like any other and sometimes you would go for totally smooth, other times complete hippy full growth, and perhaps decide for a festival a bit of underarm stubble would be more rock chick.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:09 AM
horizontal rule
49

LB, that sounds exactly like my beauty routine, except that I like a hair product that makes my hair soft, so I finger comb that into my hair after washing and do literally nothing else. Out here on the frontier, I don't feel out of place at all.

I was pleased to hear that there may be a fashion for thick eyebrows soon. The time is nearing my stopped clock!


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
50

Let me know when having eyebrows of unequal thickness becomes fashionable.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:19 AM
horizontal rule
51

49: Yeah, here I'm definitely out of step -- I think literally every other woman in this office is wearing at least some makeup -- I just don't know if I'm conspicuously or inconspicuously unkempt.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
52

Out here on the frontier, I don't feel out of place at all.

One of the great things about "out West."


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
53

51: Reason enough to move! Houses are cheap in San Francisco.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:25 AM
horizontal rule
54

But it's full of Californians! I like it here, even if I am conspicuously ill-turned-out.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:26 AM
horizontal rule
55

Sally is picking up makeup just fine on her own -- tending toward somewhat raccoon-eyed, but I understand that's how the kids these days are wearing their eyeliner.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
56

47: I am mostly like that, too, particularly for work, where I can wear jeans and sneakers. I was surprised how polished women look in DC. Hair done, nails done, makeup on, jewelry that matches the outfit, etc. I try to fake it when I need to look professional (rarely), but it makes my morning routine take forever. What makes me crazy is that if I show up "properly" groomed, I get very surprised and confused responses from people who know me well. "You look so nice?" in a confused tone isn't exactly a compliment.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:30 AM
horizontal rule
57

Should I make this comment? No, I definitely should not. However, my commitment to feeding the blog trumps all. This is the one area where I am still most definitely sexist IRL. I mean, I think men should do grooming too, so to some extent I'm an equal opportunity asshole. Bu, really, I do find absence of grooming and especially shaving of legs and armpits in women affirmatively, sort of viscerally, unattractive. So, to some extent, women who do that are making the world a better place for guys like me. Which I guess maybe is a reason not to do it? Anyhow, please keep doing it.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
58

Not that I can speak for all ill-groomed women, but we're cool -- there's nothing all that wrong about being attracted to conventional grooming. (There are specifics I'll get tetchy about, but the general principle is fine with me.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 11:59 AM
horizontal rule
59

Bu, really, I do find absence of grooming and especially shaving of legs and armpits in women affirmatively, sort of viscerally, unattractive.

What's amazing is that men naturally felt this way, on the veldt, free from societal conditioning.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:00 PM
horizontal rule
60

37: I've never been hirsute, but age is starting to change that. I started to have to deal a bit with my eyebrows a few years back*, and now my barber will give my ears a little buzz, too.

With Iris it's going to be a battle between the extremely delayed development of my sister (whom she resembles somewhat) and the rather early development of AB. 6 weeks away from turning 10, there are no hints of impending change, except for tidal waves of emotion and a height approaching 4-8.

*actually, on the eyebrows I think it's as much as anything that I never wore eyeglasses except at bedtime until I finally got attractive ones a few years back, and AB encouraged me to wear them more. I"m pretty sure it's the frames that make my eyebrow hairs go all crazy, because they're otherwise not expanding or growing noticeably coarse or whatever.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:02 PM
horizontal rule
61

For some reason this thread is making me very crabby.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:03 PM
horizontal rule
62

You should smell some nice perfume, heebie geebie! It'd cheer you up!

(ducks...)


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
63

Let me know when having eyebrows of unequal thickness becomes fashionable.

It's bound to happen, but you if you're not vigilant, you'll probably miss that weekend.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:05 PM
horizontal rule
64

I'll be sure to keep an eye open.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:07 PM
horizontal rule
65

Part of it is that I basically like body hair. I get so irritated at how celebrity men never have chest hair any more. Leave your chest hair intact! We are not little boys! Same with pubes. And now eyebrows. I love Madonna's daughter's eyebrows. And her pubes. (Obv I kid.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:11 PM
horizontal rule
66

Actually, this thread brings up something I wanted to ATM about a year or two ago:

I spent most of the years from '08 through the first half of '13 walking one child or the other the 3/4 mile to Waldorf School. Starting around '11, I noticed that I would pass young (late 20s?) women wearing perfume, and it struck me as new.

Obviously, perfume has always been worn, but here's what was new:

- it wasn't horrible-smelling. I've certainly encountered pleasant perfume, but any time I ever encountered perfume in sufficient quantity to be readily noticed as I walked past, it was reliably horrible

- it wasn't old women. I associate clouds of perfume with old women and high schoolers trying to hide cigarette smoke

- they were just (presumably) going to work. I don't really recall, when I was in my 20s, that my peers were wearing (noticeable amounts of) perfume to work. And this includes times when I was riding the bus or carpooling, such that I'd still be encountering women fresh from their toilette, if you will.

So is this purely some weird sample size thing, or did perfume make some sort of comeback?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:13 PM
horizontal rule
67

Here's a question related to JRoth's. Has any of the commentariat scented La Via del Profumo's Milano Caffè?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:16 PM
horizontal rule
68

57: I think men should shave their armpits too, but not because I'd find them more attractive.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
69

Yes I think perfume is coming back. The 80s were a particularly dreadful era of gigantic synthetic stinkbombs then there was a swing heavily into scaredy cat water fresh I'm not really wearing anything transparent territory and now we seem to be enjoying a rather nice period of variety and reasonableness re projection.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:18 PM
horizontal rule
70

I kind of get the preference for neat pubes, but I can't fathom the appeal of hairless. OK, there's an obvious appeal wrt oral, but that's hardly dispositive IMO.

Am I wrong in assuming that clean-shaven is basically a weird mainstreaming of porn, weird in the sense that it became a thing in porn due to cinematographic considerations that are largely absent from most peoples' sex lives? Consider this to be an obligatory link back to TFA and the discussion of facials.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
71

My chest hair is eerily pubic. Maybe that changes later in life.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:19 PM
horizontal rule
72

For some reason this thread is making me very crabby.

It makes me vaguely sad, but that's just self-interest, ultimately.

Because I've never been good at understanding/caring about most of the standards for looking "well-groomed" and I keep hoping that they will gradually fade away and instead it sounds like they're getting more precisely defined.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:21 PM
horizontal rule
73

70: I would actually guess that thongs as underwear played into it as well -- I think those hit before extensive waxing turned into a thing (early 90s? I remember Lewinsky's thong being still kind of cutting-edge naughty), and there is a comic effect if your pubic hair extends well past your underwear.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:22 PM
horizontal rule
74

69: Vindicated! And that makes total sense as a history. I remember when The Gap was selling Tomato and Cucumber perfumes.

I like to think my chest hair is in the sweet spot between prepubescent and bear. I always remember "The Man with Two Brains," where the femme fatale is trying to seduce Steve Martin, and she assumes, because he's a nebbish, that he'll be hairless, and so she says, "I love a man with a smooth ch-", causing him to button his chart back up, so she switches to "hairy chest". I'm here for you, Goldilocks.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:23 PM
horizontal rule
75

Part of it is that I basically like body hair. I get so irritated at how celebrity men never have chest hair any more.

Don't feel alone in that. I'm deficient in chest hair, so as to resemble a shaved look, and it's been scored against me, complained about.

I've received my full share of rude frankness in intimate settings.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:25 PM
horizontal rule
76

73: Right, I meant to include that: the Brazilian is obviously related to thong use, both underwear and bikini, but istm that the full wax is another bridge or two farther.

What's the deal, anyway? Are thongs over? Is my vague awareness of a fairly low rise, very brief, traditional bikini bottom correct?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:26 PM
horizontal rule
77

72: Honestly, I don't think so. I think there are pretty much always fairly rigid conventional grooming standards, and the ones we have now aren't so bad. I get cranky about differential standards for how bad it is to not live up to them perfectly, and I'm happy when social enforcement is pretty lax, but like I said, I'm really fairly noncompliant and don't take much hassle for it. (This is different from being affirmatively noncompliant: I'm not saying I wouldn't take shit if I put effort into presenting as gender-variant.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:30 PM
horizontal rule
78

Am I wrong in assuming that clean-shaven is basically a weird mainstreaming of porn

This, plus I think something that stems from the same source as germophobia. Everything should be as bleached and sterile-seeming as possible.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:37 PM
horizontal rule
79

78: which is a hilariously discordant combo - porn and body phobic tidiness??? Whaaat?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 12:45 PM
horizontal rule
80

But here's the deal, for me a world without fun cosmetics and delicious perfumes would be a less pleasurable place. There is totally an experience of this stuff that is about aesthetic choice and enjoyment wholly apart from any desire to attract men sexually.

This is totally my wife and daughters. Lots of various nail painting going on, flavored lip gloss, etc. This morning my wife was matching her hot pink Catbug shirt with pink eyeshadow and it had nothing to do with her presentation to men.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:20 PM
horizontal rule
81

For some reason this thread is making me very crabby.

You'd probably feel better if you got your anus bleached.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:22 PM
horizontal rule
82

I thought for crabs the better way to go was to shave your pubes.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:24 PM
horizontal rule
83

My daughters are 16 and 14 and it all has been pretty low key on that front. Probably because it's a laid back household and they got a lot of my wife's genes for natural blonde and like no body hair.

I'm deficient in chest hair, so as to resemble a shaved look

My wife is the polar opposite of 65. I'm like you and have almost no torso hair and my wife even prefers me to buzz short the hair on my arms and legs.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
84

Only half of your pubes, nosflow. Then you light the other half on fire and stab the little bastards with a fork when they run out in a panic.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
85

Hasn't the Dove commercial taught us anything about true beauty?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:28 PM
horizontal rule
86

It sure will be great when some technology arises that will allow me to swiftly and permanently get rid of the hair I can never stay on top of getting rid of (let alone doing same without also horribly irritating the skin it grows out of).


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:40 PM
horizontal rule
87

I have a pretty hairy chest, and a beard that grows quite quickly, but I'm not otherwise obviously hairy. I don't have particularly hairy arms. So, at least once, when I met a girl, they were quite surprised when I took my shirt off.

I've certainly heard negative comments expressed, in general, about chest hair on men, though. Particularly from younger women.

I'm slightly with Halford. I don't really care about much female grooming -- I came of age before 'brazilians' or whatever, were a thing; and I'm mostly indifferent to leg hair unless it's starting to look like my own -- but I find hairy arms or hands on women a fairly viscerally unattractive thing. It just pushes some sort of 'Dude-cooties' button. So I'm clearly somewhere on the same spectrum.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:43 PM
horizontal rule
88

84: I'd forgotten that joke.

So glad never to have gotten an STD. Although almost certainly at the cost of more fun. Hmm.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:45 PM
horizontal rule
89

I wish my wife would do something about the dark, kinky hairs growing from her aureolae post-pregnancy.


Posted by: President Cueball | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:47 PM
horizontal rule
90

YAY I love how these threads always take a turn into confessions about how disgusting many of you find lady hairs.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:49 PM
horizontal rule
91

re: 90

To be fair, it started that way, didn't it?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:50 PM
horizontal rule
92

Yes, and I found that extremely delightful as well. But there is a certain something special about visceral revulsion that I would say surpasses the point at which we started.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
93

I'd wait for her to bring up shaving/eyebrow. She'll probably want to when it's common in her peer group. And half the fun is figuring it out on your own at that age with your friends.

