Scrubbin’, waxin’, workin’ it

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or is it in the bottles in your bathroom closet?

Let me tell you a secret: there is much more to beauty than makeup. Manipulation starts way before that and can be very subtle. I never took part in the madness, unti I recently discovered that actually, I do…

You see, on thing that makes you really pretty, is a flawless skin. That is something you can barely fake with foundation and concealer. The best way to have a flawless skin, is to just have it. How? Well, you should ask someone else for good information, because I don’t have a flawless skin. I do use a peeling with dead sea minerals from Obey Your Body, and that stuff is good. It takes of the dead skin without it feeling like you are rubbing sand on your face. The skin on my nose had the tendency to look aggressive, but that really improved with this peeling.

I use a body scrub as well, though I don’t really see the effect of that one. Your skin feels a little softer, but it doesn’t seem to have a spectacular effect. You never know though, I believe it’s a healthy thing to do still.

A flawless skin also means without hair, if you think of legs. And so the adventure with pink wax starts… It hurts a little, doesn’t rip out everything, but in the end the effect seems to last quite a while. Thank god. There seems to be a new ‘movement’ of women not shaving their legs. Though I think it’s very freeing, I can’t bring myself to doing it. Having soft legs is something I do for myself too.

via 9gag

via 9gag

There are also even more subtle beauty tricks than these. I started polishing my finger nails – not with nail polish. Together with the Obey Your Body peeling we got a sort of cube. You have to rub three sides of it on your finger nail, however that may seem, and then your finger nails will shine. Very subtle, but it does look good. No shiny nail polish needed. It makes your finger nails look very clean.

And then there is the hair mask from Lush. It promises to ‘light up’ your hair, if you have blonde hair. I’ve always been blonde, but it gets darker every year, and I don’t like this evolution. So I am trying to light up my hair. It does seem to have a paler, lighter shine, so I believe it works. Of course it doesn’t turn you into a bleached blonde, but okay, the product never said it would do such magic tricks.

So you see, I’m guilty of manipulation you wouldn’t even notice when you see me. Of course I can’t live without makeup either, without mascara I don’t have eyes and I like some soft glitter as well, but that is manipulation you can trace. I don’t think all the products mentioned above are makeup, but they have a good effect and make you shine more. Shining is nice.
It does take some time,but not as much as it may sound, luckily. Shining isn’t as far away as it may seem!

So, is beauty in the eye of the beholder, or in the peeling/scrub/nail polisher/… in your bathroom closet?
Probably in both…

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To Curve or Not To Curve

Last week I got to hear that I look so thin three times. It had been a long time again since I got to hear this. When I was younger, I was used to these remarks. People also asked me if I even eat. Yes, I do. I’ve got friends who sometimes forget to eat, but I can’t do that. I need my food, every two hours if possible. Otherwise my stomach starts to growl and that’s embarrassing. I like to eat. It shouldn’t be the finest, best thing I’ve ever eaten. Give me French fries and I’m one happy girl.

I just have amazing genes. For those who don’t believe it exists: it does! I’m certainly not the kind of person who is capable of dieting. I can’t say no to things I want, unless they really harm me or something. I’m one of the few lucky girls who can eat literally everything and don’t get fat. The downside to that is that people think I cannot judge other people. ‘You’re not fat!’ ‘You can’t judge that, you’re thin’. Plus the remarks on how thin you look. I mean, I know they don’t mean that in a bad way, but it kind of gives the impression that you don’t look good. Thin people could have anorexia. Thin people could be sick. Naturally thin is not often seen as a real option. I don’t think I look sick though. For a long time I was even convinced I had muscular legs. Then I saw a picture of me and thought ‘oh… they are thin indeed’. They are muscular though. Without muscles they would look scary indeed.

I’m not sick and yes, I eat. I’m lucky to have a body like this. I’m happy with that. But then, there are always people who say that real women have curves. So you’re not a good woman when you don’t have curves. Honestly I think this is made up by people who were in fact jealous but didn’t want to admit it and then tried to make non-curvy women the bad ones. So yeah, apparently I’m not a real woman. You can not be thin and curvy, unless you’ve been cut in and filled up with nasty stuff. The people who say that often pretend to be those who defend the ‘real beauty’ thing. You know, ‘all women are beautiful! Because real women have curves!’ Eh, yeah right. This curves thing also serves as an excuse to be overweight sometimes. Most people don’t think that is attractive, simply because it’s not healthy. People fall for healthy looking people, with good teeth, good skin and shiny hair. Healthy people can reproduce, and that’s the whole point. This is why obesitas isn’t considered beautiful. This is also why very thing people aren’t considered attractive. But now I’m speaking of the really sick ones or those with an eating disorder (because I really hope I’m attractive of course!).

