Monday, August 27, 2012

Never mind, never mind

-"My roots, I don’t dye. I used to dye the tips. I think they call it a balayage: it’s painted-on bleach that they put just into the ends. I think I’ll continue doing it, otherwise I look really Greek." This from a half-German, half-Greek, fully-oblivious fashion director. This totally destroys my theory of ombré: that it's a style perfect for women with naturally dark hair who enjoy having dark hair, who look best with dark hair, but who want to shake things up without much damaging their hair or much changing their look, in the way that women with light hair can do without involving any bleach. No, never mind, it's all racial self-hatred. 


-So Prudie makes these up, right?
[L]ast week I got a nasty email from one of the mothers. I sent some homemade cookies and store-bought veggies and dip for the snack last week, and apparently this was not up to snuff! The mothers said that my vegetables were clearly not homegrown and organic and that they could taste the pesticides and preservatives on them. [...] I emailed them back saying that I was unsure what particular brands of veggies, dip, and baking items to buy, and received another email suggesting I start a garden. Prudie, we live in an apartment complex. [....] I went to the farmers market an hour away last weekend to look for some appropriate items to send for next week, but the market was so expensive. I don't want my daughter to get kicked out of this playgroup [...]
That, or the problem with these moms (setting aside the screw loose in the head of the social-climbing letter-writer herself) isn't that they're highfalutin snobs, but that they're some kind of extremist hippie collective. This is a letter that wants to be about socioeconomic class, but is in fact about a small subset of lunatics, or one unfortunate mom not getting sarcasm. This is not normal behavior for yuppie parents. I refuse to believe it. But what if it is?

6 comments:

Moebius Stripper said...

I have standard model Mediterranean hair: coarse, thick, dark. There's not much much that can be done with it without damaging it, which is fine by me, because I rather like what I have and anything much different would look silly. But I love red hair on people of a radically different complexion from mine, as do, apparently, the hordes of women with colouring similar to mine who discovered henna before I did. Makes going grey enjoyable: henna does nothing to my dark hairs and turns the grey ones metallic. I figure I have five or so years before I'm grey enough for such highlights to look garish, and I'm milking them.

But I sure as hell am not hennaing my hair in order to look less ethnic. For that, I'd need surgery.

Phoebe said...

Yeah, henna doesn't sound very self-hating - it's probably the only hair-color option no one would classify as such, because it doesn't lighten the hair and (as you say, and as I'm now remembering from a youthful attempt) doesn't do anything whatsoever to dark brown/black hair. This, btw, was a concept I had a lot of trouble with as an adolescent, that dyeing my hair without bleaching it first would go nowhere. Thus ended a blue-hair experiment as well.

Anyway, I was kind of shocked by the "Greek" remark. It's hard to picture, in this day and age, someone openly admitting to wanting to look less black, Jewish, Chinese, even though of course those sentiments haven't disappeared. I suppose that because Greek is a fairly unambiguous subset of white, this is maybe less horrifying, but the fact that the preferred alternative in this woman's is German has unfortunate associations, both the obvious and the current EU goings-on.

If what she meant by not wanting to look too Greek was not wanting to wear some style she as someone of Greek extraction associated with that culture (like a Russian woman not wanting to dress hyperglam, whatever the equivalent might be for Greeks, I have no idea), I could see it. But she really just seems to mean that her natural hair color is more Greek than she likes it.

Moebius Stripper said...

It's hard to picture, in this day and age, someone openly admitting to wanting to look less black, Jewish, Chinese, even though of course those sentiments haven't disappeared.

Not quite the same, but along the same lines and no less awful: the mother of a Chinese friend of mine told her daughter, lo these many years ago, that she was okay with the daughter dating a white guy, because "his skin is lighter than [hers]." My friend reported that her mother actually thought that she was was being enlightened by approving some non-Chinese men rather than none.

Some time later, a Persian boyfriend met with considerably less approval, with Mom admonishing: "You KNOW how I feel about you dating blacks, Middle Easterners, East Indians, and Native Americans." She actually had that exact list at the ready.

kei said...

Maybe along the same lines, the "very 'Cleopatra'" comment rang weird to me. I can sort of see what she means, that black eyeliner would be too harsh of a look, but the association seems outdated. I have no suggestion for an alternative association, and maybe I'm just looking for additional ways to pick on her after you pointed the Greek thing out, but still. I wonder if the featured women don't know that ITG seems to have a tendency to literally transcribe everything they say, so maybe that's another thing--they just say whatever comes to mind thinking it may be edited out or that she won't write out every single word in the way they say it.

Phoebe said...

Kei,

The "Cleopatra" comment jumped out at me as well, and I think only because of the "Greek" remark. Otherwise I'd have thought she meant she didn't want to look like costume-y, which, at least with certain hairstyles, eyeliner can look. But once there are racial overtones, there are racial overtones. The swarthiness-phobia did seem to enter into it.

"I wonder if the featured women don't know that ITG seems to have a tendency to literally transcribe everything they say [...]"

Good point. It can seem as though every other profile has some gem along those lines - gratuitously fat-phobic, or vain (that one photographer who uglies herself up when she photographs models because otherwise they'd be so jealous of her looks), not to mention the many comments about how American women look too "done." But I'm not sure it's about bad editing. These gaffes are part of the site's warts-and-all appeal, I guess - as in, here, show us your organic French deodorant and the bigotries you usually save for those intimate enough to know which deodorant you use and why.

PG said...

These gaffes are part of the site's warts-and-all appeal, I guess - as in, here, show us your organic French deodorant and the bigotries you usually save for those intimate enough to know which deodorant you use and why.

So great, the site should make it a tagline.