My eyebrows and eyelashes are pale blond, which is a bummer; my leg hair is also pale blond, and not a bummer. I look permanently tired all the time but at least I don't have to worry about shaving too much.

(Was very happy when the Calabat's eyelashes started to turn dark brown.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:54 PM
horizontal rule
94

90: Come on, loads of women have that same to reaction to back hair on men and such.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 1:59 PM
horizontal rule
95

Yes, and I found that extremely delightful as well. But there is a certain something special about visceral revulsion that I would say surpasses the point at which we started.

True enough, but I think it's hard for a man to express the contrary view in any reasonably polite way. At least the Halford view is conventional and expected.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
96

94: Oh god. That is how this conversation always goes. Why did I allow myself to once again play my part in reliving it?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:01 PM
horizontal rule
97

Re: 92

Yeah, maybe that's an unfortunate choice of word. Involuntary, and separate from (or even in opposition to) any beliefs one might have on what should be norms of grooming or appearance. But I understand the words chosen weren't great.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:02 PM
horizontal rule
98

81 to 96.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
99

Something something artificially-exaggerated-sexual-dimorphism. Once you're culturally trained to think of an artificial grooming standard as a secondary sex characteristic of the sex you're attracted to, it's not all that surprising that you'd find violations of that standard disturbing.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:08 PM
horizontal rule
100

I've spent literally YEARS establishing a reputation as an asshole in order to make this conversation easier to take.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:09 PM
horizontal rule
101

You'd probably feel better if you got your reputation bleached.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
102

Once you're culturally trained to think of an artificial grooming standard as a secondary sex characteristic of the sex you're attracted to, it's not all that surprising that you'd find violations of that standard disturbing.

This is why it feels uncomfortable to me that the move to more "doneness" I've seen during my lifetime is probably just going to get worse. If everyone needs to have eyebrows groomed, next will be those little invisible jaw hairs removed and then whatever comes after that. This is probably a stupid fear since fashion standards have actually relaxed so much in the last 60 years, but it fees oppressive and scary or something.

But I should probably worry about other things, since I have one child who doesn't understand why just being school-aged doesn't mean she's old enough to wear makeup every day. (Halloween only is our rule, because I'm the meanest mom ever.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
103

99: or titillating! Difference of perspective tho depending on whether you are doing your perceiving from the POV of the historically oppressed sex or the trad oppressor. Many women will react to expressions of "visceral disgust" by writing off the expressor as a clueless entitled dick. Which is why the presidential commentator above re post partum hair growth is wise to keep such sentiments anonymous!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:17 PM
horizontal rule
104

I once spent a week at my grandparents' house free bleeding because when I asked my grandmother if she had any pads she laughed and said "no, why would I?" Leaving 11 year old me totally mystified, and too embarrassed to ask her to buy some.

P.S. Halford can kiss my unwaxed butt.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:18 PM
horizontal rule
105

89 would be pretty awesome if it were Sifu sending a message to Blume.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
106

I pluck my back hair during conference calls, but I need longer arms to get it all.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:21 PM
horizontal rule
107

I'd expect him to embed the message in a .gif with hidden changes. Topless picture of a woman with and without aureola hairs?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:22 PM
horizontal rule
108

I need longer arms to get it all.

One of the great things about being married is having someone to help get rid of back hair. Now the kids join us in the bathroom while we're clippering my back, and my wife tells the older boy, "You'll have to do this someday." Norming! We're working hard to make sure it's the least of his problems.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:24 PM
horizontal rule
109

Tho given the choice of "cueball" am guessing he finds finds it disturbingly titillating. Go for it Cueball! Revel in the awesome raw animal power if your co parent! You can conquer your ohibuas and have mind blowing uninhibited cave person sex!!!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:25 PM
horizontal rule
110

Phobias, obviously.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:26 PM
horizontal rule
111

Re: body hair on fellas, once upon a time I dated a guy who was both petite and pretty hairless. 5'5", 125 lbs, blond hair. He also favored white briefs. Every time he undressed, I felt like a child molester. An Amazonian child molester. I tried hard to focus on his redeeming features but failed miserably.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
112

Huh. I wouldn't have thought of clipped-short back hair as esthetically preferable to lush, luxuriant back hair. I mean, I don't have strong opinions for or against most hair on men -- I don't mind it on hairy men, but I don't miss it on men without much hair. But if you minded it, wouldn't you want smooth skin rather than clipped stubble?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
113

Re: 99

The etiology of those kinds of things aren't generally transparent to the individual, I don't think. Since I'm not some kind of crude veldtian I'm sure the root of most of these feelings (pro or negative) is some kind of social conditioning (and since we live in a sexist culture that's bound to play a role) plus individual life experience.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:27 PM
horizontal rule
114

Phobias, obviously.

I'm an idiot and didn't catch that at all. I was totally staring at it wondering if it was some foreign word known to better educated people.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:28 PM
horizontal rule
115

If you stare at it for long enough, it changes into a rabbit.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:29 PM
horizontal rule
116

lush, luxuriant back hair

You mock me.

wouldn't you want smooth skin rather than clipped stubble?

I do it for swimming (looks more normal in public; easier to get chlorine off my skin) rather than how it feels, but the stubble isn't like beard stubble; more like peach fuzz.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
117

114: pas cette fois-ci!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:30 PM
horizontal rule
118

I started shaving my legs before my mother wanted me to, and regretted it, as the hair really did grow back worse than it had been. I have really dark hair, too, so it just shows up no matter what.

To boot, hormonal imbalances mean I have abnormal hair growth. Despite the underlying imbalance being corrected, the hair remains. This is .... unpleasant, and difficult to deal with as a young woman, especially in a culture that prizes relative hair-freeness but also features lots of women who don't really have to worry about it. (This is going to sound strange, but I felt most accepted re: hairiness by a group of Egyptian women in college; although they too were focused on hair removal it was sort of widely acknowledged as a thing to do that took up time and thought, etc rather than just an airy shave your legs and run out the door thing that most of my other friends had.)

Anyway, I'm rambling. But I don't think it's likely, al, that you'll transmit your own slight preference for your daughter to shave if she's not already feeling the pressure from friends/society. So have the nice conversation and leave the stuff for her and it'll go well!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:31 PM
horizontal rule
119

You mock me.

I really have missed having you around here.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:32 PM
horizontal rule
120

wouldn't you want smooth skin rather than clipped stubble?

My wife prefers my arm and leg hair clipped short. She doesn't seem to care if it's shaved vs clipped so I think it's more visual than tactile.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:33 PM
horizontal rule
121

120: Totally a preference I don't get. My husband's leg hair is nigh invisible (the blondness) but actually very present; it's like a stuffed animal! So great!


Posted by: mildly presidential | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:35 PM
horizontal rule
122

By the way, Halford, as a (retired) elder statesman of sexist trolling, let me say that if you're going to burn some cred on a sexist statement, don't go with something that 95% of contemporary American men would agree with you about. There has to be some ridiculous idiosyncrasy involved. Try something like "I've found that saying "Mmmmm" when she eats something delicious [quirky observation!] is a pretty reliable indicator [faux reasonableness; lets you back off later] that a woman has been so warped by performing femininity [shows you know the lingo!] that she can't be trusted [loaded term of condemnation!] to know her own feelings [how dare you!].

Next time, grasshopper.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:39 PM
horizontal rule
123

121: I had a roommate in college -- very tiny little extremely pretty blonde woman, sort of Tinkerbellesque (in looks only) -- with unshaven, very hairy, very blonde legs. Men did not appear to find this generally offputting.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:47 PM
horizontal rule
124

I had an ingrown hair turn into a nasty boil on my butt (sexxxay!) which lead to the doctor suggesting I shave my butt. No. I will not. But I did not want to have a repeat so I went to one of those laser hair removal places. Got my back done, too, just to avoid the weirdness of lush, luxuriant back hair sudenly becoming hairless butt. Anyway, It worked like a charm. I'm a prime candidate because I have dark hair and light skin, so YMMV.

I recommend it for anyone who's a good candidate even though it's slightly spendy. Six treatments and done for a lifetime actually works out to a pretty modest amount spread over however many years you live. Just don't do it and then die suddenly because that makes it uneconomical.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
125

I like hairy men and am always chuffed when I see a hairy chest on tv because they are definitely in the minority these days.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:49 PM
horizontal rule
126

I occasionally think I'm just hopelessly undiscriminating. Fullscale Sean Connery chest-rug? I'm good with that. Waxed gym-bunny look? Also nice. Men who wouldn't be able to get paid to take their shirts off on film generally? Very often appealing anyway.

I'd be terrible at the oppressive male gaze.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:56 PM
horizontal rule
127

123: this exactly. Have never personally found that any of a range of grooming choices suppressed fun sexy times opps with anyone I happened to fancy. Have never been particularly outré in own choices but still find ideological commitments to any particular regimen odd and unrelatable.

On the other hand I do harshly judge those who choose to eg wear beyond schlumpy clothes to opera/ballet/concert/theatre venue when utterly and obviously inappropriate. Honestly people have you no shame??? A track suit (and none too clean) at the War Memorial? A pair of dark slacks and an ironed shirt would kill you?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
128

I'd be terrible at the oppressive male gaze

...as are more men than you might think.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 2:59 PM
horizontal rule
129

those who choose to eg wear beyond schlumpy clothes to opera/ballet/concert/theatre venue when utterly and obviously inappropriate

I wonder if this will summon dsquared.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:01 PM
horizontal rule
130

129: or Tedra?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:02 PM
horizontal rule
131

Though as we may recall it was I who originally bore the "wear whatever you're comfortable in to the opera" standard.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:04 PM
horizontal rule
132

You've never been able to match either Tedra or Dsquared for casual belligerence, though. Possibly if you were hairier? Or less hairy?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:05 PM
horizontal rule
133

108: You could get a helper monkey and marry for love.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:08 PM
horizontal rule
134

I guess I do occupy that sweet, or un-sweet, spot of hairiness wherein returning were as tedious as go o'er, or something.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:09 PM
horizontal rule
135

I'm more comfortable judging someone for wearing a dirty track suit, period, than for wearing one to the opera.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
136

But do I know why it's dirty? I do not. People have busy schedules. I'm sure it's all right.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:10 PM
horizontal rule
137

Even if its your bestest velouriest track suit ever - no.

I'm very tolerant re oddness of stylistic choices, and completely respect budget constrained looks, but rigid in holding the line at make a minimal effort for fucks sake.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:20 PM
horizontal rule
138

Sure, but what if you're going to the War Memorial without a date?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:23 PM
horizontal rule
139

You could meet someone there, I suppose. But that would mean talking to a stranger? Actually, once I ran into someone on the way out of the opera, in the Van Ness muni station. She happened to be with someone else at the time, but I suppose in principle the same could have happened in slightly different circs.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:24 PM
horizontal rule
140

A good part of the point of a live performance is the collective experience so going stag gets you off of precisely zero hooks.