Real women can be curvy or not curvy at all. The form of your body doesn’t make you ‘real’ or ‘not real’. Stop trying to force a new beauty ideal upon us this way. What is truly important is being healthy and happy and NOT trying to look like the ideal people try to force upon you.

A Perfect Woman

A perfect woman should be …

1. Elegant, like a dancer.

This is a picture of Gelsey Kirkland, and to me it shows the ultimate elegance a ballerina can have. The long neck, the neat hair, the attitude… Dancers have a specific way of moving. Every tiny step is filled with a kind of attitude that you barely see anywhere else.

In this video, you can see the extremely graceful Altynai Asylmuratova dancing one of the most beautiful variations in ballet history. And yes, enthusiasm sort of takes over… What I mean to say though, is that she is so elegant though she is standing on her toes – which isn’t quite what toes are meant for. Dancers know how to move their body, there is some kind of harmony in their movements which requires ages of training. But in the end, they rock this elegance like no one else.

 

2. Somewhat cheeky, like Anne Boleyn.

Because, admit it, she’s got fire. The look in her eyes, the way she moves, what man could resist that? But it’s something you can’t really fake. If you do so, you will look a bit ridiculous, unfortunately. I guess it’s something you either have or don’t have. She’s got it, and every woman wants it too. And it’s not about being really brutal or saying ‘let’s skip the conversation, where’s your bed?’. This is about something in your movements that is subtle and at the same obvious enough. After all, you want someone to get your message while not looking like a slut.

 

3. Dignified, like Queen Elizabeth.

Apparently the Tudors-era is a good source of inspiration if you’re looking for virtues. Like Queen Elizabeth, I consider it to be a good thing to have this poker face and majestic behaviour. She’s not controlled by emotions, she’s not embarrassed, she is the Queen and she knows it. It demands a kind of strength, a kind of view on the world to establish this. But I think it’s really important to sometimes feel this majestic. You should always have this sense of dignity, otherwise you’ll just become a woman who doesn’t care about what she looks like and how she behaves. But that won’t get you much respect… Just don’t be afraid to have class. It’s totally okay.

 

4. Able to party well, like a Gatsby Girl.

Because seriously, those parties over at Gatsby’s looked amazing! All glittery and glamorous, good-looking people and dancing until the sun comes up again. Isn’t that the most wonderful party you can imagine? Those people knew how to throw a party and have fun. The fact that there’s a tragic story behind all these wild events isn’t important. What matters is that from time to time, you’d better have a drink and fun. You can’t be a pokerfacing queen all the time…

 

5. Intriguing, like a mermaid.

This video is from the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It’s probably not very hard to be intriguing when you’re in fact just swimming around naked, but still, these mermaids have something that makes you interested. Especially with that voice… Hypnotic to say at least. They could make you do everything, and you will never fathom them. Which makes them all the more attractive I guess.

 

6. Real, like you and me.

The best part of great women is the fact that they exist. Perfection is nowhere to be found, but I still believe it’s better to find/be a nearly perfect real woman than a non-existing perfect woman. Being real is a big deal. Rhyme not intended.

So, this is my view on what a perfect woman would more or less look like. This is mainly meant as a source of inspiration (and an excuse to share some great videos). I’m not even close to perfect, no one is, but everyone’s got something that makes him/her great, right? Which doesn’t mean you can’t be inspired by some good examples. Therefore this post.

Feel free to add something, or to disagree!

“Dance is the hidden language of the soul” ― Martha Graham

Just one second in no man’s land, on the edge between dull reality and glittering illusion. Ready to run, but for just one more second waiting, waiting, until the music starts to play. Darkness. Silence. A deep breath for courage, a last adjustment of your clothes- and there you go. Off the deep end.

A few weeks ago, my dance school had its dance show. I participated in three choreographies and for one of them, I had to wear a purple tutu. With pink fake diamonds. At first, it felt a bit all too glittery, but as soon as you walk on stage in those, you feel awesome. I enjoyed it, the performing, the clothes, the music, everything. Shows have their very own atmosphere – think hairspray, water, sweat and the mess backstage. There is no feeling like being backstage at a show.  We sat in the wings, watching the people on stage performing. We get to see things no one sees: the spotlights at the sides, the back of the curtain, the stage when it’s empty.

