The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. IX: Body Image

Hey, what’s up. Haven’t seen you around these parts in a while. Oh, me? Not much. Blogging at Beautylish; they pay me. I don’t see you writing me any checks, okay? Gosh.

Come back! I was just kidding. Here, have another The Fuck is on Your Face. I love you. I mean. I like- Unless you… Okay, yeah. No, totally.

Sorry about me. So I asked another dude friend to write one of these, and this is what he gave me. I don’t think he understood the assignment, but it made me laugh, so read it:

Here is a conversation that has never happened: 

Dude: Yo, didn’t you have a date last night?

Bro: Yeah.

Dude: With that girl from the thing?

Bro: Yeah.

Dude: How’d it go?

Bro: Good.

Dude: Yeah?

Bro: Yeah.

Dude: Face?

Bro: Cute.

Dude: Yeah?

Bro: Yeah. Very face-fuckable. Big eyes, big lips, button nose.

Dude: Body?

Bro: Bangin’.

Dude: Yeah?

Bro: Yeah. Great rack, flat stomach, ass you could bounce a quarter off.

Dude: Nice.

Bro: Yeah. Except…

Dude: What?

Bro: Well, her elbows.

Dude: What about them?

Bro: They were too… sharp.

Dude: Oh, yeah. I know what you mean. I hate that, too.

Bro: Yeah. I don’t think it’s going to work out.

Dude: I hear you. That’s a dealbreaker.

Bro: Total dealbreaker.

Dude: Shame.

Bro: Yeah.

Some bros

Some bros

It’s been said a million times: we all have our imperfections, things we don’t like about our bodies. In our world of glossy dual-page spreads and celebrity idolatry, those imperfections—the things, as it’s been said a million times, that make us human—inevitably merge with what we dislike about ourselves and become the very things we cover up, disguise, minimize, lament.

I once heard Natalie Portman bemoan her sort-of sideways-looking ears in a DVD commentary voiceover. Natalie Portman. A woman whose beauty The New Yorker’s Anthony Lane once described as “so disabling that you should not attempt to drive or operate heavy machinery for twelve hours after viewing (her).” A good friend of mine who is by all accounts gorgeous remains as self-conscious about her large hands and feet at age 30—her birthday was last month—as she has been her whole life. I’ve tried to reassure her that men complain as often about big feet as they do about sharp elbows—to no avail.

Me, I’ve never worried all that much. And trust me, it’s not because I don’t have my fair share of asymmetries, blemishes, and peculiar nipplage. I guess I’ve always just had bigger problems to worry about.

Lately, however, when my obsessive-compulsiveness (one such bigger problem, incidentally) has flared up and rendered me particularly obsessive and/or compulsive, I’ve taken note for the first time of all the imperfections I previously merely noticed. My response has been neither lamentation nor the happy acceptance the same beauty magazines that airbrush their models exhort their readers to feel (“Embrace your curves!” and the like). Rather, I’d classify my reaction as one of… let’s call it amused curiosity. I look at my nipples and think, “Damn, that’s some fucked up shit right there. Nice going, Dad.” I suppose I view my nipples as proof that nature has a sense of humor.

Here is further proof:

    • When I urinate, it comes out in a spiral. I shit you not. (I piss you not?…) It’s true that once it hits the toilet bowl (or misses), it has already normalized into what I presume is the more traditional “taut spaghetti” form. But right out of the eye, it’s shaped like a helix, and it’s been like that as long as I can remember.
    • I have freakishly large pupils. An ophthalmologist once told me I had the biggest pupils he’d ever seen, which is akin to having the largest feet a podiatrist has ever handled, or the most delicious vagina Michael Douglas has ever tasted. In other words, it’s saying something. Anyway, we all know what they say about guys with big pupils… That’s right: they have terrible red-eye in photos. I’m not the most photogenic person to begin with; eyes that glow like tale lights don’t help the cause. It’s ridiculous, really. If you were to look through my old photo albums, as I do whenever my unnecessarily dilated pupils don’t prevent it, you would find dozens of group shots of me with the people in my life. There—those are my family and friends, smiling and presenting as normal, happy people. And that there—that’s me, with my arms around them, looking like the spawn of Satan himself.
    • My fourth toes curl under my third. That may seem impossible given the mechanics of upright locomotion, and you’d think the same thing were you to see my toes (be thankful you haven’t). But there’s really no better way to describe it: each of my fourth toes doglegs inward and slips neatly under the middle of each third toe. And the only effect it’s had on my locomotion is on the shape of my footprints. Apparently the condition is genetic: my paternal grandmother’s toes did the same thing.
    • I can turn my tongue upside down. This is another one I’ve heard is genetic. (My dad can do it; my mom cannot.) I can only flip it clockwise, though, and it’s far less exciting than the cherry stem thing (which my sister can do).
Because.