BTW which Giselle did you see? Froustey was fantastic, Helimets good as the clueless ummmm entitled (literally!) dick.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:28 PM
horizontal rule
141

And the child has been doing the Wilis maneuver around the house ever since, thump thump thump, it is hard to keep a straight face about hurry up and get ready for school when someone is doing a hilariously accurate impression of a bog maiden.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
142

We ended up not seeing any Giselle, actually.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
143

I can't tell if 140.1 is mind-too-fining me or what.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:32 PM
horizontal rule
144

137 no, I am completely happy with making whatever effort you wish to. Fuck all effort to the opera, fine. Full on black tie to do a tip run, also fine.

I'm a bit put out that I'm going to a thing tomorrow and it has a "smart casual" dress code. It's just listening to people, why can't I just wear jeans?


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:33 PM
horizontal rule
145

144: I think this calls for breaking out the purple velour tracksuit.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:54 PM
horizontal rule
146

Have to pair them with 4.5 inch platform stilettos and giant hair tho to really achieve the look.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 3:57 PM
horizontal rule
147

144: Wikipedia says: "The locality, type of event, context or culture constitutes the various interpretation of the dress code and therefore the designating of certain clothing pieces as smart casual is disputed--for example, jeans."

The pantsless lurkers support you in e-mail.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 4:08 PM
horizontal rule
148

So, given that I'm having a hard time getting my hands on a used turntable of yore, should I buy an audio technica lp120, or is it crap?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 4:55 PM
horizontal rule
149

To state the sincere case for making an effort within very widely and liberally interpreted bounds, the performers have put in a hell of a lot of time and effort into the event - remember, this is ballet/chamber music etc, so the artists are clearly invested in a formal register of public art. And you, audience member, coughed up for the tix. Given that context, many of those performers will perceive your dirty track suit, worn out jeans and faded shrunken polo shirt as a sign of contempt and/or disrespect. Dispiriting at the very least.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 4:57 PM
horizontal rule
150

I will ask the one with knowledge!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 4:58 PM
horizontal rule
151

I hesitate to be a little bitch to, or in the direction of, one who is doing me a favor, but I've been to several chamber music concerts at which the musicians have been themselves dressed in a variety of registers—sfSound concerts, or concerts at the Center for New Music, primarily.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:01 PM
horizontal rule
152

Yes, the whole thing is very elastic BUT what is over the edge for me is aggressive scuzziness. The boy's music teacher's last concert was at the conservatory and the performers were got up in various eclectic vaguely gesturing towards renaissance esque clothes, tending towards casual, I think the dude playing the arch lute had on some sort if bicycle leggings? with a big dramatic white open neck shirt. Totally worked, they are young generally impecunious and playing Marais for heaven's sake. It isn't for me about conforming to a particular dress code, it's participating in a communal experience.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
153

Everyone got incredibly mad when I said this the last time this came up, but 149 is a rule that generalizes beyond performing artists, who are not the only people in the world who are worth not showing contempt and/or disrespect. Dress and grooming: it's not just about you! You make everyone's day better and demonstrate a little social solidarity when you make minimal efforts to present yourself to others. Disregard for one's own appearance in public also suggests a contempt for other people's experience of public space.

Now that doesn't mean that the grooming standards themselves aren't subject to reasonable limitations, and there's a contrary bad equilibrium where everyone suffers from things being too formal, but we're way far away from that right now in the US and there's certainly an element of social solidarity in trying to look nice while being in public.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:12 PM
horizontal rule
154

whom, I think. Oh well.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:13 PM
horizontal rule
155

When Halfordismo reigns, the citizens will be impeccable at all times (other than the unclean castes -- the bakers and pasta makers -- who will be required to wear filthy rags).

(Actually, I mostly agree with you, in a not living up to my own standards kind of way.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:18 PM
horizontal rule
156

Canada runs schools in Narnia now? I'm so confused.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
157

You make everyone's day better and demonstrate a little social solidarity when you make minimal efforts to present yourself to others.

I think the reasonableness of that statement depends a lot on how you define, "minimal efforts."


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:20 PM
horizontal rule
158

I certainly consider my efforts minimal.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:21 PM
horizontal rule
159

The bakers and pasta makers will be on libertarian prisoner island, fattening up the most dangerous game for the imperial hunt.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
160

I know I come down as pro-scuzziness, but I think I probably meet Halford's minimal grooming requirements. I hope so, at least.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:22 PM
horizontal rule
161

Disregard for one's own appearance in public also suggests a contempt for other people's experience of public space.

I remember this discussion! Both then and now, I think you've really brought your trolling A game. Well done!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:24 PM
horizontal rule
162

Disregard for one's own appearance in public also suggests a contempt for other people's experience of public space.

Yes! Much like being an asshole about bicyclists!


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:34 PM
horizontal rule
163

I think the, or a, place where Halford's attempt to generalize dq's claim in 149 falls down is that "outside" isn't a special communal place where like-minded people gather to share a particular sort of experience, possibly together.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:38 PM
horizontal rule
164

But shouldn't it be, Nosflow? Shouldn't it be?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:40 PM
horizontal rule
165

162 - sure!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
166

Well, I was going to add a caveat that it would be great if people regarded general public spaces as shared and not merely as, let's completely abuse this term (why not), places where, in order to get from one actual shared place to another, they had to experience the presence of others as well, as a sort of modus vivendi. But I still think that even in that case "outside" in general would be the limit of a shared space, since it is and has to be shared with everyone, including those going to their more particular shared spaces with more restrictive, and perhaps incompatible, norms.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:44 PM
horizontal rule
167

I haven't shaved since sometime last year.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:48 PM
horizontal rule
168

E. R. Eddison's enthusiasm for armpit hair (little black and scarlet flames, as I recall (different women (daisy hand))) widened my horizons, as a kid. My grandmother remembered armpit-shaving coming in *rather later* than sleeveless shift dresses, for most women, so that's consistent. (Maybe fast women in Paris were shaving everything, she thought, but not London or Boston or Ohio for a while.)

Then my mother remarked on the length of time between miniskirts-and-hotpants and adequately opaque stretch fabrics.

I can't think what fashion of my youth has a similar lag. I suppose molded foam bras are new, if we think of hiding our nipple shapes under T-shirts as something we always secretly wanted to do, which otherwise I wouldn't.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:53 PM
horizontal rule
169

There's a popular bumper sticker in the town next to ours that reads PUT YOUR SHIRT ON, [CITY NAME]! Maybe I should buy one for Halford.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 5:54 PM
horizontal rule
170

I'm still waiting for adequately-opaque leggings. I'm torn there actually, between wear what the fuck you like and good for you, and FFS NO I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR KNICKERS.

I think that if I were performing, the only thing I would care about would be the audience's reaction, and certainly not what they were wearing.


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 6:19 PM
horizontal rule
171

Instead of shopping for replacement clothes as the old ones wear out, I've been maintaining my wardrobe by lowering my standards.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 6:37 PM
horizontal rule
172

Everytime Halford makes his case I bring one stained, cat-clawed t-shirt back into circulation.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 6:39 PM
horizontal rule
173

Every time Halford writes something that isn't stupid I make a point of congratulating him.

I do the same for you, Eggplant.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 6:44 PM
horizontal rule
174

I'm a little confused by the focus in this thread on groomed eyebrows as a thing these days, because I tend to think that it's the opposite. Certainly among the hipster set and those who share parts of that aesthetic. For instance, it used to be the case no American Apparel models could have plucked eyebrows. That seems to have relaxed a bit, but the no-eyebrow-grooming look is certainly still around.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:09 PM
horizontal rule
175

but we're way far away from that right now in the US and there's certainly an element of social solidarity in trying to look nice while being in public.

Oh why am I bothering, BUT, don't you think there might be an element of solidarity among those who choose to reject looking nice while being in public? Especially those whose rejection is intentional and runs along similar lines.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
176

This thread is too long for me to catch up on it right yet, but Alameida:

But I realize I have a lot invested in my daughters being beautiful.

I'm a decade or more older than a lot of you, and the fact that I can't really remember specific conversations with my mother about grooming may be a reflection of that, but I do know: I took most of my cues not from my mother (or parents) but from my peers. I devoured Seventeen Magazine. I aspired in early teenage years to be part of the in-group, so I painted my nails, used a curling iron on my hair -- to straighten it -- and I curled my eyelashes, was pretty heavily into teh makeup, used depilatory cream on my legs, and so on. Not until I was 14, because I was a physically late bloomer. I recall knowing, painfully, that I couldn't breach 4 foot 11 inches and three-quarters for years. Goddamnit.

Anyway, I took my cues from peers, and I'd say that my mother's standards didn't have much to do with it.

I don't know, Al, where your 12-year-old is getting her cues and influences from, but I'd let her find her own. You see? Is she part of a group at school? Is she a fan of some young female pop star? Enamored of particular types of boys? That's what she cares about; at least so it was in my experience.

Obviously: your idea of what's beautiful should not be imposed on her. She'll come up with her own idea. My own changed quite a bit when I figured out that that high school peer group I wanted to be with so bad(ly) didn't actually represent my people.

So, um, let her be. Let her know that you're available for advice if she wants it, but don't project your aesthetic values onto her. This is important: my parents eventually let me know that they sometimes found me gross when I eventually stopped shaving my legs. Bad and sad on their part, but I was pretty grown up by then and could shrug it off, and more or less laugh.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:19 PM
horizontal rule
177

For instance, it used to be the case no American Apparel models could have plucked eyebrows. That seems to have relaxed a bit, but the no-eyebrow-grooming look is certainly still around.

This is so foreign to me. I only notice when eyebrows are weirdly thin or super lush (to include unibrowing). There's a truly huge range of "no, I know you have them, but I couldn't pluck them out of a lineup."

I'm pretty oblivious, though. I do notice that I'm acculturating to expecting the women to "updress" more or less because I work in a city and see a lot of that.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
178

Also, this from the OP:

But, even given that, you don't need to be beautiful when you're fucking twelve! Indeed, perhaps it would be better not, all things considered? Ha, no, if you're not surrounded by moral monsters, in normal life it's still advantageous cuz 7th grade.

No, 7th grade is a mess no matter what. Girls who are 'beautiful' in 7th grade are just going to be beautiful-in-7th-grade, which, so what? I have seen no correlation whatsoever between 7th grade beauty, or even 11th grade beauty*, and happiness later in life.

* Excepting people who happen to be just truly beautiful, even when they've just crawled out of a cave


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:32 PM
horizontal rule
179

174: I have clearly no idea, really, and I get that the aesthetic has changed recently to be thicker rather than thinner eyebrows, but I guess in my circles of friends, it's moved from girls waxing to ameliorate monobrows or really bushy brows to "shaping" being (AFAICT) as widespread as shaving legs or underarms. Maybe it's an age/geography thing, though.

172: At a party, a friend noticed I had a few cat hairs on my sweater. He pulled them off, then noticed more. He gently suggested I purchase a lint roller. The sad thing is that I do own a lint roller but decided I looked fine. Oops. I apparently shouldn't be let out of the house.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:44 PM
horizontal rule
180

God it was so exhausting dealing with the appearance sensitiveness in LA. I hardly dared go shopping at Trader Joe's down the way half the time just because it was such a scene and I would look so out of place.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
181

Maybe it's an age/geography thing, though.