It’s a promising sight, you know, an empty stage, or a stage that’s being prepared. It feels good to be a part of the ‘elite’ that gets to see this. And it feels like magic could happen. Add some lights, add some music and dancers, and there you go: a perfect illusion. A veil of beauty over everything. A stage is a chance to be different, to let go of everything, it’s just a chance.

And you can feel that when you are about to walk/run/jump on stage. That silent second in the wings, right before crossing the border, the moment I described above- it’s the moment you know you’re going to make that magic happen (or at least, you hope so). Though I didn’t really have stage fright anymore, you can still feel the tension. You’re out there, you know, and everyone is watching you.

But sometimes, the audience doesn’t even matter. Two years ago, I participated in the most beautiful choreography I ever danced in. When the music started to play, a spotlight was turned upon us, a sort of soft, eveninglike yellow light. We, as a group, started entering the stage. It felt as entering a movie. The music was so very beautiful and just sort of carried me away. I believe you can dance at your best when the music is the trigger of every movement you make. That’s what it felt like. And at that moment, honestly, the audience didn’t matter at all. What mattered was that the music was playing and I could only show its beauty by dancing this choreography, as if the music notes turned into energy inside me. (I know this sounds sentimental, but there is no other way of really describing it as it felt.)

My god, how I loved it. I was never tired of doing it, not even when repeating it over a thousand times in class. I still get goosebumps when I see the performance on DVD. It wasn’t the only beautiful dance I’ve been in. My dance teacher can make the greatest modern pieces you can imagine. It almost feels like an honor to be in one.

You all know I love dancing, but it’s hard to describe that feeling. It’s hairspray and warming up behind the scenes, it’s the back of the curtain, the music of the first act starting to play, the second before you enter stage and the music lugging you along. Something like that. And once on stage, you become that illusion, a smile, a character, and no one (not even you) cares about anything happening behind the scenes. You are meant to be nothing but beauty, the spotlights on you and the rest darkness – because once on stage, the outter world doesn’t matter anymore.

theater

Beauty in the breakdown

Perhaps sometimes, you should just close your eyes and forget everything that tells you not to do it.
Just do it.
Let go.
Fuck the world for a little while.
Even though you know it’s stupid. Even though you suspect yourself of having regrets afterwards. But what’s regret anyway? Useless.
It’s probably just a matter of finding out when it’s really such a moment or when it’s just your brain fooling you…

So let go, jump in
Oh well, whatcha waiting for
It’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
So let go, just get in
Oh, it’s so amazing here
It’s alright
’cause there’s beauty in the breakdown
 

 

When do you feel like this? Do you really think there’s beauty in the breakdown?

Earrings and drama (or rather the absence of both…)

So I’m sitting at home and feeling a bit lost. When nothing really happens, I start to freak out by fear of missing out of something. Where’s the drama? Where’s the doubts? Where are they? I’ve got nothing to tell and that’s just sad. I need more stuff to think and talk about, otherwise I end up like this: doing nothing at all though I’ve got a test coming up, and feeling like this – sort of empty, sort of useless. It’s time for some adventure again. Hopefully soon.

Meanwhile, I will enjoy the sun (it has returned! it has returned!) and my new jeans shirt. I can become incredibly happy because of something like a jeans shirt, because of waking up due to sunlight, because of spending time with friends while enjoying the sun, and so on. I know I shouldn’t want more, but I definitely miss just something going on. Something, just fucking something! And I’m not talking about the regular stuff that is always going on. I’d even prefer doing slightly stupid things over doing nothing at all.

There. I said it. I’d rather be stupid than at home, studying, like I should? Dear lord. I’m such a teenager.

My punk/post-punk/ new wave love has returned full power thanks to my new jeans shirt, which is slightly new wave. I seriously consider getting myself a helix again. I’ve been thinking about this for about two years or something, and I’ll probably keep on thinking about it without any result… Will I regret it? I mean, after all it would be but an earring… There are plenty of other things I could regret, drinking too much, smoking, drugs,… And I’m fairly good at running away from all those things, so maybe I deserve this kind of regret.