Because.

    • When I cross my legs, man-style (i.e., ankle on knee), I can only go left over right. I assume this is a flexibility issue as opposed to a genetic one, but the disparity between the two positions is extreme. It’s not so much a preference as a physical limitation. I literally cannot put my right ankle on my left thigh without lifting it with both hands and then simultaneously pushing down on my right knee with my elbows. Maybe yoga would help. There it is: that’s my New Year’s resolution for 2017.
    • My left nut hangs lower than my right. I am pretty sure yoga will not fix this, but I’m not overly concerned, since apparently most men suffer from some asymmetry on one side or the other. (Yes, I looked it up.) (What, like you wouldn’t have?) My own discrepancy seems to be rather extreme, however, and widening every year. By 2019, when I have that right-over-left thing mastered, my left testis will be bouncing off the sidewalk. On the bright side, it’s a well-known fact that left-nutted people boast superior quantitative and spatial skills. I credit the 800 I got on my Math SAT to my testicular imbalance.
    • There’s a strange hair that grows out of my stomach, at the bottom left can in my six-pack. It’s all alone and perfectly white and longer and finer than any other strand on my body (or head, for that matter). It’s at least an inch, I’d say. And whenever I pluck it out, boing!—it sprouts back at some random time, seemingly to full length overnight. I’m looking at it now, as I type this, and wondering if perhaps I should leave it alone this time, if it might not be a source of some power I just haven’t harnessed yet.
    • I cannot straighten my pinky fingers. When I hold out my hands in front of me, as flat as they will go, the pinkies remain slightly bent at the first joints, forming perfectly imperfect 170-degree angles.
    • My left ear sticks out farther than my right. I noticed this particular irregularity a while ago, but it didn’t occur to me until a few years ago what probably caused it: sleeping on my right side my whole life. As resilient as the human body is—I assume it does what it can to maintain maximal symmetry—20-plus years of eight-hour load-bearing sessions will do that to a flab of cartilage. When I realized my sleeping habits were to blame, I immediately attempted to reverse two decades of misbalancing sleep habits by trying to fall asleep on my left side. And because I actually prefer the aesthetics of my somnambulantly altered ear—the “natural” one sticks out too much—sleeping on my left side into the mid-2030s would actually create an artificial symmetry more handsome than the original. Plastic surgery without the cost or bandages. It doesn’t seem to be working yet, but I’m hoping that will change. My toes are crossed.

So there you have it. Yours truly—in both senses of the word—warts and imbalances and freakish disfigurations and all.

Now it’s your turn. I hope you’ve read this and become inspired to catalog and then reveal your own endearing deformities. Be loud! Be proud! Strip down and take inventory at the busiest intersection in your hometown. Sing the list from the top of your apartment building. Take him through your top five on your next first date. Or, at the least, anonymously post a few of them in a comment below.

The readers of this blog might respond by growing brave themselves, and it could snowball into some revolutionary sociological experiment that eventually puts every glossy beauty magazine out of business. That’s what my magic stomach hair is telling me, anyway.

The author (visual approximation)

The author (visual approximation)

M. Lane Stevens (which I told him was the most boring pseudonym ever to which he responded “I have my reasons” [which I suspect means he’s Catfishing someone] and then proceeded to make fun of my boring-ass white girl name [RUDE]) is a writer who honestly has much better hair than this picture would indicate. 

I will not be publishing my list. It’s too long. I do have remarkably un-sharp elbows, though, so I have that going for me.

Mom, sorry there’s a penis on my blog.

The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. VIII: Bronze Lies

Once again, we bring you the feature wherein Dudes Talk Out of Their Asses on Makeup. Todd has some words on bronzer. We recommend clicking the links. Go on. Do it. 