I wonder about the age thing. (I have no idea how old you are.) Though I was late to the game, I didn't even think about doing anything to my eyebrows until well into my 20s. It seems like an older woman thing to me, like something you do to achieve a "professional" look.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
182

For two pregnancies, I had a shirt that was long enough to cover the extreme late stage belly, but had acquired a stain on underside of the protruding belly part of it. Obviously I saw the stain whenever I looked in the mirror, but I told myself "Everyone will think I just can't see the stain, and will forgive me" because I was so fucking fed up with life and clothes by that point. I got rid of the shirt this past time, though.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:50 PM
horizontal rule
183

I remember plucked eyebrows in high school - super skinny brows were a thing, IIRC. Then I remember friends in college going to get their brows threaded.

I myself have never tampered with my brows. But then again, I probably would if I hated them.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 7:52 PM
horizontal rule
184

Hate the epidermal layer, not the pain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:00 PM
horizontal rule
185

It seems like an older woman thing to me, like something you do to achieve a "professional" look.

Not so much age as profession, I think.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:01 PM
horizontal rule
186

Trader Joe's...was such a scene

I love this about LA. Yes, you all look fabulous! Keep doing that, while I get my produce and soy milk.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
187

Hate the epidermal layer, not the pain
I think what you were groping for was:
Hate the epi-layer, not the mane.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
188

That's better.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:14 PM
horizontal rule
189

I can't believe Halford did his thing again! I am so impressed.

Some day, he'll have to explain what he really means: if I walk by him in a grocery store, maybe even an upscale one, while wearing a skirt, with unshaved legs, will he stare and cringe? (I can't believe this happened to me, but it did, and it's thought inducing when it comes from a 9 year old boy, but then again, people cringe when they witness a lot of other things too, like that you don't believe in God or don't go to church.)

Halford!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:20 PM
horizontal rule
190

I used to be very self-conscious about my hairiness because of the pop-culture standards that heebie was complaining about earlier. Then I discovered that women don't necessarily care about men's hairiness, and some even prefer it, and I stopped worrying. It's never been an actual problem for me romantically.

I don't particularly care about women's hairiness or lack thereof either. It's all good to me.

...laydeez.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 8:55 PM
horizontal rule
191

Yay, Teo.

It's never been an actual problem for me romantically.

Me neither. I hear that one limits one's possibilities, significantly even, and should be aware of that, but really: seriously? I don't think that's what it's all about.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:04 PM
horizontal rule
192

Speaking of hair, I just had passport-style photos made for a visa application and in typical unforgiving ID photo style they manage to dramatically showcase the graying and receding of my hair. It's like, jesus, when did I become middle-aged?


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
193

I don't particularly care about anyone's hairiness or lack thereof either. It's all good to me.

... peeplz


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:11 PM
horizontal rule
194

I do worry about some types of hairiness. Toothbrush mustaches, for example.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:14 PM
horizontal rule
195

You are all welcome to attend fabulous child's performances, of course, and am confident would all dress appropriately but as former performer myself and currently living with one in the thick of cultural production - it does matter and is noticed.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:17 PM
horizontal rule
196

You know what they say, the passport adds fifteen years.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:18 PM
horizontal rule
197

A toothbrush mustache is ... when you have sudsy toothpaste on your upper lip which you don't wipe off? Myself, that happens more as a sudsy toothpaste goatee, but I don't know how you brush your teeth.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:23 PM
horizontal rule
198

You know who had a toothbrush mustache? Of course you do.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:28 PM
horizontal rule
199

It began with an H.

Hardy. Oliver Hardy.

(And that other guy whose family name started with an H.)


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:31 PM
horizontal rule
200

Sam Elliott in The Big Lebowski, but that link shows memorable mustaches.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:33 PM
horizontal rule
201

Maybe my toothbrushes tend to become a bit frayed.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:38 PM
horizontal rule
202

Frayed is fine. You don't want to become a Nazi about dental hygiene.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 7-14 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
203

66: perfume did fall out of fashion as people retreated from early 90s poison to watery, lasts-10-seconds CK one (which I bought on a nostalgic whim recently, but it seriously lasts never. 4711 is better in that regard.) I have only a few perfumes that I wear and they are rare, so people only ever smell them on me. I like it that way. mostly based on lily of the valley but some gardenia.

80: I'm catbug too! I like soft tacos! I mean, I, as well, have that pink T-shirt.

156: there are international schools from everywhere in narnia; this is the canadian int'l school. they were going to the chinese int'l school before. we were surprised and disappointed to find that even the non-chinese academic subjects are taught at a much lower level at the canadian school, especially math. (we were resigned to the chinese being worse, but...) both girls are repeating things they learned before in math, in some cases not last year but the previous! it's fucked up an bullshit. they still have chinese an hour a day, but girl y is in the 5th of the 6 level classes for her grade, with 6th being native speakers, and one of her classmates couldn't write some crazy basic characters properly. :-(

176: naturally girls x and y will be influenced by their friends and by narnian fashions and so on. but being really beautiful is advantageous in every grade. I think? except that it attracts perverts as I alluded to. my stupid photography teacher grew to really love me (in his schmuckish way) after having hundreds of long intellectual discussions with me about literature and music and so forth. the thing that would make you write an entire novel (god, kill me now) about someone you met when you were 28 and she was starting middle school has to be in part something about that person's interior life. (although maybe this is still just the remnants of past al who can't have it be that this person who was her friend for so long and took what she had to say seriously only wanted to fuck her and was humoring her.) but what was his experience that started this horrible extra additional horrible problem in my horrible life? he experienced the coup de foudre when he saw me for the very first time, at my fucking locker on the first day of fucking 7th grade. love at first sight, really, where he just knew he had lost everything, already, and it was just a matter of time before it came crashing down.

this is the 'being beautiful even if you crawled out of a cave,' I guess. I want my children to be beautiful in the same way and I sort of don't know why sometimes because it caused a billion problems when I was young. but it also made my life incredibly easy in other ways. everybody liked me. everybody was friendly to me. strangers gave me stuff for free, or randomly paid my tab without even talking to me except for me to wave at them after and be like 'thanks' when the waiter explained. maybe it would be better to be normal the whole time and then when you get to be older like me you don't experience it as a fundamental change in life. it's sort of stupid because when you are young it's the time in your life when maybe you are the most powerful, but you don't know, so you don't use your power properly.

girl y will no question be like this. she's unbelievably beautiful. maybe it is my worry that she will be the prettier of the two that makes me want to correct imaginary flaws in girl x. for what could be worse than having a younger sister who was more beautiful than you? it would be like a fairy tale. separately, it's a shame everyone in my life was such a bad person when I was between ten and eighteen. although probably to my stepfather it wouldn't have mattered whether I were beautiful or not? but it did matter. I mean, he said it mattered.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:35 AM
horizontal rule
204

he was a lying sack of shit though, you know.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:37 AM
horizontal rule
205

Yes, we know.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:50 AM
horizontal rule
206

I've heard of eyebrow threading but honestly don't know what it is. I also don't know what teen spirit smells like, I'm sure I've smelled it but don't know that's what it is. Or patchouli although I think I have an idea. Computer technology is failing me.
I've mentioned previously that the first bullying fail someone tried against me was making fun of the size of my eyebrows. While my chin is 40% white hairs and there are a few on my temples fortunately none in my eyebrows yet.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:04 AM
horizontal rule
207

That's a lot of words, Alameida of Narnia, but I'm the most beautiful woman in the world. No one disputes this.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:11 AM
horizontal rule
208

that's fair enough, ogged of not-narnia. you could be my slampiece any day.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:21 AM
horizontal rule
209

"In 1985 Mattel used patchouli oil in the plastic used to make the action figure Stinkor in the Masters of the Universe line of toys."
Oh, that's what it's like then, why didn't someone just tell me so.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 6:28 AM
horizontal rule
210

I'm sure that there are youtube videos of threading. It's a method of hair removal that seems to be be popular in India and the middle east. They just use a piece of thread to pull the hairs out.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:00 AM
horizontal rule
211

209: I remember Stinkor. I totally didn't place the smell, though.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
212

206. IME teen spirit is cheap vodka and smells like rubbing alcohol.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:01 AM
horizontal rule
213

for what could be worse than having a younger sister who was more beautiful than you? it would be like a fairy tale.

Oh stop. I have three younger sisters. All of them are far better looking than I am, and two of them are classically beautiful and very photogenic. Totally not a problem.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:13 AM
horizontal rule
214

Mmm. Honestly, getting along as not-remarkably-beautiful doesn't make for a bad life, necessarily.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:17 AM
horizontal rule
215

patchouli...y'all have all totally smelled it and you don't realize it. do you know, by the farmer's market, where there's the dry-goods-ish part where they have handmade felted baby-booties and tie-dye T-shirts? someone is wearing it there. and burning incense of it. so much so that that whole damn area over to where the dreamcatcher-selling people are and the organic, free-range hand-butchered meats truck is smells like it. my mom wears something very similar to it, amber kind of; it smells good on her, but it's her signature scent also, I'm super used to it. on other people it's not my favorite. scents vary so dramatically in how they smell on one person rather than another.

teen spirit, yeah, smells like poor-quality CK one. transparent, slightly grass-like, cheap vodka, powdery, pale floral like an old-fashioned rose--but the alcohol note is very strong and distinct, it's a funny style of perfume really. like I said, reaction to poison and opium and the like, which came out in the late 70s even but peaked in the late 80s. my "fairy godmother" (a very fabulous person) always wore opium. I loved it when she would come inside and put her black cashmere coat down and it would be cold and smell like her.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:21 AM
horizontal rule
216

my brother's first wife was the beautiful younger sister and her older sister (a kind, nice person!) was the plain one, and they actually did have horrible fucked up family dynamics about it. maybe this overshadows my thinking on the subject. god they were awful. really just a bunch of unpleasant people generally--except for the older sister who's great! wouldn't it be an arena for female competitiveness though? I guess it would depend on whether you were competitive, and whether you felt that the adults in your life gave a shit or judged you on that basis, and since they would be assholes if they did, hopefully it wouldn't ever come up.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
217

Yeah, without insane family dynamics, your sister's about the last person who it matters if you're prettier than. Any kind of direct competition over who wins a beauty contest is implausible unless you're actually all at the same ball trying to woo Prince Charming, and in most people's lives that come up once or twice a year, max.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:38 AM
horizontal rule
218

no, as I was writing the comment I was thinking, yeah, I'm making this sound pretty awesome aren't I. I fully recognize this is a constellation of stupid things for me to think, I'm merely thinking them out loud. like, why should I care? I just had a kind of gut realization that I cared a lot and I thought, why? I mean, gender norms, sure, but... also, since all the women on my side of the family are sick, it is an actual official motto that "it's better to look good than to feel good, darling," as AbFab taught us at one point. it's not! it would be better to feel good! and you'll think you look terrible no matter what you look like, so it sort of doesn't make a difference (provided you're crazy, but this will be a standard axis of crazy for women who subject themselves and other women to harsh judgment all the time.) the girls and I have discussed plenty how the people in magazines are imaginary and made of photoshop, and that no one looks like that, and also that children's books and movies often go for "fat kid" when they need "stupid person" or "bully" or "bad guy" and that's wrong. we only ever talk about exercising to feel better (like their dad does to relieve stress, or me for physical therapy). I want my older daughter to to swim more, but just so we can swim off the dock together at my dad's in the summer, not so we can all head down the road of maniacal craziness of exercising to look a certain way or to lose weight. but...I'm vain so I want them to look good as an extension of me, so it's just my character flaw getting projected bigger onto someone else? probably, that seems reasonable. I don't know exactly how to put this but I want them to be like baby me in every tiny detail because I imagine I am running an extended experiment of what would have happened to me had the parameters of the experiment not been set so very badly the first time? that's stupid too and makes no sense, except insofar as I actively strive to make our home as little like my childhood one as possible. that part makes sense.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:43 AM
horizontal rule
219

I'm vain so I want them to look good as an extension of me, so it's just my character flaw getting projected bigger onto someone else?