Eternal doubts about earrings and a lack of drama. I almost can’t get over the teenageness of this post…! 😉

 

Sleeping beauty

This can be seen as a sort of sequel of my last post, Don’t bring the light. There’s a sort of thing to sleeping that makes it not only necessary, but also a metaphor, something poetical. It makes you leave the ‘conscience’ world for a while, you may dream (and then write four books about it… Twilight anyone?), you may go for a  sleepwalk. Going to sleep is losing control, and actually that’s just like drugs.
But okay, sleeping is necessary.We all need it and all lack it too. Imagine sleeping for one hundred years… That must be great. Satisfying. Beautiful.

SB 1

Especially when being woken up by the guy you’re going to marry. Or at least not waking up alone when you don’t want to be (so not after having had a drunk night and stuff.).

Last year I went to see Sleeping Beauty danced by the National Ballet Flanders, and it was so incredibly beautiful. Not just because it was ballet, it was the entire setting and the costumes and the music and the atmosphere. Almost as satisfying as sleeping for 100 years…

SB 3

It was really like a fairytale, and sitting there at the theatre, I realised there couldn’t have been a better way to spend my Wednesday afternoon. A thing of beauty…

There are also sleeping beauties that are dangerous rather than elusive. Sleeping Beauty is a movie I haven’t seen yet, but the trailer was so enigmatic that I want to see this movie. I couldn’t really figure out what it was about, which might be promising (or disappointing).

SB2

Enigmas are quite common for anything related to sleep. Inception, anyone? And think of the enigmatic speech by Hamlet.

SB4

Ay, there’s the rub… I know dreams aren’t always the best thing to have. They can be so freaky and surreal. And sometimes they show you things you’d rather not see (anymore).

But after all, sleeping is a wonderful thing to do, and who would not want to be a sleeping beauty…

The Edita Edition

Sometimes, when sitting in a bus or when working, you see someone passing by with a face that reminds you of someone else. Like, really hard. You wonder if they’re family or something. Perhaps some people just share some facial characteristics. Possibly. Other times, you talk to someone and find out that they are very similar to you – but in another way. You discover that you both like the same stuff. When this happens, I’m always a bit stunned. Isn’t it weird how some people seem to have so much in common with you – though they live somewhere else?

For me, one of those people is Edita. Of course it’s a bit swanky to compare yourself to such a beautiful and nice girl :). But still, Edita and I have quite a lot in common. She’s a Lithuanian beauty who currently lives in London. (Obviously, that’s not what we’ve got in common!) Next to that, I found out she’s fluent in Russian and Polish – the languages I’m learning right now… Coincidence? I think not. She might look innocent and sweet, but don’t be fooled: she’s one of the people who understands my Kalashnikov jokes. And that is a bonus for sure. People compare her to a black widow. Don’t be fooled by her looks…

Because her looks can easily fool you. She hasn’t got one face, but much like a diamond (cornycornycorny) she’s got a lot of facets. One day she’ll be sporty, the next day she’ll be incredibly elegant. Whenever she post pictures of herself she surprises me – how many more sides of yourself can you reveal, Edita? Is there no limit to your ‘renewal’? It’s incredible.

This post is a sort of prize, in fact, but I actually wanted to this anyway. There are many bloggers who deserve a post about them, but not many of them are like Edita. Not many people combine beauty and brains and humour like that. Pret A Reporter isn’t just a fashion blog and Edita is no fashion victim. If that was true, I wouldn’t be writing a post about her.

Fashion can be fun, but just like me (time for some self-confidence, right? 😉 ) she doesn’t just follow the fashion rules. No, Edita rules fashion. In a very amusing way. With every post, she creates a new world, with its very own light, clothes and everything. Props to the photographer as well!

I’d love to go to London and have a chat with the bloggers who live there – and she’s on my list as well!

PS: sorry for me being so corny. I always become corny when talking about her – perhaps because we’re more or less friends…?

PPs: all pictures are stolen from her site, and are her ownership!!

The Age of Freedom

I’m eighteen. That’s young. And yet, by now I’m old enough to know certain things. Like: I’m quite a pussy. People mostly don’t bite (they claw). If I say I will never do something, I will eventually do it or at least have the intention to do it.

There are some other things I learnt as well. With the years passing by, I started to realize that I’m not a ‘cool’ person. When you’re fourteen, you just want to fit in, you want to be like the cool ones, you will dress and behave the way people you admire do. But now I know I’m not like the popular girls, I’ve never been like them, will never be like them, and actually, I don’t even want to be like them. We are different. That’s fine. That’s even better than fitting in! Observing the cool people of my school has led to the conclusion that being cool means: texting all the time, having nothing to tell really, having no special interest in things like history, being not very open-minded and so on. Okay, maybe that’s quite a ‘black’ image of the cool guys. I mean that coolness has more to do with superficial stuff. I want to be more.

