First of all, Caitlin and I are both grateful and overwhelmed by the attention this project is receiving. We’ve received so many comments and emails…clearly we’ve tapped into something very deep…far deeper than what appears to be only skin deep.
Second of all…I’m discovering that having a sense of humor about this…for me is mandatory. Today for example…I was communicating with a reporter who wants to hear more about it…and I wrote her…”Too bad we aren’t further into the project. How enlightening would it be to film my 10th grade son’s response to a surprise visit by me and Catilin to his high school during their lunch break. We could sport our fabulous tank shirts and catch his reaction when my armpits are exposed in all their glory as I wave to him and holler across the campus…”Hi son. It’s me…your Mom!””
And the truth is…that would mortify him…not just for the armpits…raising teenagers well…that in and of itself is a whole other project…a lifetime one for sure.
Third…I’m amazed by the simplicity of the intention behind this project and how complex the responses we feel about it…can be.
This has led me to, in the last 48 hours, experience a sore brain. I know that sounds funny, but I simply can’t stop thinking about the intracacies of this whole conversation.
I’m not suggesting that eyeliner and mascara don’t accentuate the eyes and accentuated eyes don’t, according to some research somewhere, give the apperance of a younger face….I’m just asking the really simple question of why any of this matters. What committee decided that being youthful was more powerful? Where did that notion come from?
What committee decided that wrinkles were not attractive. Do we see them as unattractive because we’ve been conditioned to see them that way or are they really unattractive? And what committee decided that being attractive matters at all?
What committee kidnapped my brain and formulated what I would claim as beautiful. I’m kinda freaking out here. I’m a typical woman. I consider myself intelligent enough. I’m a mom. I work. I workout. I live a very full life…and yet I’m still stuck on the ultimate question of why any of this matters? Why is being “beautiful,” as described within the context of our current social norms important? If it’s power? Why is being powerful important? What kind of power is important? Oh Geez…I just can’t stop it.
What definition or view of beauty might exist if I didn’t have one…if I just made up my own definition? Would it even include my physicality? Might I create a whole other series of words or language that would describe my physical being…and shift the conversation of beauty to something much richer?
The ultimate irony in all of this…is this conversation is focused on the very thing I would love to shift for myself anyway…and that’s attention to appearance/a woman’s exterior. Oh my GOSH!!! My brain is on overload.
It has become quite clear to me that the power of this conversation…the one being stirred up by the Naked Face Project…is rooted somewhere in this revelation…that we are truly responsible for our own thoughts…including those we have around beauty, our bodies and our power. What thoughts have been so deeply influenced by conditioning that I think they become fact?
One girl in Girls on the Run once told me that Girls on the Run taught her to be the Boss of her Own Brain. I like that idea. I think it applies here somehow.
I need to go for a run…yoga…or sit quietly in the sun before I combust…
Ya’ll hang in there. Keep thinking and please feel free to join in the conversation. You can find us at www.thenakedfaceproject.com and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can read about what’s going on with my “co-conspirator” at her blog, www.healthytippingpoint.com.