I see this in myself, which is odd b/c I don't have a super high opinion of my attractiveness? Maybe somewhere in my braingoo the idea is that they won't be badly treated in the ways I was? (by kids, not family).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:49 AM
horizontal rule
220

I know and love a couple of people who would strongly identify with 218.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:54 AM
horizontal rule
221

The differences in beauty (or intelligence, or sportiness, or whatever) aren't the origin of fucked-up family dynamics. Plus, when you're the older sister, your younger sister is always going to be cuter, more precocious, more tiny and adorable; just like you're always going to be wiser, the trailblazer, the advice-giver.

I mean, Prince Charming's a shallow asshole. But beyond him it's really not a big deal.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:56 AM
horizontal rule
222

I'm at hockey practice now and older kid tried copying a trick he had seen me do even though I didn't tell him to try it and I was like wow he's copying me. Pick up puck on stick blade, toss puck in the air, try to bat it out of the air. I scored a goal on a batting a couple weeks ago the was probably the best goal I'll ever score in my life.
For a while I had weird dynamics with my brother because I was much better in school.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
223

217: you know that makes my heart sink so suddenly--there's obviously a part of me that thinks 'there's you and your sibling(s) and there's no one else.' you can stay pressed back to back in a tiny knot, or you can go out into the woods for the whole day where no one can find and bother you. of course it would matter who was prettier! there are only the three of you in the world! of course it would be terrible if your baby sister was prettier. it would be much, much better for you to be the pretty one. great. I'll just go throw up now and go to sleep. then the next time I post it's going to be about something uplifting and cheerful, like that poor 11-year-old boy who was driven to a suicide attempt because he was being bullied for liking my little pony.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:58 AM
horizontal rule
224

I just had to ask for a demo of 222. Neat trick!

To alameida, I don't think there's anything weird or crazy about wanting your kids to have certain traits (or not) depending on how they served you as a child. I think the fact that you think so carefully about what you want your girls to value is a good thing for them, despite how hard it must be for you to realize how different your childhood was from theirs and how not-so-hard it would have been for yours to be better.

That brony story is just too sad. Poor kid.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:23 AM
horizontal rule
225

While it's probably unhealthy, I completely recognize the feeling of "rerunning the experiment and making it better." It's easy to over identify with Sally -- the first thing everyone does is comment on the resemblance -- and while I didn't have an epically screwed up childhood, I was an unhappy mess of a kid and she seems to be much less so. It's oddly satisfying watching her being a widely beloved leader and peacemaker, as opposed to a neurotic wreck who thought no one liked her.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:27 AM
horizontal rule
226

Now he just scored a pretty good goal, I'll put it on the other place later.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:39 AM
horizontal rule
227

I wonder if Buck feels that way about Newt. I don't -- it's much easier to look at his childhood as his, rather than in any sense rerunning mine. They don't have the same very strong resemblance to work with; Newt actually looks eerily like Buck's brother, who is profoundly disabled, sometimes, which sets up its own set of might-have-beens.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:42 AM
horizontal rule
228

this is the 'being beautiful even if you crawled out of a cave,' I guess.

I don't think this is so clearly a thing that you either are or aren't. There's not some bright line of beauty that, once you're on the right side of it, people treat you all the ways described in 203. I used to be given things by random strangers (drinks sent over, that sort of thing), men chased me down on the street because they just had to meet me, friendly older men in elevators told me that they admired my style. Eh, it's all stuff that happened. The circumstances of my earlier life were such that it bemused me more than anything, and certainly wasn't something that I identified as central to my self presentation and the way people treated me in general.

Or you know, maybe I just wasn't beautiful enough to understand wtf you're talking about.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:46 AM
horizontal rule
229

Right -- we're rerunning Unfogged Classic here (it's still the "Welcome Back Ogged" period, I guess), but that experience of being treated as remarkably beautiful, while of course it has quite a lot to do with what you physically look like, seems to have almost as much to do with how you present your self, personality-wise.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
230

Hat trick! It's funny wrt this thread, he has the same style of play as me- skill wise he doesn't stand out as very good but somehow scores a lot more than it seems he should be able to. Also plays best on the off wing.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:52 AM
horizontal rule
231

we're rerunning Unfogged Classic here

It was the best of times...


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:55 AM
horizontal rule
232

maybe it's just a personalty thing and I invite obsessive stalkers because of my good cheer. for real, I'm friendly. I only said it about the cave because parsimon said there was no sense in which that being beautiful in 7th grade or in 11th grade was advantageous ever, unless, 'thing with crawling out of cave.' so I was saying, well, in 11th grade people (including your teachers!) really do treat you differently and I think it may smooth the path of life for you. it's unfair, but real. it's not the most useful life skill ever because it goes away or out of fashion or you fall ill or anything else. it's better you should be smart. but if we take two otherwise identical 7th grade girls and we say we're going to sprinkle fairy dust on one, temporarily till she's like 24 or whenever it is we've decided we stop caring, will it be better for her? probably, right? that's all. but then as I was writing the comment I was sort of thinking, god, not like it did me very much good. and I'm not even saying I was the hottness of all time! I wasn't! and I didn't think so then, for certain. I just had lots of obsessive stalkers and like...I don't know, love of my life declarers and such. maybe this is just my personality. I will talk to strangers on the bus, within reason. but two!!! I have had two books written about me by obsessive mmm people. one was given to me and I couldn't resist the urge to read it, unfortunately, in small parts--I actually have it, I saw it the other day. it's not very long, like a 100 page journal. photography teacher went full 350-page manuscript but I never got a copy, probably a good thing all in all. I can't stand embarrassment comedy and this is like that but a billion times worse.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:03 AM
horizontal rule
233

indeed, we can just rtfa for a full exploration of this problem/not actual problem.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
234

but on the gripping hand, if it's about presentation I should teach them how to pluck their eyebrows! not into thin, too-high arches, that is out of fashion, but it's still assumed everyone is shaping them so there aren't strays or something, idk.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:07 AM
horizontal rule
235

will it be better for her? probably, right?

Or maybe not! It seems to make things superficially easier, and fuck things up psychologically deeper (not always, obviously, but regularly enough).

Alameida, you surely know this, but obsessives aren't drawn to things as straightforward as "good looks" or "friendliness." There's some complex of traits that attracts certain weirdos (and different weirdos like different traits) and you've got some package (baby) that sets people off. It seems like...not a good thing to think that you can identify the benign bits and instantiate them in your children.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:13 AM
horizontal rule
236

And of course that kind of obsessive behavior is much, more about something internal to the weirdo than it is about the weirdo's target.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
237

It seems like...not a good thing to think that you can identify the benign bits and instantiate them in your children.

Doesn't it seem inevitable that a good parent is going to try? We're all trying to figure out the best way to navigate this fallen world, and to help our children do so.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
238

My daughter went to the same college my sister-in-law did. Sister-in-law glanced at one of the first alumni magazines we got that first year and found a long poem, clearly about her, by a guy who had been obsessed with her then. Thirty years ago.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:58 AM
horizontal rule
239

It wasn't that creepy when Dante did it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:06 AM
horizontal rule
240

I'm really struggling to understand why being so preternaturally beautiful that the 12 year old you attracts 28 year old pervs and stalkers and weirdos in general is a good thing in any way at all? I'd be fucking horrified if that sort of shit were to start happening to my 11 year old. (Who is widely agreed to be ridiculously adorable and likely will be prettier than any of her older siblings. There is no envy or resentment.)


Posted by: asilon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:26 AM
horizontal rule
241

239: But that Petrarch was a perv.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
242

240: Mmm. In terms of leading a happy life, I'm kind of pleased for Sally that her (not chosen, this is just sort of how her face works) resting demeanor is "Fuck with me and I'll make you regret you were ever born." When she's actually interacting with people she's fond of, she flips over into puppyish cheerfulness, but if she doesn't have active reason to be bubbly, while she's still polite and pleasant, the vibe is distinctly cold and formidable.

This is probably going to cut down on the amount of male attention she gets, but I don't think she'll be worse off for it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:51 AM
horizontal rule
243

(Newt's neutral demeanor is puppyish cheerfulness, which I'm also kind of happy about, given that he seems to be heading to be a bit of a hulking brute. Sally's demeanor on a guy Newt's probable ultimate size might come off a bit overly intimidating.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
244

This is probably going to cut down on the amount of male attention she gets, but I don't think she'll be worse off for it.

Worth noting that the same thing can be said for, say, not plucking your eyebrows, or not shaving your legs or armpits or whatever. It may (*may*) cut down on the amount of romantic attention you get, but I'm doubtful that maximizing looks-based attention should be a top priority.

203: maybe it would be better to be normal the whole time and then when you get to be older like me you don't experience it as a fundamental change in life.

Yep. And holy shit have we discussed all this before! But yeah, people who are used to being beautiful can get pretty fucked up when it's lost, wind up grasping at it increasingly desperately, suddenly begin to feel that things are just so difficult without it, can't imagine how other people manage. I wouldn't intentionally set my daughter on that path, and would try pretty hard not to unintentionally do so either.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:06 AM
horizontal rule
245

I've been a little bit concerned about the impact on the big girls of the fuss the baby's cuteness gets. Because she's cute, no doubt, but it's also that her skin is lighter and she has these huge coils of hair, and I worry that at some point soon they'll compare themselves unfavorably, though so far they're just proud of how cute their little sister is. Nia is always going to be curvy and Mara will probably be tall and slim like her sisters, though all three girls are gorgeous and I hope we'll be able to get by with the downside being more envying what the other has than feeling left out of the beauty lottery at all.

I didn't have a sister and the brother who's the best-looking of all of us was also smart and athletic and musical and universally adored, so he won on every front and I don't think it bothered the rest of us. My other brother and I did once date the same girl, but not at the same time and not on purpose.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
246

Mystery afficionados! Which Lord Peter Wimsey novel has an exchange like this:

Woman: "But I'm beautiful..."

Wimsey: "Not as beautiful as you were, and in five years you'll be ugly." ?


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:10 AM
horizontal rule
247

Peter as Death Bredon/Harlequin pushing around the socialite cokehead (Dian?). In Murder Must Advertise. Ask a hard one.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:17 AM
horizontal rule
248

Excellent. Never actually read it, but clearly remember it from the Ian Carmichael BBC version produced in the 70s. Is it eccentric of me to prefer the Carmichaels to the Petheridges? It's something like the way I feel about Star Trek generations.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:27 AM
horizontal rule
249

I'm trying to read the first if the new ones the new author but am having trouble. Almost to page 100 and no crime. Just people and their feelings.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:33 AM
horizontal rule
250

I've got the Lutens patchouli Borneo something or other its great because its the coldest patchouli ever. Weird chocolate thing going on too.

Re experience moving through life more or less beautiful, 228 consistent with my experience and am reasonably presentable rather than gorgeous for certain. If I'd been born spectacularly beautifully I am sure I would have interpreted attention as being because of raw looks when it is due to some combo of looks presence youth etc. Presence or personality charisma? is such a huge differential.