I’m that girl who loves classical music and post punk and metal and rock. I’m that girl who loves ballet and dancing in disco’s, who doesn’t like meat but likes look-a-like leather, the one who enjoys reading Lolita as much as reading Glamour. I’m also that girl who dresses differently from anyone else in my former high school. I wasn’t scared of wearing a T-shirt with a cut-away back or fishnet stockings.

*picture removed*

Now that is what makes me different. I’m open minded towards people. If you’re covered in tattoos, I’ll be interested in what they stand for. If you have blue hair, I’ll like you because you are different. There’s nothing wrong with being average, but it starts being wrong when you are average because you don’t dare to wear what you like. One day, when I wore my fishnet stockings, a classmate said she liked it, but she wouldn’t dare to wear it herself. That is sad. You shouldn’t be scared that easily. I’m quite sure I was judged by many people for wearing those stockings, but why should I care? It’s not my problem if they don’t like it. I like it and that will do for me.

 

*picture also removed*

(Look at my hair!)

This is the age of freedom – whatever you wear, you’ll be forgiven, because you’re still young. Why not take the chance to just wear what you want?

By now, I’ve learned which kind of clothes fits me, which don’t, and so on. Getting to this point, I no longer need to feel uncomfortable about what I wear. I know what I like, I know what likes me, so I do not longer care about other people’s opinion. What the hell, I just wear what I want to wear. It’s my piece of freedom.

 

*and again!*

This earring is my newest love. I know there aren’t too many people who like it, but I definitely do. Earrings in general are tempting for me. This one in particular because it is so different from the others. I should thank my parents too in this story. They are open-minded too. My mother even helped me finding fishnet stockings. How many mothers would do that?

 

*this picture too has passed*

And those pants are equally as great! When taking this kind of pictures, you are likely to have ten fails for every good pic. I had no photographer around. The stones were bloody hot. The sun shone merciless. But I had a great time, and the result is some great pictures.
I tried to capture the freedom of my age. Enjoy these pics while I’ll be celebrating my freedom abroad for a few days!

 

*and finally, the last one, removed like all the others*

(Celebrate freedom: sit down and don’t do a fuck.)

*All these pictures are mine, all rights reserved, copyright, blahblahblah. They’ll be taken offline again. My greatest nightmare is that someone steals my pics or discovers my identity. So watch but don’t touch.*

*As you might see, I’ve removed all the pictures. Sorry.*

Every year, beautiful bodies

That should be every FOUR years of course, but can’t change it anymore… Damn.

If you’re searching for nice, partially naked bodies to watch without being ashamed about it, just watch the Games. Maybe you watch them especially for the bodies. Either way, here’s a little guide for those who like tasty meat:

The Men:

Watch! Gymnastics. Yes. Especially if you go for the shoulders. Those little suits are really tight and show enough muscles to charm you. Those who dangle at the rings have really impressive shoulders. If you think that is too much, watch the other guys, less muscles but still… Still… Ahh.

Disappointing. Those swimmers are so well-built, but how disappointing to watch them swim! They enter is oversized jackets, goggles and what I call a bath hat. They jump in the water. They swim. You see nothing but their waving arms and their bath hats going up and down and maybe a piece of their back or belly. Only when they get out of the water, the fun starts… Their bodies are AWESOME. Very nice. As we say, a ‘caress for the eye’. But you have to wait until the competition’s over. Timing is everything.

Don’t watch! Equestrian wipes out every difference between men and women. Watch this only if you like horses or androgyny.

Man? Woman? Who will tell?

The Women:

Watch! The obligatory uniform for beach volley is the bikini, plus, they are athletes so they are very streamlined. Nice.

Disappointing. Yes, gymnastic’s area is filled with young girls, but some of them look like children, and their robot moves are not very charming. I mean, they do incredible things, but they lack emotions. A smile on a gymnast’s face is rather unique. Combined with those curt, sharp moves, this is rather disappointing. And those hands… Always so… cramped.

Charming!

Don’t watch! Swimming women wear bath suits that cover up everything feminine, their shoulders are really muscular… I can imagine that men are most likely to be scared of women who are obviously stronger than they are. So I would not recommend watching these competitions.

Enjoy the Games everyone!