There is a tone of discouragement running through this series like a seam of mold in a block of bleu cheese.  That ain’t me.  I’m the curd and I’m here to say, “You go girl!”

I have been raised almost entirely among men.  I have two brothers, no sisters.  Of my 12 cousins there is one girl, a tomboy 20 years younger than me.  I went to Catholic school, where the girls are able to grow their mustaches before the boys.  I have paid the same attention to my sundry lady friends’ beauty routines as they have the fluctuations in the roster of the New York Knicks.  The result?  You have me totally fooled.  Makeup, hair tricks, perfumes.  I actually believe this is how you look and smell.  I am content to assume that female tear ducts secrete eye liner, their pores the scent of lilacs and lavender or whatever.

There is one thing that does not fool me: bronzer.  I am pale by birth (Nordic stock) and by lifestyle.  I don’t climb mountains for a living; I sit at a desk and write beauty articles for a law firm.  I realize how hard it can be to incite melanin production.  That said, I have had visions of the future and they concern me.  I feel duty bound to reveal them here.  You won’t find this information anywhere else.

Based on my desire to take this article where I want it to go, beauty trends have a way of pushing the envelope, finding extremes and going beyond to magnificent new frontiers in the field of good looks.  Today, you ladies are using bronzer.  The Arms Race and Space Race each escalated exponentially.  The Face Race will be no different.  Before too long, a simple coating of light orange will not be enough.  Soon to follow will be the new product, bronzest.  Taking note of the Olympian ideal, we know bronze is trumped only by silver and gold.  Now look, I like Star Trek probably more than the next guy.  I could get down with robo-chicks.  But ladies, you’re not robots.  All that fucking paint is gonna get everywhere, more specifically all over my stuff.  I just washed these sheets fer chrissakes.  And you’re already beautiful the way Jesus and Buddha made you: with your blue shaded eye spaces and perfectly arched eyebrows, the way light catches your permanently flushed cheeks.  You works of art, you.

Seconds before bursting into flames.

This is the first we’ve heard of Todd’s supersecret beauty/law job. Also, he is a doublespacer. The world should know. 

Ah, bronzer. At best, it can make you look vibrant and healthy. At worst, it can make you look like a Jersey Shore cast member’s pillowcase (are we still making those references? whatever, I’m doing it).

Easy, no-muss bronzing: find a finely-milled matte bronzer and apply with a fan brush. The sparseness of the fan brush’s bristles will ensure a sheer, idiot-proof wash of color (idiot). Bronzing can not only save a too-light foundation application, it can contour your face as well. Apply on high planes of the face where the sun would naturally hit (forehead, nose, cheekbones, a tiny bit on the chin). For contouring, brush into temples, the hollow space under your cheekbones, and under your jawline. You can also brush it over your collarbone and shoulders for a nice sun-kissed glow. As always, don’t forget to blend that shit.

The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. VII: Hair! The Musical

Today’s post comes to us from my hilarious friend Mike.

I want to talk about hair, if I may. Here’s the executive summary, for you busy types: Your hair looks great! You don’t need to stress out about it so much! Also, don’t sear your boyfriends.

I know a girl who dyed her hair professionally, several times in succession, each time with an imperceptibly different shade. “It’s too dark, now it’s too light, now I’m just complaining to be difficult”, etc. I totally understand the desire to have awesome hair, but chances are you have it already. Maybe spend that time and energy solving crimes with your dog or something.

Similarly, what’s with all the straightening and curling? Your hair is perfect how it is! Is it a grass is always greener situation? More importantly, let’s not overlook the psychologically (and possibly physically) scarring aspect of the apparati required. I know, I know, this fine blog advises care and not-dumbness to avoid accidents, but what about those of us who aren’t manning the helm? I don’t put razor blades in your salad or piranhas in your bubble bath, so please think of all the burgeoning hand modeling careers out there before leaving these sinister instruments lying around.

P.S. Can someone explain hair extensions to me? How are these socially acceptable but toupees are frowned upon? Why not just grow more hair? It’s not hard – lounging around and eating cheetos will get the job done.

This is a man who knows a little something about hair, ladies.

Mike was gracious enough to take time away from his hand-modeling career for this post. We are immensely grateful that he used those beautiful specimens to type something out for us. 