Bringing it together was in a London restaurant a few years ago and the Guinness woman walked in, the one who took up with BHL, she certainly ignited the oxygen in the room despite not being heartstoppingly beautiful, presence in abundance tho. Interestingly, she was wearing rather run of the mill floral scent.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:34 AM
horizontal rule
251

She has her own scent, by Comme des Garcons, I think.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:41 AM
horizontal rule
252

I've probably told this story before, but a friend was Pau/lina Poris/kova's personal assistant, and Paul/ina was a bridesmaid at the friend's wedding in.. 1995? 1996? The bride is remarkably attractive herself, but not a supermodel, and I was kind of wondering if there was going to be an issue where the supermodel bridesmaid sucked all the attention out of the room.

Not a problem at all -- Paul/ina looked very nice, but not even a little distracting at the ceremony. Halfway through the reception, though, I think she decided that people weren't having enough fun, or dancing enough, and did something to turn on the charisma. I swear there were invisible lighting technicians holding a soft-focus spotlight on her, and woodland animals spontaneously generated to gambol in her presence, as she summoned people onto the dancefloor. It was remarkably effective, and seemed to be 100% intentional, and damn if I know how she did it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:44 AM
horizontal rule
253

(Long time readers will remember this as the same wedding that I accidentally showed up mostly naked to. This being me, no trainwrecks ensued.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:48 AM
horizontal rule
254

My sister is more conventionally beautiful than I, and was obscenely cute as a child. (Strangers taking pictures sort of thing.) It wasn't a big deal between us, though I will to this day grump about the fact that I did not receive my mother's eyes and she did. Genetic lottery!


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:49 AM
horizontal rule
255

It's a genetic lottery but I'd like to know how many people bought tickets.


Posted by: Opinionated Woody Allen | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:52 AM
horizontal rule
256

251: I'm sure she loves it! Personally far too fickle to stick to only one smell.

252: it's fascinating to watch young performers who *can* do this learn how to do it. As a parent it has been extremely important to us to make sure the boy learns this in a safe and decent environment. Bunch of unpleasant adults out there.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
257

I remember the latter but not the former part of the story. I've had a horror of repeating myself, but I think that's wrong. Acknowleging you've told a story before, as you do probably is all that's needed, and I'll try to be more relaxed about it. I liked this telling, in 252.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:53 AM
horizontal rule
258

256.last: Yeah, the impressive bit wasn't so much the turning it (whatever it is) on, it was the way that when she turned it on, it became clear how completely she'd had 'it' off beforehand. The charisma was remarkable, but so was the control.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:56 AM
horizontal rule
259

And must be interesting to learn.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:57 AM
horizontal rule
260

Dorothy Parker says "it" is "those".


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 12:04 PM
horizontal rule
261

Probably not the best thread for that joke, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 12:17 PM
horizontal rule
262

I think situational comedics lets you off the hook.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 12:28 PM
horizontal rule
263

258/259: From his perspective it's all just technical training but looking on it seems to me that the careful technical training ends up creating a structure and discipline for not just the tours jetes/pirouettes etc but for engaging with the audience within limits and with consciousness.

It's still a hothouse backstage! But there I think it is absolutely key for the adults to inculcate an ethic of solidarity among the kids.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 12:40 PM
horizontal rule
264

"Dorothy Parker says "it" is "those"."
Must be some pretty magical eyebrows.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
265

263: From his perspective it's all just technical training

Really? I can somewhat see that, but having known at least one person who possessed what I can only call charisma, it just seemed to come to him naturally. He was a fellow grad student, and yes, he was attractive in a Brad Pitt kind of way, and could dance like Michael Jackson when he wanted to, but half the time his long dark blond hair was greasy and he really looked like he hadn't gotten enough sleep.

What he did, that caused people to like him, enjoy his company, indeed offer him free tickets to things and so on, was: he looked you in the eye when you spoke, and spoke in return without distraction. He remembered your name, and you felt that he knew quite well who you were, and was pleased to see you. Those are technically acquired skills, I suppose, but hard to mimic when it comes down to the look in the eye. I'm pretty sure Graham just genuinely found most people interesting. He was affable. I guess you can fake that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:10 PM
horizontal rule
266

Oh he's got the raw material in spades but is only just becoming aware of it - and that others don't have it. But he's been immersed in the technical dance training from age of 4 so that part is what he focuses on. And as a parent I like this emphasis because it provides a structured way to understand and learn to channel the raw bit constructively rather than in the service of warped interpersonal relationships. That'll come later when he's more interested in girls qua girls, I'm sure!


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:25 PM
horizontal rule
267

as a parent I like this emphasis because it provides a structured way to understand and learn to channel the raw bit constructively

This makes a great deal of sense. I'm reminded of so much wisdom about the positive effects of structured training in general, whether musical or physical. Music lessons, dance or athletic classes.

I like this view of channeling and understanding one's raw material.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 1:37 PM
horizontal rule
268

258: That story reminds me of this series of photos of people posing nude in flattering and unflattering poses. The difference just not slouching can make is astounding.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 2:00 PM
horizontal rule
269

Physical grace makes an astounding difference.

That series is interesting, Josh. Am I correctly seeing that only one of the paired photos is of a male? It's been observed before that men's suits simulate, or substitute for, a certain posture.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 2:11 PM
horizontal rule
270

268: I only really see a difference in the first pair. The other pairs all pretty much look equally attractive to me.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 2:14 PM
horizontal rule
271

So glad never to have gotten an STD. Although almost certainly at the cost of more fun. Hmm.

Not that big a deal. Sure, it sucks, but not as much as getting laid a lot doesn't suck.


Posted by: Ronald Reagan or Whatever | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 2:50 PM
horizontal rule
272

It's been observed before that men's suits simulate, or substitute for, a certain posture.

Anne Hollander wrote a whole book about it.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 3:24 PM
horizontal rule
273

Oh, and hey, a recent Adelle Waldman post on novelistic treatments of men obsessed with extreme beauty.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 3:39 PM
horizontal rule
274

268:

Don't actual erotic encounters derive charm from the alternation of self-possessed with artless moments? And you're not just a spectator, you're also a participant being observed.

Seems to miss the point, to me.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 4:16 PM
horizontal rule
275

like I said, I recognize this it all stupid and crazy. maybe I want to re-run the simulation perfectly but without the horrible people falling in love with you when you're 13 but you being the same otherwise. daughter y will have this problem/happy blessing anyway so I guess we'll see. like the poem in the alumni mag, I do every now and then get heartfelt letters from dudes who I can't remember who they are, who I went to HS with or whatever. [redacted things used to be here]

totally separately from looking hot at 12 which let's agree no one wants because ew--who will be happy except people who like beautiful 12-year-olds? I'm surprised more people don't incline mildly to the "it's better to look good at 20" theory just because it seems like you have a better chance of convincing the people whom you really want to fuck, to fuck you. isn't that what life's all mostly about?

al redacted this comment on account of husband x says she's being the bitchiest bitch of ever and shouldn't publicly humiliate an innocent person. god, he might as well BE FROM CANADA. he's usually right, though, and I'm usually amoral, so I'm giving him this one. nonetheless, I think he empathizes with unrequited crush boy on the basis of non-Kantian universal moral reasoning.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:46 PM
horizontal rule
276

But if you didn't fuck the people you wanted to at 20, where does that leave you at 30-whatever? And by "you" I mean me, of course.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:50 PM
horizontal rule
277

Dissatisfied? Unfulfilled? Grateful for not remembering who you were into before you had better taste?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:53 PM
horizontal rule
278

the email from [redacted dude] wasn't a mash note (wait [redacted term] is a normal word I can type all I want); it was just, I didn't know he existed, so little did I remember him, namely none, but he remembered I existed-a lot. it was also the offhand introduction of his current occupation was not as smooth as it might have been.

al redacted this comment on account of husband x says she's being the bitchiest bitch of ever and shouldn't publicly humiliate an innocent person. god, he might as well BE FROM CANADA. he's usually right, though, and I'm usually amoral, so I'm giving him this one. nonetheless, I think he empathizes with unrequited crush boy on the basis of non-Kantian universal moral reasoning.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:58 PM
horizontal rule
279

Wishing I had a babysitter? Feeling like I should go to bed so I'm ready to get up early but not really wanting to? Yeah, just another day.

I don't know. I don't worry about whether my girls will be cute enough to have an easy time getting the sex they want at 20 because it had definitely never occurred to me. We'll just keep talking about consent and honesty and interest and I'll have to hope that's good enough, I think.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 7:59 PM
horizontal rule
280

275: Please god tell me it was [redacted even though previously google-proofed].

al redacted this comment on account of husband x says she's being the bitchiest bitch of ever and shouldn't publicly humiliate an innocent person. god, he might as well BE FROM CANADA. he's usually right, though, and I'm usually amoral, so I'm giving him this one. nonetheless, I think he empathizes with unrequited crush boy on the basis of non-Kantian universal moral reasoning.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
281

Don't have sex with the babysitter, no matter how old she is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:03 PM
horizontal rule
282

I'm glad he emailed you in that it makes a hilarious story. But I inspired more than I'd prefer of those stalkerish "I've remembered you vividly for decades!" things not to mention what happened at the time, and I was no great beauty. So I still think it's largely about self-presentation and probably being in nerd-guy spaces and all that.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:05 PM
horizontal rule
283

No, no, the babysitter would be so I can just sleep, not sleep with her. This teething-and-screaming thing is no fun, and Lee's new medicine means she sleeps all night no matter what, so it's all on me. Or the hypothetical babysitter, who's never going to exist.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:07 PM
horizontal rule
284

That sounds safer, but less interesting.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:09 PM
horizontal rule
285

so I'm just full of myself and everyone has lots of stupid stalkers. yes it was indeed [redacted though previously google-proofed, honestly wtf].

having a better chance of having sex with whomever you want to have sex with at 17 is good too, I wasn't intending to leave that out or anything, if you are sexually active then. no one gets whoever they want all the time, everyone gets turned down sometimes, that'd be silly. I'm just saying re: the benefits of being good-looking, surely "upping your chances of getting into this chick's pants, when you really want in them pants" has got to count for something.

al redacted this comment on account of husband x says she's being the bitchiest bitch of ever and shouldn't publicly humiliate an innocent person. god, he might as well BE FROM CANADA. he's usually right, though, and I'm usually amoral, so I'm giving him this one. nonetheless, I think he empathizes with unrequited crush boy on the basis of non-Kantian universal moral reasoning.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:10 PM
horizontal rule
286

281: Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead would have been way more daring, though...


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
287

I didn't mean that to be snarky, alameida. And I was always thin when I was young, which is practically the same as being beautiful privilege-wise, I suspect. I'm actually really depressed about the prospect of my girls having weirdo stalkers, which I guess is fair.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:13 PM
horizontal rule
288

I'm just saying re: the benefits of being good-looking, surely "upping your chances of getting into this chick's pants, when you really want in them pants" has got to count for something.

