Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Life in a Red State

I won't get too political with this because frankly, politics has a tendency to either bore me to tears or make me unbelievably mad. I consider myself in the "middle of the road." My friends are typically extremely liberal (I did get a degree in a liberal art, after all) while my family tends to be extremely conservative (I live in Alabama, was raised in Mississippi, and the rest of them live in Texas), so it isn't much of a surprise that I've been influenced by both sides. Generally, I consider politics to be a personal thing and therefore, should be kept private.

However, a very good friend and I were having coffee the other day and he brought something up that has stuck with me. This matter involves the role of women in today's society. Let me just state here and for the record that I do not consider myself a feminist or an anti-feminist. I'm just a young woman of the 21st century.

This friend of mine, most definitely a liberal and damn proud of it, brought to my attention the fact that women in the south tend to believe that the man is the head of the household, women should be stay-at-home moms, and most certainly shouldn't hold the position of president. Initially, I totally balked at this idea. In my eyes, southern women have always been strong equals in the relationship. Toting guns and hunting by their husband's side. However, I now realize that this is simply the women in my life. I come from a hearty stock of strong willed females who aren't afraid to make themselves heard.

The more I think about it, the more I've realized that my friend is right. Women in the south get married younger and start families much earlier than in the rest of the nation. Seriously, it's true. Google it. This friend told me a story about hanging out with an ex-girlfriend and all of her conservative friends. They were discussing Hilary Clinton and how inappropriate it was for her to be running for president . . . because she has a vagina!

Granted, I would not have voted for Hilary, but I guarantee you it would not have been because of her hoo-ha. I'm still having such a hard time coming to terms with the fact that females in my own town believe that they have no right to run for office. Or to a fulfilling career outside of the family life.

I'm not saying that being a stay-at-home mom isn't a fulfilling career. I certainly believe it is, and I'm certain that it is hard, back-breaking work. My own mother stayed at home with me while my dad brought home the bacon. I assure you, however, that my mother did most of the work and I certainly didn't make it easy for her.

The trouble I have with all of this, is that these women think it's their place. It is their life's mission to find a husband and pop out some kiddies. What's the deal with that? Just because you have a vagina and the ability to bear children, doesn't mean that you are incapable of other fulfilling things. Read a book, ladies! Get inspired to be more than attracting a husband and bearing babies! Do something for you!

And then there is this issue of the man being the head of the household. I'm sorry, the 1950s called and they would like their mindset back. This is 2013, people. There is no room here for backwards thinking! How many Queens have ruled over England successfully? How many of them have done so more successfully than the Kings? All of them. There are female leaders across the globe. Why are southern women stuck in the past? It's doing absolutely nothing but proving to the rest of the world that we (as in the south, in general) are backwards hicks that should be missing teeth and wearing overalls. Cue the Deliverance music, please.

If you want to kill a stereotype, disprove it. I am a southern woman. I am educated. I am single. I am not desperately seeking a husband. I am not in a rush to pop out babies. I think women make fine leaders. And I believe a successful relationship requires equality and respect.

Now, I will step off of my soap box. =]

-xx-

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Importance of Being Moisturized

So first and foremost I should probably explain my skin woes. They aren't exactly "woes" as I've been lucky enough to have pretty decent skin my whole life with an occasional spot here and there. Rather, I should be saying "skin concerns." When I was younger I had a much milder case of your typical teen sebum-slicking face. Thankfully mine happened to be sans cystic acne (my skin has always favored getting those horrid under-the-skin bumps which are much easier to camouflage, but hurt like a motherbitch) and high on the shine. If only there was a way to harvest that oil and use it to power vehicles. Whoa. That's a fantastic idea. Is that possible? Where there's a will there's a way, right? I've got dibs on this idea! Dibs, dibs, dibs all over the place... I digress.

Nowadays, my skin has done a one-eighty in terms of its behavior. It still gets temperamental at times and pops up with a spot and gets shiny towards the end of the day (except that my eyelids are still forever an oil slick - good for aging, bad for eyeshadow. Primer is my best friend!) but I'm fairly certain that happens to us all. But the majority of the time, I don't really have any "woes" to complain about. My "concerns" however, lay within the fact that, fight it and deny it as I might, I am still getting older. 

With age comes two things. One good. One bad. Both starting with the letter 'W.'

Wisdom. Aaaaaand... WRINKLES!! Ohhhhh nooooo, Charlie!

So I'm most concerned with the prevention of these little bastards. My first sign of aging has showed itself in the guise of dehydration almost a year ago. I noticed that even though I was moisturizing my skin like I would normally - the same way I've been doing since I was 16 - my skin would get oily, but start flaking, too. I was flabbergasted. It was a paradox. Oily skin that flaked? How was that possible?  

Thus began my hunt for the proper skincare. My search began with Google which led me to YouTube and a time warpish black hole that led to me discovering Vivianna Does Makeup (who I still adore and follow religiously. the girl is a goldmine of knowledge and wonderful advice) and she linked me over to Caroline Hirons, who I have worshiped ever since. She is my skincare Yoda. Seriously. This lady knows her shiz. And she tells it in a no-frills attitude. I love it.

And while my first product in the fight with my aging skin was not a recommendation by my Yoda, it was inspired by her advice on how to combat dehydrated skin. So I popped over to my local Ulta and dropped a cool $40 on this little ditty below.

Source

I had read some good reviews and it boasted a "tri-radiance complex" that would pump up the water reserves. Good things for dehydrated skin, so I felt positive that this would be my answer. And I was right. At least for a while. I am now nearing the bottom of my second jar. That's right, I liked it so nice - I bought it twice! 

However, for some unknown reason I'm beginning to react poorly to this. I'm also just plum fed-up with the smell. Initially the smell was pleasant and relaxing, but now I'm beginning to find it over-powering and obnoxious. It has also begun making my eyes burn and water like crazy. I don't understand why this has started to happen, and it makes me sad because I really did like the way it made my skin feel. Just plump and moist and glowy. It's quite a lovely product, I just wish it came in an unscented version as I'm fairly certain its the fragrance I'm reacting to. 

Perhaps I should add sensitivity to my skin concerns now? Is this my newest sign of aging? Oh jeez, it just never stops, does it?!

So my hunt for a new night cream begins! Got any suggestions?!

-xx-