The author of this blog confesses to constant hair appraisal. Ever since an impulsive decision made in the sweltering wasteland of Brooklyn two summers ago to chop it all off, my hair has been creeping its way back to its former glory in a painfully slow manner. I’ll admit to a brief flirtation with extensions, but that got weird real fast when they started falling out of my head in the most inconvenient of places (“Oh, that? That’s just my spare moustache. No, I’m not diseased.”). I am not gentle enough to care for such temperamental things on my head. This is why we can’t have nice things.

Then there was the Blonde Phase (unfortunately immortalized in the otherwise awesome headshot for this blog), and, well, now it’s just never the right color. Like Mike’s friend fretted, “Now it’s too dark, now it’s too light.” Imperceptible to the casual observer, I’m told. At any given moment, there are two or three things I’d like to do to my hair. Right now? It’s a body wave and a demi-gloss. Never satisfied.

What about you? Is somebody else’s hair always greener?

The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. V: At First Blush

Drew is a playwright and wordsmith and an all-around fantastic human being; you know, one of those friends you adore but never get to see because they’re across the country? He had a few words to say on the subject of blush:

In a nutshell: let’s try to avoid a Raggedy Ann situation here.

Blush is tough for me because it’s a type of makeup that doesn’t intend to really blend into the skin, or emphasize naturally-occurring lines. Although it can effectively mimic what your face might look like if you’ve just accidentally crotch-flashed a foreign dignitary, let’s not be mistaken here: it’s artifice. And because of this, and how prominently it changes one’s entire appearance, no makeup mistake raises my eyebrow more than an over-rouge-ing.

As far as more “experimental” tones of blush go, I say: huh? Let’s keep in mind what we’re trying to improve here: a woman’s face. There’s nothing more exquisite in the world than a woman’s face. If you held up a woman’s face next to an assortment of, like, colors, guess what I’d be most interested in? Yup, the goddamn woman’s face.

So for the love of all things sacred, please don’t go all Rothko on those cheeks.

Aw geez, Drew. Flattery will get you everywhere (as will a good art reference).

I’ll admit to not being a huge blush user. I’m not sure why, exactly. It’s a lovely concept; it certainly can look very fresh and pretty. I guess it’s just one of those things I forget to wear. I’m more of a bronzer person, and only then to warm up my complexion if I feel a bit pale or I got some unexpected sun on the rest of my body (high planes of the face where the sun would hit) or to contour (slightly darker bronzer applied with an angled brush in the hollows of the cheeks under cheekbones). My favorite bronzers are Hoola ($28) and Smashbox Halo ($39) — both matte and very natural. A couple of great bronzer/blush multitaskers are Smashbox Fusion Soft Lights ($30) and Too Faced’s Caribbean in a Compact in Snow Bunny ($29), though both have some shimmer to them. If I am using blush by itself, I’ll generally go with worldwide favorite Nars Orgasm ($28, and also available in a split compact with Laguna, a soft matte bronzer), or Benefit Dandelion ($28) for more of an ethereal, subtle glow. If you’re looking for a foolproof way to pick a color, try pinching your cheeks (old beauty magazine trick) and pick a color similar to your natural flush. And make sure you pay attention to the level of shimmer in the product — a little can bring out your cheekbones, but too much can make you look like a disco ball. Check yourself out in direct sunlight to be sure.

When it comes to choosing a brush, just remember: the denser the bristles, the more color they will pick up and deposit on your face. The lightest, most subtle brush you can use is the fan brush. Apples of the cheeks are a good place to start, but you can experiment with different planes of your face for different effects. When in doubt, just smile and apply along the part that bulges out most (heh).

As always, just make sure you blend the shit out of it (for the record, I do not want this written on my gravestone). 

We can’t all have Drew’s natural healthy flush (also pictured: me and my bronzer habit).

I hijacked this bio from MTV Voices, where Drew sometimes writes:

Drew Paryzer (a.k.a. Andrés, אַבְרָהָם, ட்ரூ, and Shnookums) is a playwright, journalist, couch-surfing traveler, pun-lover, reflective listener, and heat-seeking missile.

