Monday, August 18, 2014

The "eating pant"

So many great articles, and no longer my official week of Dish guest-blogging, so you, WWPD readers, are in luck. We have:

-A Room For Debate I haven't yet had time to read, on parental overshare. Note that under my definition of the phenomenon, it's not about putting baby photos on Facebook, ideally with some privacy settings, but even if not, eh. That's... what a family photo album is these days, and I see no reason to be paranoid about hackers chasing after your baby photos for nefarious, baby-harming purposes. Parental overshare involves sharing the sorts of things that wouldn't normally go into some sanitized, public face of one's family. Parental overshare is "brave" and involves spilling the sort of info that's only actually brave if you're spilling it about yourself.

-Allison P. Davis's account of being a disappointingly slovenly-dressed daughter of a stylish mother. Another note: I totally own the J.Crew "eating pant" (there's no link or photo, I just know) and had given them a similar name. And had, of course, worn them to hot-pot.

-Monica Kim on eyelids:

Before blogs, makeup tips and tutorials did not cater to different eyelid shapes in the US. Even today, the issue of the eyelid is often swept aside by beauty bloggers like Michelle Phan, who like to remind people that Asian eyelids come in all different types. That may be true—my mom and sister were both born with double eyelids—but it’s unhelpful to us single-lidded girls, who must go it alone.
This is exactly what I was trying to get at re: Jewish-looking, and doubtless applicable to other '-looking' variations as well. It doesn’t do much good for those of us who are whatever-it-is-looking to be reminded time and time again that there’s no such thing as that-looking. We know that not all members of our group have exactly the same features, and can often point to people in our own immediate families who don't have whichever fraught traits we do. I have relatives just as ethnically Jewish as I am, who have completely straight hair, the kind that doesn't even frizz in the rain, as vs. my own, which does something different every day, depending the humidity. Does that make my own choices regarding hair-iron usage automatically apolitical? Does that make frizz-prone hair not a stereotypically Jewish trait, and one that's underrepresented in mainstream images of beauty? 

Even if one is delighted with one's single-lidded eyes (or frizz-prone hair), as Kim says, styling advice tends to be geared towards the less-'ethnic' way that even an 'ethnic' person may look. (And yes, I've read many times that eyelid and paleness concerns in certain parts of Asia are not about looking 'white' and predate any such notions. As for Jewish hair concerns, as a rule, they sort of are, although my own may stem from envy directed at the popular Korean kids at my high school.) Which is, in a sense, the issue. There's clearly an audience, if you will, for women of every ethnicity. The problem with not being 'mainstream' in whichever way really is - once one is an adult, and has gotten past the phase of imagining that the only people who ever find a boyfriend, ever, are blue-eyed blondes - one of figuring out which products to use in which way. 

1 comment:

Heewon said...

I came here hoping we could chat about that ITG article, so happy to see you've written about it =) I'm kind of an oddball, I'm Korean and I have the double eyelid but it comes and goes depending on how bloated my eyes are from being tired/seems to change over the years. I don't even think it matters. I have pretty big eyes, and I'm pretty sure that's all people notice. Admittedly, it does limit the eye makeup I can try, but I generally think eyeshoadow/etc is overkill anyway, other than mascara. But maybe it's also me having large eyes anyway so even when I have the double eyelid, it's not all that noticeable.

Your comment on Jewish hair reminds me of Amy Schumer--in one of her routines, she holds up her blond, straight hair and says, "Look at this. This Jew denial..." It is interesting though, there isn't really any discussion in beauty blogs/other media about how to care for the really tight corkscrew curls that, in America, only Jewish women seem to have (based on my very limited anecdotal experience--I imagine other women in/around the Middle East have such hair?). Maybe that contributes to the politicization thing--that only Jewish people have this kind of hair, so it is immediately identifying.

My guess is that beauty discussions are based on less ethnic features because a) the writers are Caucasian white and, maybe more importantly, b) the majority of the readership is Caucasian white. That's why even ethnic people like Michelle Phan just ignore the monolid contingent, since most of their audience has double eyelids (perhaps even with the expectation that monolid women who care about makeup will use eyelid tape or even undergo plastic surgery to get the double eyelid).

Also on that Davis article, I'd be pretty stoked if my mom bought me what sounds like a pretty cool Phillip Lim dress--not exactly like her mom was forcing Tory Burch on her. She admits herself that her (boys'!) blazer was missing most of its buttons. I get not wanting to look so stuffy, but you can still wear nice things or things that don't have holes.