Opposites often attract, which in my case happens to be true. Nowhere is the disparity between our characters more obvious than the bathroom. The amount of cleansing stuff I have versus that of my husband’s is staggering. In the shower alone I have washes, creams, gels and potions for every conceivable part of the body – hair, face, body, hands, feet. He has the basics: soap and shampoo. That’s it. By comparison he makes me look like the most frivolous female on the face of the earth.
He’s hirsute by choice – the tactful would describe his look as lumbersexual, I prefer the phrase “heavy metal Jesus” – which gives him ample reason to get into the fun stuff guys get to use now. There’s no shortage of them. I’m forever showing him options for beard oil, beard balm, beard softeners, waxes, aftershaves, combs, shaving brushes made of badger hair. Guys have so much fun stuff to try out in this day and age, but he refuses to succumb to the siren call of the “trendy hipster.” I admire his fortitude. What is it with men and their ability to literally live without frippery?
This is why marketing to women works – we’re the ones crazy enough to buy everything under the sun and still want more simply because it might come packaged in animal print. I will admit to having a weakness for packaging, which is really rather stupid, since packaging is simply chucked, but there you have it. Take sanitary pads. They all do the same thing, so how does big business get them to stand out? Packaging. All the pink and all the flowers are there for a reason. Compare the price of a pink razor versus a blue one; chances are the one marketed to women will cost more even if the blue one does the exact same thing.
The only solace I can find is that I at least stop at make-up. The current trend of stepping out with a face that would make a drag queen proud is lost on me for the following reasons: a) I am horrible at getting up early, and b) I am hopeless at make-up. (As a child, art was my Waterloo.) What with the daily shower and drying hair and picking an outfit and packing my lunch, it just isn’t one of my priorities. Because I am perennially late, I’ve learned to apply make-up on the go. Not that it’s an elaborate toilette – it’s basically lipstick and a prayer – but hey, it’s something. My secret ninja skill is the ability to apply mascara in a moving vehicle.
If the nineties were about plucking your eyebrows to death, this decade is the complete opposite. It’s obviously backlash to having no eyebrows. I once tried to see if I could rock the thick eyebrow trend and ended up looking like I took a Sharpie and went to town. It would’ve made more sense to take two caterpillars, dye them black and glue them to my face. Hopeless. After that little test drive, I didn’t even bother with trying the contour trend, because I do not need various lawsuits thrown at me for giving random strangers PTSD. Lord knows I’m scary looking enough on a good day.
Do I have moments when I wish I was Instagram-ready at any given second, lighting and angles bedamned? Of course. But I have learned to accept the things that cannot be changed, and if I can never be a flawlessly made-up glamazon, there’s always living vicariously through Snapchat filters.