Sure. I mean, that's pretty much the main benefit, isn't it? I guess the tradeoff is between that and the problem of avoiding/fending off the people you don't want who want you, at least for women. That's not as much of a concern for (straight) guys because patriarchy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:17 PM
horizontal rule
289

Not that being attractive ever did much to help me overcome the various other problems that have kept me from getting laid very much, but I'm sure it would have been even worse if I were uglier.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:22 PM
horizontal rule
290

I used to be cuter. I'm solidly nondescript now.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:33 PM
horizontal rule
291

Yet it's fine!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:34 PM
horizontal rule
292

Don't be so hard on yourself, heebz. I could totally describe you. You were that happy brunette whose baby was constantly in J, Robot's arms. Done!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:37 PM
horizontal rule
293

As someone who's always been solidly adequate looking, I never really got the sense that my looks, as opposed to my frankly demented way of interacting with men I was attracted to, were the problem. I mean, possibly if I'd been cuter men would have worked harder on penetrating the shield of withdrawn hostility, but mostly I don't think being only moderately attractive is much of an obstacle to getting laid.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:41 PM
horizontal rule
294

I always feel super guilty when people start wars or whatever over my legendary, yet firmly masculine, beauty. Wow, don't do that! Way to make a guy feel bad.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
295

Hey, I got some good baby-holding time: I was holding Ace when she threw up on someone else. Eggplant, maybe?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:43 PM
horizontal rule
296

There's probably some kind of a function of just how much hostility one can have relative to attractiveness. Doubt it's linear.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:45 PM
horizontal rule
297

296: Shit: it ain't even monotonic.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:46 PM
horizontal rule
298

"She" in 295 being heebie or J, Robot? I think we're far enough away from DC that some new rumors need to get started.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:47 PM
horizontal rule
299

297: Over the population, I'd bet it is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:48 PM
horizontal rule
300

That weekend was so much fun. It felt like summer camp.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:51 PM
horizontal rule
301

294: I know, right?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 8:54 PM
horizontal rule
302

SO JELLIES! my husband wouldn't let me fly back. thorn: I wasn't being counter-snarky! I was being serious! oh hey, everyone has lots of stupid stalkers. they do! it's hard to even have this conversation without me giving the impression of being the most self-satisfied vain person of all time, which I at least hope isn't true. I don't think I'm super hott now, and when I was young I was neurotic and thought I looked horrible about 90% of the time. I agree with ogged that my being attractive to obsessive crazy people is some other factor separate from the way I look. probably my craziness.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:01 PM
horizontal rule
303

possibly if I'd been cuter men would have worked harder on penetrating the shield of withdrawn hostility

Referring to your genitals as "the shield of withdrawn hostility" is pretty off-putting, to be fair.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:08 PM
horizontal rule
304

Shit: it ain't even monotonic.

Or single-valued. There's, like, hysteresis and shit.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:10 PM
horizontal rule
305

303: I take it that "withdrawn" means the teeth are retractable.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:24 PM
horizontal rule
306

275: Slate: You Haven't Heard of It, and That's a Good Thing.


Posted by: Opinionated Slatepitch | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:46 PM
horizontal rule
307

306: LOL


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 9:59 PM
horizontal rule
308

as opposed to my frankly demented way of interacting with men I was attracted to

I know I'm tempted to think of the ambivalence of my young self as foolish, because not much was at stake really. But I didn't know that then, everything seemed very important, freighted with significance. To be relaxed, simple, open would have been to be a different person.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:11 PM
horizontal rule
309

I was going to write 307 but was holding off in hopes alameida would get to. And so to bed!


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 10:12 PM
horizontal rule
310

Re the turntable, the one what knows is suspicious it would damage the LPs. He says it has an amp and USB output and whatnot built in such that given the price he is afeared the actual LP playing business is crap and would be a very bad thing.

He is keeping an eyeball peeled for anything that may turn up.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:04 PM
horizontal rule
311

it's a shame we live so far apart; I have an extra telefunken turntable in perfect condition just kind of hanging out. I think I'm going to find the right step-down and swap it for my technics though, that would make more sense overall. but then I would still have an extra OK turntable hanging around...


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:28 PM
horizontal rule
312

my husband says I'm being SUPER-MEAN AND EVIL and need to redact the above anecdote. which will require me to slightly redact other people's comments which is very non-standard and I don't do it hardly ever, except when I was feeling stabby at shearer or something. so, apologies people. I need to preserve family harmony up in here. I only wanted to tell my husband the funny slatepitch comment, but he needed to hear the set-up, and he was like "so, you were being incredibly evil. fun for slytherins, OK." I don't think it was super evil, jesus. fucking fine whatever.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:35 PM
horizontal rule
313

Do what you need to do for family harmony, of course, but that sounds totally nuts on your husband's part. Telling that story might not have been the nicest thing ever, but "incredibly evil" is a huge stretch.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 8-14 11:39 PM
horizontal rule
314

THANK YOU TEO. really, dough. evil? I mean...we've just decided as a family joke that due to our various hogwarts house divisions and my family generally that I'm an evil slytherin, but I don't want it to metastasize to the point where everyone thinks I'm actually evil. that's stupid.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 12:04 AM
horizontal rule
315

I mean, I empathize with unrequited crush boy too, since my life has consisted mostly of unrequited crushes, interspersed with occasional ill-advised sexual liaisons with non-crushes and long periods when I had neither (like now!). Still, being gently mocked in an online forum he's very unlikely to ever find is hardly a cruel or unreasonable outcome from his perspective.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 12:40 AM
horizontal rule
316

I missed the nonredacted unrequited crush boy story, but just had one of my own:

I was just sitting down to have lunch with colleagues when I noticed The Most Beautiful Girl At School sitting at another table. That's the girl I spent several years mooning over in high school (she was older than me, so I never talked to her). It's been over a decade and she looks exactly the same, or at most, she's lost some weight. And I have a girlfriend who makes me very happy and to whom I'm very attracted thankyouverymuch, and this was just a girl I happened to crush on 15 years ago and with whom I've never exchanged a word in my life, and still, I got all butterflyish and elle est belle comme un soleil and after we left the restaurant, I came up with an excuse to stay in the vicinity for a few more minutes, hoping she would come out and I would catch a glimpse, just like the old days. But she didn't and eventually I had to get back to the office.

You can mock me now.


Posted by: Can't Think Of A President | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 5:33 AM
horizontal rule
317

"it's better to look good at 20"

I put it to you that it's actually better to look good at 30, when you have a fucking clue what to do about it.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 5:42 AM
horizontal rule
318

I like to think that it is best to look good at 50 because that's technically still a possibility for me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 5:59 AM
horizontal rule
319

I'm going for the beautiful corpse thing.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 6:51 AM
horizontal rule
320

And rather than a war intend to inspire a shovel-ready infrastructure project.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 6:55 AM
horizontal rule
321

I wasn't specifying these as 'determinant ages other than which looking good would be of no utility,' merely saying that the banner of "being hot does you no good in life at any time, in any way, whatsoever" was being hoisted rather pointlessly high. so, I was saying 20 rather than 12 since we've decided being weirdly beautiful at 12 is non-useful, but in general more looking good is still good. I actually got recruited to be a child model as a kid (little kid, like 7 or 8) but my mom refused on grounds I was totally unable to understand and I was resentful for ages. being in a land's end catalog seemed like it would be rockstar! the real story was that the person in question was sketch (though legitimately a child model photographer/rep (I was going to say handler lol)), and my mom had been a (runway) model at 16 and thought the whole thing was sketch and she wasn't having any of it. girl x and then-baby y were also children's/baby's clothes models ages ago but somehow I don't have any copies of anything and never bothered to press on with the thing (being drunk all the time is not the secret to home organization); girl y was likewise (let's say between 7-9) resentful about this but now doesn't care. someone just stopped us in a mall and asked, I guess that's how they find people to do that. I wish I had the photos though. and it would be hilarious if there were pictures of me in the late 70s and early 80s wearing fair isle sweaters, but if my mom thought the guy was sketchy he must have been fucking mecha-godzilla sketchy since it ain't like she was giving much of a shit elsewise.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:26 AM
horizontal rule
322

317: and because I agree with you about this particular point I said it's weird if it happens to be the time in your life when you have the most personal power (to wield over other people) but you are 18 and don't even know you have it, much less how to use it, and everyone young is beautiful anyway, and you don't care if gross old people think you are sexy or not, unless you are in a movie. or are being paid money. (there is overlap on the venn diagram obvs; most movies aren't charity endeavors.)


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:31 AM
horizontal rule
323

I have an extra telefunken turntable

I have reached a conclusion that if a family has an elaborate card game that they play at family gatherings, usually it will be a multi-round version of extreme gin rummy. Ours was called Telefunken.

Fortunately when all the cousins reached an age where we could play more interesting games, we ditched Telefunkin. Jammies' family still plays his family's version, though. It's a good choice for a range of ages, but it's a bad choice if you find the peaks and valleys of luck-based games to get dull after two hours.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:39 AM
horizontal rule
324

We play a game that is a combination of poker and rummy and some other stuff. It's called Tripoli.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:45 AM
horizontal rule
325

There's a special mat you need.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:46 AM
horizontal rule
326

Ours required pennies.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:48 AM
horizontal rule
327

We used poker chips. This was mainly my dad's sisters' families. Lots of big gamblers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 7:57 AM
horizontal rule
328

I remember my parents playing Tripoli. Also Mille Bornes, which was simple enough that my brother and I could play.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:12 AM
horizontal rule
329

I remember Mille Bornes!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:15 AM
horizontal rule
330

I love Mille Bornes. Gonflé!


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:16 AM
horizontal rule
331

Mille Bornes was great. Our go to with very mixed ages was The Great Dalmuti.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:17 AM
horizontal rule
332

I have a set of milles bournes but have never played...we usually play nuclear proliferation as a fun-for-all-ages card game.


Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:24 AM
horizontal rule
333

One Christmas when I was a teenager, my brother gave me this Mille Bornes variant that swapped out the car racing motif for pot dealing. Uncomfortable laughter, but it was a good game.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:25 AM
horizontal rule
334

We had a computer version of Mille Bornes. Coup-fourré, bitches.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 8:58 AM
horizontal rule
335

I have reached a conclusion that if a family has an elaborate card game that they play at family gatherings, usually it will be a multi-round version of extreme gin rummy.

Ours is progressive rummy, and lives may be lost in the playing. Or at least, dignity.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:05 AM
horizontal rule
336

295: I remained vomit-free the entire weekend, I'll have you know.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:15 AM
horizontal rule
337

My family used to play Parcheesi. On a vintage '50s board, if memory serves. Unironically.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:20 AM
horizontal rule
338

Hrm. She threw up on someone while I was holding her. Togolosh?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:21 AM
horizontal rule
339

We tended to play Newmarket (Michigan?) when I was small (Obvs not for money). After a while we moved onto Monopoly, which we played fast and ruthlessly, it being understood that if you could cheat and not get called on it that was in the spirit of the game.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:31 AM
horizontal rule
340

Ours is progressive rummy, and lives may be lost in the playing.

PROOF THAT "PROGRESSIVE" IS JUST ANOTHER WORD FOR "COMMUNIST"!


Posted by: OPINIONATED REDSTATE | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:51 AM
horizontal rule
341

We didn't have one game. Parcheesi, Mille Bornes, Monopoly, there was a sort-of-Monopoly-esque stock-market based game, might have been called American Dream, that I liked and we played a lot, gin rummy for two people, canasta with my paternal grandmother, Scrabble sometimes, and a lot of (very bad) bridge, once I was eight or nine and old enough to learn. Never spades or hearts -- I had to learn those in college, and still have a hard time remembering the rules exactly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 9:57 AM
horizontal rule
342

Actually, we had a ton of card games as a kid many of which I forget: Hearts, Spades, Oh Hell, Casino, Rummies various, Tripoli, Euchre. Double Solitaire, Spike and Malice, Crazy 8s, Pinochle, War. Board games were Monopoly, Careers, Sorry!, Scrabble, Risk and a number that came and went quickly.

