Archives for September 2011

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Cancer: Vanity trumps Fear

Common sense, maturity and even the possibility of death vanished as vanity prevailed upon hearing my diagnosis of breast cancer in December of 2003. One week had passed since the needle biopsy on my right breast, which remained blotchy black, dark blue and painful.

Gripping the phone, I ask, “How much boob is normally removed during a lumpectomy?”

“We won’t know until we go in and see the size and how much surrounding tissue is affected.”

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The Faces We Live

Before I begin my next series, I thought I would re-group by writing a summary of my Blog’s purpose. Consistent with the name The Faces we Live, the stories that I write are always about the myriad of roles/parts/sub-personalities and shadow sides that constitute the makeup of every human being. Values, beliefs, feelings, behaviors, roles all contribute to the overall makeup of an individual (not withstanding heredity and certain physical characteristics).

Of course, your parts will differ from mine, but the experience of having parts/roles is fundamental to human nature. No matter the topic or particular series, my intent is always to show examples of our different parts, often conflicting parts.

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“I wouldn’t have been caught dead in a suit and heels.”

 

In recent blogs, I ruminated on the idea of innate femaleness, wondering if such a thing even exists. I have been reflecting on the differences between women who choose to beautify themselves and women who choose a more au natural look.

I believe that each of us holds within ourselves a standard of the ideal woman or at least a few images to suit our changing moods. Whether or not we choose to emulate those images is another matter. But to simply say that a woman “should” beautify herself for her own sake alone may be naïve and cavalier. This statement doesn’t take into consideration the mass female culture norms that bombard women every day through the advertising that contributes to shaping her inner view

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The Faceless Collage

Fifteen years ago, while exploring the concept of preening and femininity, I decided to assemble a collage. On one side of the collage I placed pictures of high heels, red lipstick and all things soft to represent women who choose to present themselves in that manner. On the other side of the collage, I selected pictures of women who choose to dress more casually and wear no makeup at all. In the middle I hung a faceless ragdoll. Underneath the ragdoll I wrote the words, “No matter which way I choose to present myself to the world, alone, that will not tell you or me who I really am.”