He thinks he might have discovered the meaning of life looking into a pond one time, but then he had to start paying rent. Wrested out of Hebrew day school in Miami at a young age, reared with saxophone and Super Mario in the Rocky Mountains, and raised in South India, South America, and at Sarah Lawrence College, Drew now lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. and has little idea what the hell is going on in this world until he starts writing about it. He once tried to climb up a palm tree and uprooted the thing. He’s mostly convinced that we’re all becoming cyborgs. Follow him on Twitter; you’ll be glad you did.

The Fuck is On Your Face? Vol. IV: The Insidious Bobby Pin

Today’s post comes from Kai, a grade school friend of mine who consistently cracks everyone up on Facebook. That’s about the only qualification I need to pester someone into writing something for me.

Ladies, I would like to take this opportunity to address the issue of bobby pins because it’s something of an epidemic. You leave those damned things absolutely everywhere. On my dresser. In the sink. Under the couch. In my refrigerator. They’re litter, like cigarette butts or used needles. Oh look — the cat just choked to death on one. Fantastic.

Here’s a list of things that I hate finding in my apartment:
1. Fire 2. Bobby Pins 3. Meth Addicts 4. Dead Cats

I imagine you must distribute them about the room like Johnny Fucking Appleseed when I’m not looking, because they always end up in new and surprising places. It’s ridiculous. Something rattling around in my laptop? Bobby pin. Pointy thing in my shoe? Bobby pin. Weird thing in my teeth after hooking up with you? Motherfucking bobby pin!

Kai, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: it’s not an epidemic, it’s a conspiracy. That’s all I’m at liberty to say.

Speaking of conspiracies, bobby pin users, did you know that the correct way to wear bobby pins is with the wavy side down and the flat side up? The wavy part is designed to grip your hair. Betcha didn’t know that, did you. Betcha didn’t think you came to this entry to get your mind blown, did you. BAM: schooled.

I spent entirely too long trying to figure out if those were eyebrows. Still confused.

Campbell out.

The face of a man who has clearly just sat on a bobby pin.

The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. II: Clownface

This installment of The Fuck is on Your Face? is no laughing matter (sorry I said that). Our friend Weinberger cautions:

Remember that makeup is supposed to enhance how you look naturally, not give you a whole new look entirely. If I wanted to get involved with somebody who permanently lived under layers and layers of makeup, I would have run away with Ronald McDonald back in ’95. Ah, regret.

Ladies, put down the eyeliner.

Most of the boys I talked to seemed preoccupied with this “clown makeup” idea. They all seem to think we’re just one coat shy of some kind of Pennywise situation. But underneath all the clown panic, we see their point. Everyday makeup should enhance what you’ve got, not cover up your real face. Define your eyes, even out your skin tone, brighten the lips, give yourself a nice glow; yeah totally. But wouldn’t it suck to be rendered unrecognizable if you got caught in some kind of torrential downpour?

That said, you can pry my waterproof mascara out of my cold dead hands. My blonde-tipped eyelashes are for my genetically inferior-lashed eyes only.

Weinberger. And now we know what Coulrophilia means, and we’re blaming him. Don’t Google that. Trust us. 

Mr. Weinberger himself. Coincidence? You be the judge.

The Fuck is on Your Face? Vol. I: That Zombie Allure

Welcome to the first volume of The Fuck is on Your Face?; a feature where I ask my guy friends to talk about makeup. Our first entry comes courtesy of a gentleman who wishes to be referred to as is totally named Trent Melchiorre. Trent, in his typical brief fashion, says:

I have little opinion on makeup. It makes people prettier (PC? fuck you). I’m a little tight that I can’t get in on that. Foundation smells terrible and looks suffocating, and eyeliner is my second favorite thing.

We actually have photographic evidence on hand to support Mr. Melchiorre’s latter claim:

He’s fine.

Which, naturally, prompted our following exchange:

At least we know we’ll be employable during the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

As a dude, I too would be “tight” that it’s not entirely socially acceptable yet to get in on the beautifying properties of makeup. For all its opportunities for entertainment and self-expression, you know you’re gonna get a big zit right before a first date and it sure is nice to know you can just cover that sucker up. Are you a guy who uses concealer? Weigh in in the comments.

Mr. Melchiorre currently resides in New York, where he is a Serious Actor for the love of his craft and not at all because he likes wearing stage makeup. He wouldn’t tell us what his first favorite thing is, so we assume it’s lip gloss.