With our kids, Clue, Scrabble, Boggle, Monopoly, Careers and just a few of the card games. And then came the computers. We still do a regular game night with a few families, but it tends to more word game stuff.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:07 AM
horizontal rule
343

We tended to play Newmarket (Michigan?)

The Michigan game is definitely Euchre.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:10 AM
horizontal rule
344

OPINIONATED REDSTATE

Amusingly, most of my family lives in red or purple states.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:34 AM
horizontal rule
345

344: Right, due to the violence during the games.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:40 AM
horizontal rule
346

Mille Bornes! I didn't know anyone else played that game. Thumbs up to all the games that people are calling out.

My family plays a game called Fictionary, which is great because the only thing you need to play is a dictionary and some pencils and paper. I'll explain it since I think this crowd would be into it. Each round one player picks an obscure word out of the dictionary, then everyone else makes up fake definitions for the words, then all definitions are read and you have to try and guess which definition is the correct one. You get a point for guessing the right definition, and a point for every person who guesses yours. So it's kind of like Apples to Apples, except infinitely better because instead of the chooser just picking the card of the person they like the most, everyone is incentivized to guess the definition they actually believe is correct.


Posted by: dz | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
347

All family games was something we never did. My wife's family does scrabble. And D & D


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:48 AM
horizontal rule
348

I know that as Balderdash.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:49 AM
horizontal rule
349

Corporatist.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 10:55 AM
horizontal rule
350

Balderdash is less fun than fictionary because there's an element of skill. In balderdash - the published game with pre-chosen words, at least - there is no possibility of making an educated guess. I suppose the Hasbro version is called Balderdash because people called the dictionary version that.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 11:08 AM
horizontal rule
351

That weekend was so much fun . . .

It was. I still find that every week or two I think back on unfoggedcon and smile -- definitely one of the most fun things I did last year.

merely saying that the banner of "being hot does you no good in life at any time, in any way, whatsoever" was being hoisted rather pointlessly high.

Hmmm, I was going to raise that banner, had I commented in the thread yesterday, but that you're correct that it would have been overstated. I do think the question of how one feels about unearned benefits is a tricky one (and the benefits are not just being able to get into other people's pants, if you believe the Wall Street Journal.). On one hand, from an individual perspective who doesn't appreciate having life's path smoothed a little bit, on the other hand, it's complicated. . . .

if a family has an elaborate card game that they play at family gathering

I played Mille Bornes as a kid!

The family card game in my mom's family, was 10-to-1 (aka "up and down the river") which I enjoyed but takes an awfully long time.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 11:16 AM
horizontal rule
352

the banner of "being hot does you no good in life at any time, in any way, whatsoever" was being hoisted rather pointlessly high

A vey defensive reading of what was being said.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 11:23 AM
horizontal rule
353

"very"

Forgetting to turn off my tab refresher leads to all sorts of mistakes.


Posted by: Idp | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 11:24 AM
horizontal rule
354

Who amongst us will hoist the strawmen of yesteryear?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 11:43 AM
horizontal rule
355

I was edging toward "Being hot does you no good whatsoever" as much as anyone else in the thread, and what I meant more was that the difference between ordinarily attractive and remarkably superhot doesn't look like a big one in terms of leading a happy life. Seriously unattractive by conventional standards does, I'm sure, create its own set of issues.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 12:14 PM
horizontal rule
356

it's a shame we live so far apart; I have an extra telefunken turntable in perfect condition just kind of hanging out.

We don't live that far apart! I'd send you some jam in return.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 12:50 PM
horizontal rule
357

Hey y'all, I wrote a new short story some might enjoy: http://letsgooutforaspin.tumblr.com


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 12:52 PM
horizontal rule
358

322: I said it's weird if it happens to be the time in your life when you have the most personal power (to wield over other people) but you are 18 and don't even know you have it, much less how to use it

I'm coming back to this late, but this is the second time you've mentioned power in connection with personal beauty, and I'm finding it weird. It's one thing to acknowledge the simple truth that more attractive people have power that less attractive people don't; it's another to think this is a fine state of affairs and that one should cultivate personal beauty in order to enjoy and in fact exploit the benefits (which have nothing to do with your actual merits unless you're just seeking to be a model).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02- 9-14 1:00 PM
horizontal rule
359

I'm sorry I don't have time to read all of the comments.

I don't worry about my daughter's legs. But, in order to prevent excessive playing with and displaying of when at the pool, I have to do a quick fly by with clippers for my daughter. Not the job I thought I would have to do, but someone has to do it.

Sometimes she thinks it is funny. Sometimes I have to wait until she is out cold after a seizure. (Also the time that I cut her toenails and finger nails.)

The good news is that she mostly did well getting her hair cut this weekend.


Posted by: will | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 7:18 AM
horizontal rule
360

I have a slightly demented relationship with my legs and basically never show them in public--less about the hair and more about my perceptions about their shortness and chunkiness, and unsightliness due to insect bites and frequent dryness, and weird cultural hangups about the inappropriateness of showing leg, and also weird minority/race hang-ups about white girls making fun of my legs for matching the dust in the campground, etc. So really, as a side-effect, I've never worried about shaving them b/c no one was going to see them any way. Just this morning, however, my boyfriend absentmindedly noted during snuggle time "you know, even though you never shave, your legs are really smooth" and I realized that I had totally internalized my identity as a hairy-legged brown person and had failed to notice that in the 17+ years since puberty I'm significantly less hairy than I had been. Which is all a long way of saying, if the teenager in question perceives herself as super hairy now, and in a negative way, it might be nice to revisit that perception later (and not 17 years later) when, perhaps, the hair is thinner.

As a side note, my mother was one of those rare Indian women who had *zero* body hair, practically, and was completely and utterly at a loss when her two daughters started getting body hair. She didn't know her way around a razor *at all*. I think we figured it all out by going to the drug store and obsessively reading and comparing the directions and labels on every single damn product in the hair removal department. Luckily a lifetime of reading ingredients on things had trained us to be relatively un-self-conscious about that.

regarding the eyebrows, I am of the firm opinion that barring a unibrow, they should be *left alone*. Once they're messed up they're messed up, and they're actually really useful for catching drips of sweat. There was a girl I danced with whose eyebrows had been threaded down to nothing, and had to be filled in with eyebrow pencil. She was always getting drips in her eyes and rubbing at them and by the end of the set she'd be a cranky, racoony mess.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 6:16 PM
horizontal rule
361

I had totally internalized my identity as a hairy-legged brown person and had failed to notice that in the 17+ years since puberty I'm significantly less hairy than I had been.

I have an alternative theory: when you wear pants a lot, the hair on certain areas of your legs is rubbed away. At least so it seems to me based on the areas of my legs where pants rub. The backs of my calves are virtually hairless, as are the top halves of the front of the calves, and I don't think they used to be. It's possible I'm misremembering. I think pants-wearing contributes to this, and think that during summer, when I wear more skirts, that hair comes back a bit.

I could be totally making up this variability dependent on garb, but I don't think so. I'd ask the men here if they feel that their pants rub away leg hair in certain areas, but there'd be no control, as they likely never turn to skirt-wearing for months-long stretches of time. Shorts-wearers might could weigh in.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 7:49 PM
horizontal rule
362

Also, Ile: boyfriend? Is that new? I don't recall. If so, yay.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 7:51 PM
horizontal rule
363

Doesn't David Foster Wallace have a bit in one of his books somewhere about the sadness of old men's calves, made bald through years of sock wearing?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 7:56 PM
horizontal rule
364

I've also vaguely assumed that my leg hair has rubbed off.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:01 PM
horizontal rule
365

If that was the case, then why doesn't the hair on the bottom of the foot wear away faster than the hair on the top of the foot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:02 PM
horizontal rule
366

Okay, so I'm not making this up! We basically just don't have virginal calves any more.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:11 PM
horizontal rule
367

On second thought, I'll pass on the veal.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:19 PM
horizontal rule
368

For the record, I didn't puke on anyone. At least, I don't remember doing so.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:22 PM
horizontal rule
369

Also, the woman who threaded my brows this past weekend left me with a big cut just above my eyelid. Ouch.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:23 PM
horizontal rule
370

||
Maybe this is just me being an asshole, but:
There's an acquaintance of mine, someone I've known for 10 years or so, who is on SSI and apparently has some kind of autism diagnosis. However, this person is pretty high-functioning most of the time, and to meet them, you would probably ascertain that they're a bit tetched, but not that there is some overwhelming mental/emotional blockage between them and consensus reality. HOWEVER, this person insists on blaming Every. Little. Thing. On teh Austism. Like, don't feel like getting up today? Autism. Exhausted from moving and feel like just saying "fuck it"? Autism. Said something really callous to someone? Autism. I mean, I get that being non-neurotypical is no picnic, and a lot of the time I really do sympathize, but jeezum crow! IT'S NOT ALWAYS THE GODDAMN AUTISM! Sometimes you are just a fuck-up.

Also, this person is a big time anti-vaxxer. And has a supposedly autistic kid. (Who does seem a bit off too, but consider the source.)

Sigh.
||>


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 8:28 PM
horizontal rule
371

370: Solidarity, dude.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 9:04 PM
horizontal rule
372

336: 295: I remained vomit-free the entire weekend, I'll have you know.

I did not, sadly, but it was my own vomit which was due to some sort of virus, i.e. food poisoning. The attending at GW Hospital asked me what restaurant I'd been o so that he could avoid it. It must have been food poisoning from the French place Minivet, my BF, and I went to for brunch on Sunday. The eggs benedict tasted delicious.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 9:40 PM
horizontal rule
373

Seriously unattractive by conventional standards does, I'm sure, create its own set of issues.

My Dad was talking about someone at the corrupt assisted living facility they were at, and he said "There are very few truly ugly people in this world but P is one." And P really was gross, a sick woman who made no effort to take care of herself--eat right, engage with her nurses, mounds and mounds of fat, never leaving her room, watching TV and hooked up to her oxygen with greasy unwashed hair.

In the abstract I felt sorry for her, but I scurried past her room, because I didn't want to look at her.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 10:03 PM
horizontal rule
374

will-- Did she move into a group home?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-10-14 10:04 PM
horizontal rule
375

Wow, that's intriguing. Makes sense. Kinda wish I was punk rock enough to run an experiment with wearing tights on only one leg.

BF is not new, since '07, but we are less private, so I perhap mention him more freely now.Still yay? We've been doing pretty meh, and he is still recovering from his PHd and seriously depressed, but wrt each other we're pretty solid in the present if unclear about future life plans, and it is nice to have a love.


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 02-11-14 5:46 PM
horizontal rule
376

370: I am going through the opposite problem. My friend is recently diagnosed and seems to interpret every fuck up situation at work as his fuck up, via autism, and I am like NO! You didn't fuck up! You boss is a douche!


Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 02-11-14 5:49 PM
horizontal rule
377

You didn't fuck up! You boss is a douche!

New mouseover!


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-11-14 6:05 PM
horizontal rule
378

New mouseover!

Seconded.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-11-14 6:10 PM
horizontal rule