Netflix and I Have No Chill
Pardon my French here, but I own 43 fucking different products solely meant to go on my face.
You know, to make it look “better.” There are cream washes, soaps, scrubs, toners, sprays, astringents, oils, serums, lotions, gels, brighteners, acne treatments, masks and peels. And let’s not forget the holiest of holies in skincare…I have multiple versions of facial sunblock, sunblock…for my face. This doesn’t even count all the primers I own. For you non-cosmetic junkies, primers are used as spackle for makeup because pores were invented by the Devil and apparently humans aren’t supposed to have pores, or blackheads. I also didn’t even count setting sprays for after I’s puts the makeup on it’s face, nor did I count makeup brush cleaning products, or makeup wipes used to take it all off three days after I put it on. I don’t dare count all the actual makeup I have.
Do you know what would make my face look better, rather than use face products? Water. Do I drink enough of it? No. Am I ever? Probably not.
Do you know what else would make me look healthier? Sleep. Do I get enough of it? Nope. Do I create a schedule that would help me get better and more sleep?
Well, as evidence of my great sleep habits; last night I stayed up watching a movie on Netflix way past my bedtime. The movie contained trailers for absolute shit horror movies from the 70’s and 80’s. That’s all it was, a movie full of previews of other movies. Granted, there was a zombie-puppet narrating various vignettes, but I hated that little shitty puppet with his shit puns about corpse girlfriends.
Anyways, there I was, watching the movie and all the previews for cheesy, shock thirsty slasher flicks. There were Nazi nymphomaniacs who killed people, cabins in woods, lots of boobs, you know, things like that. It was the run of the mill classic films. Then, they threw in one little ditty I’m still thinking about. I can’t quite say I was prepared for one preview of a “documentary” showing various murders in colonial era Africa. It was called, Africa Blood and Guts. I don’t know how much of the footage was real and I can’t bring myself to read the whole Wikipedia site on it. I think I was traumatized in a privileged and disgusting sort of way when I saw it but I did read a little bit about it. Upon further research online, I found allegations that the co-director allegedly staged a murder for the film …not like a PLAY murder where there’s fake guns and a fake dead person is filmed by FAKE NEWS, but like a REAL murder where the real film crew set up the scene and legit murdered someone murder (the co-director was later acquitted)…look…that…ish up. (Or don’t, probably don’t – if you do, and you have any humanity left in you, you’ll do what I did after witnessing the supposed real deaths of people and silently freak out for a time). I stared off into the darkness for about five minutes after the preview, and then I went into my bathroom and counted all my hygiene products. Pretty standard reaction I’d say. Did I still stay up way later than I should have, watching the rest of the horrible movie? You bet your sweet toned ass I did. That doesn’t mean I didn’t feel guilty the whole time just for being alive because I live in a country where generally people aren’t mass murdered…simply because they’re alive.
Existential crisis NOT averted, I got to thinking. I’ve spent thousands of dollars on products to make me feel younger and prettier, yet I still smoke and don’t have a 401k plan and there is genocide still happening today and even if any of the products made a difference, I still couldn’t replicate the photoshopped jobs in magazines. I’m 32 years old, but I feel, well, old. This is of course ridiculous to feel, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to feel it. I waste hours of life slathering and sloughing the skin on my face for vanity’s sake, yet right now 5,000 honor killings happen a year worldwide. Also, I suspect I have gingivitis from too much smoking and using chewing tobacco. I don’t have an adult around to tell me to brush my teeth so instead I go about my day occasionally spitting out blood from swollen gums as I wail about being single. I know, I have it so rough.
After the inventory I got mad. I have an entire bathroom closet stocked with hygiene items and it doesn’t make any sense.
Do any of these washes and lotions actually work? I dun no’. Am I going to use it all up? Probably not, but I’m going to pretend I’m going to. Before any one thing even has a chance to “work” or run out, I buy something else. Just recently, I bought a three-piece set of face wash, toner and moisturizer…from Family Dollar.
“Oooo, only five bucks,” I squealed. How could that not be a deal? IT HAD RETINOLS YA’LL!!!
“But it’s from Family Dollar,” is what I should have said.
Here I am though. I’m whining that I have too much “stuff,” and can’t stop buying “stuff” and it makes me feel bad. I can’t guess how many “haul” videos I’ve watched of beauty bloggers screaming about all the new products they bought at Ulta or Sephora.
What’s that you say, 21 million people worldwide are trapped in modern-day slavery, 4.2 million of them being sexually exploited? Not in Indiana, I thought. Oh lookie here at this: in 2015, 53 cases of sex trafficking have been reported in Indiana. I could say, “well, that’s not that big of a number…oh what’s that you say, in 2016 it was 86?” Well shit, that’s not good, it’s just getting worse while I shop at Lush. One single child or person being forced to perform sex acts would be one too many, but there’s 86 here.
I know, I know, I thought I was just here to talk about skin care too. Maybe not.
Maybe this is the point though. I initially started this post because I couldn’t believe I had 43 face products, that’s it, no other agenda in the beginning. I didn’t connect seeing the horrible preview of atrocities in Africa, with then taking stock of all the crap I owned. Now that I think about it, I realized I’ve become angry that I’ve fallen into the trap of worrying about how I look, hence spending all my time and money on ways to improve my appearance. I’ve spent so much time on decluttering and getting rid of things. I thought I was making conscious decisions on buying things, turns out that might not be the case.
Look, I completely understand how self-confidence and self-esteem are big ones on the list to nail down. When you think you look good, you feel good, when you feel good, you do good, when you do good, others do better. This is the cycle of motherfucking life.
This hoarding of beauty products is a whole other thing though. My social media feed is jacked with articles about Me Time, beauty rituals, and yoga exercises to open up my yani while I have a jade egg shoved in there. All this “self-care” shpealy stuff can only take me so far though. Yes, it’s absolutely important to do things for yourself to show that you love yourself, like baths and smelly oils and twinkle lights and candles placed just so. Mental health tips, I got them. I got them all. I got it so much that I’m sure I could write for Huffington Post on how to be the number one love of my own life. It’s not enough though. This whole loving myself hasn’t been doing the trick when it comes to genuinely feeling good. All the coconut oil in the world can’t make me feel like a good human being.
I had to ask myself, “What DOES make me feel like a good human being?”
Well, it isn’t using wrinkle cream. It isn’t having a guy give me a second glance because my eyebrows are on point. It isn’t annihilating all signs of age. It so isn’t watching real deaths in movies. There’s a lot that I do that doesn’t make me feel like a good person. I’m tired.
So, I feel like a good person when I look at or talk to someone else and I see the crinkle lines next to their eyes pull back because they’re smiling. I feel like a good person by listening when someone tells me they’re not ok, and I tell them neither am I sometimes, but we can be not ok together. I feel like a good person when I pick up a phone call from a friend and they make me snort giggle with a three-legged dog story. I feel like a good person when I cheer mom on when she gets a Jeopardy question right. I feel like a good person when I care.
I think I got wrapped up in beauty trends for a lot of the same reasons as everyone else. It’s streaked past us continuously in ads because the people who make those ads need to eat too. For so long I thought I’d get everything I wanted if I just fell in line and bought all the things. I’ve been under the impression that the next moisturizer was going to turn all the crap around. Nah, no thanks, I don’t believe that anymore. I’m out. I’m done holding out hope that another bottle of something is going to make me feel good.
At times, I found it hard to care about anything because it made me feel like I had to care about everything. Maybe I just have to choose that something a little more carefully. I don’t know when that’s going to happen though. I thought about rewatching the documentary Minimalism, but instead I chose some horror movie with Henry Rollins in it…meh.