Don’t dictate to me what you think is sexy

lipstick

“You look so much sexier with your hair straight”, said my best friend’s boyfriend to me on a Monday morning in Switzerland. I wanted to take the nearest fork and lodge it in his jugular. Instead I calmly told him I could care less what he, this particularly puffed up male specimen, thought looked better or made me more desirable.

“I like it when girls don’t wear make up”/”You look better natural”/”Lipstick makes women hard to approach”/”Too much eyeliner makes you look old”/”Ponytails are sexy”/”Insert something here that men don’t/do like”.

There are literally thousands of things that guys may or may not like about a woman’s appearance. However, we have been told by society that this is something that we should care A LOT about.

Why?

Because if you’re not paying attention to what men want, you’re going to waste away alone! Become a cat lady! Go to the grocery store and buy dinner for one FOREVER! Cry to the Notebook night after night, stuffing your face with chocolate wailing because YOU DIDN’T LISTEN! You didn’t notice that Cosmopolitan put in a really awesomely helpful guide to making sure that you fit the men’s bill? Well, you better get your shit together because time’s running out!

As a young twenty-something who has spent years discovering how absolutely exhausting it is to adhere to modern beauty standards, let me tell you my end conclusion: nothing makes me feel better than when I dress for myself, and myself only. I wear old man sweaters as dresses and really bright lipstick. I like my eyebrows thick. My hair is untamed and more like a mane. I don’t wear foundation. I like it when I look like a pale corpse, and I like painting my nails grey. Because it makes me feel awesome and invincible and like I could ride a chimera into Hell and back. 

So to every single male on the planet who has ever given me “helpful” feedback I beg you to please swallow those comments and choke on them. I would rather spend my life living it being unattractive to pathetic men who think they have a right to say how we should look than be a babe. Also, I am a babe in my own awesome way, because I decided I am and nobody can take that away from me. Kate OUT!

SONY DSC

Strange Things

Whenever I’m in a store I photograph the aisles.

Whenever I do photograph an aisle, I fall in love with the symmetry and the arrangements, and how everything is at once perfect and yet chaotic. The milk jugs are all lined up, but one egg carton is open.

I also miss wandering around grocery stores. I feel as though there is such a wide variety of people always in grocery stores that it’s hard to feel out of place in them. Food, as a universal need, unites people, whether they’re lactose intolerant, Gothic, or crazy religious. They’ll all be there, picking up generic branded cereals or strange kinds of local beer. I like blending in and making up histories about the patrons.

I guess I could be nostalgic for wide grocery store aisles because soon I’ll get to be in them. The grocery stores  here are quite tiny, and usually full of bread-fighting old women, or old men who look confused (“What am I doing shopping? I am a man!”).

Coming up roses (or poppies)

This is Lugano to me. It’s slow, it’s centered towards relaxing, and it’s centered around being Italy with the gelato stands and the language and the history…but not.

Living in a place where two cultures collide and blend can still be so shocking. Every walk downtown I learn something new, every time I go grocery shopping, I don’t just grocery shop. I’m becoming part of a community, little by little. This astounds me and yet, when I think about it, I can never ever be Ticinese, or Swiss, even though I carry the Migros bag, have the train pass, and (sort of, badly) speak the language.

Now that I’m on the cusp of getting ready to flee yet another beautiful place, I’m beginning to get homesick without even knowing where my home is any longer. I can’t stand to be in my room, because all I picture is packing and turning it into a room for somebody else.

But isn’t’ that life? Just when you’re comfortable, you get thrown for a loop? While I may be moping a bit, I’m also so excited for the future at my next college. It will be the opposite of this in size, in people, in cultural backgrounds, and in goals. I’ll find a niche. Or I’ll make one. Either way, everything will turn out wonderfully, as long as I keep believing this.