about my face

Formalities: happy new year! (It felt strange not to capitalise that.) I hope your holiday season was lovely! I hope some people got over their irrational anger over the phrase, “happy holidays”! Congrats on living to today! This is a little mess of what I think will become a little collection of essays about my insecurities on the internet. Yes, that is dangerous if some day someone finds a way to use these all against me in some super saiyan attack. Yes, I am posting it anyway.

Hello, gang.

It’s 3:57 AM and I have a day full of adulting that includes seeing other people (some of which include people from church and a 10th grade weeklong boyfriend), talking to university management, sort out this ear infection from hell, do my laundry and go to the pharmacy.

It’s not the busy that bothers me, really. Nor is it the lack of car, the ineffective public transportation system, or the lack of sleep I’d have gotten by the time I need to be up. It’s the fact that I have to see people. It’s also not the people that are the problem. It’s my face.

This isn’t a pity post. Even if it was, that’d be fine because this is my corner on the internet. This is a sort of…organising my thoughts about my face and my dislike of it post.

Growing up is hard to do. Growing up as a cis female in a somewhat accepting society has been a lot easier than it could have been, but it’s still been hard. I can’t say really when it started, but I think as I got older and became more aware of myself (and in turn, my face) in society, I really really didn’t like it. I just didn’t like my face.

For a while, it was anti-blackness. Oh my GOODNESS did I want to be white. It was a messy, messy stage, and I’m glad to be past it, but I understand where I was coming from. I was in the middle of primary school, and I wanted to be pretty. It was that simple! I was already smart, but every book I read told me that being just the smart girl was not enough to be liked by anyone; that the pretty girl always won; that the smart girl gets bullied, and that the smart girl only wins if she becomes pretty. So I wanted to be pretty. Pretty in 2008 was a petite white girl with blonde or brown hair in a pony tail some days and in two another. I wanted pretty, and I couldn’t attain it. It made me sad, because I didn’t really understand why I couldn’t be pretty. I had never done anything to make myself particularly ugly, except that one scar on the bottom of my chin. Why couldn’t I just be white?

When I got to high school, my sister told me that I didn’t like my face because I didn’t take care of my skin. A plausible reason, I took it seriously and started a face care routine. I also started watching Glee and did almost exactly what Rachel Berry did because she was a star and goddammit if I wasn’t going to be a star! My skin was pretty good, and I never really went through any bad hormonal changes in terms of it. I hated the fact that I had this baby moustache that I couldn’t get rid of, no matter how hard I tried to pull every hair out, and three or four random hairs near my chin stitches’ scar. I used to think they were the scar’s fault.

I learned the magic of threading and how a little less hair on my face could make me feel so much better – and I never really understood why that was so – and really wanted to feel better. And some days, I do! Some days, I think that my face isn’t too bad a face. Most days, I talk about how I want a head transplant but want to keep my brain.

I don’t like my face. I don’t like that it looks smooth but really isn’t. I don’t like how it makes me the go-to less conventionally attractive friend (cue society denying its very, very loud anti-blackness). I don’t like how, before, when I liked my body, I felt as though I could achieve much more if I did a trade-off and got a face that matched the body of a lean, strong, smart dancer and athlete. I don’t like how make-up brands think that black people darker than the preset brown on MS Paint don’t exist. I don’t like that for a year I decided to pull ridiculous faces in every photograph, because I figured I’d rather look bad on purpose. I don’t like that my hair made such a difference on how I felt about my face, and how I only felt pretty when I had enough hair to put into one long, flowy pony tail, or sometimes two. I don’t like how people answer, and will answer, “but you’re pretty, Shalom”, because it does nothing but make me feel bad for having convinced them to speak with that pitiful lilt in their voice. I don’t like how I’m fighting back tears while I write this because I don’t like how much I don’t like my face.

I don’t like my face, and I really wish I did. I wish I felt the slightest bit better about it. I wish my mother and sister didn’t say “but if you just _____” every time I tell them. I wish I could take it seriously when I get called pretty amongst my friends. I wish I could help people to understand that I’m really not being modest, and that I really can’t accept compliments because it feels like fraud on a massive level. Pity fraud. I wish that the lipstick, the eyeliner, the gold eyeshadow, the glasses that used to make me feel better still did. I wish I could work out why I felt like this. I wish I liked it here.

I don’t know if I just need more therapy or if I’m just going to keep on feeling this way for the foreseeable future (I hope the former), but I’d like to not feel this way in a couple of years. Self hatred can be really tiring, you know? It also plain sucks.

win_20170109_045317

an awful quality webcam photograph courtesy of five a.m.

It’s after 5 AM and I have to be a human now. Now, you know even more about me than you’d thought you would. Do your best to have a good day. Do your best not to put any more hurt in the world when everyone’s doing their best to deal with their own. Congrats to Donald Glover and Tracee Ellis Ross on their Golden Globes!

Good morning.

love and light,
shalom xo

YEAH, I KNOW. [Alternatively: Feb Faves & a Monthly Roundup]

So, my good friend Engie made a post about the things that were making her mad and stressing her out, and a lot of them revolved around college, being a blogger in college…you get where I’m going with this? I’ve been away for two odd weeks. I make these posts all the time (see…all my past posts for reference) but this time, I have actual things to say. Yay for planned rambles!

1. RE: UNIVERSITY.

This thing just does not let up. I’m a law student and I’m taking courses in philosophy, media studies and english as well. I had no idea just how far behind one could fall in three weeks. It’s safe to say that I’ve found out. Blogging has become la absolute SAFEHAVEN. I think I’m going to force myself to incorporate it into my failure of a schedule – like mandatory me-time? (I hate the phrase me-time. Ugh.)Some advice to all the hatchlings who will soon be embarking on the Great College Adventure TM: Come in armed. It’ll eat you alive if you don’t. Always have an umbrella, a charger, cash, and painkillers. Also a pen.

2. Favourites!

I haven’t done much in the way of the fun things, but I have, as usual, made my home in the Internet. Here are some things (most Internet, some not.) that I loved this month:

Alt-Indie Music Videos

Troye Sivan, Halsey and THE 1975 all released music videos for such AMAZING tunes off of their respective latest albums. Troye’s video for YOUTH blew me away for several reasons: (1) SO MUCH PURPLE PASTEL INDIE TUMBLR TEEN. (2) HAPPY FUNCTIONAL PARTY TEENAGERS. (actually, Troye is 20 (21 in June!) but he still counts. For reasons. Halsey’s video for Colors (the South African in me is mega cringing at that spelling) is just…let me tell you, (#nospoilers), it’s not what you expect. The music video for THE 1975’s The Sound is really the BEST THING I  SAW THE ENTIRE MONTH. It’s a massive ‘up yours’ to all of the critics who “only heard chocolate once and hated it”. Watch it. WATCH THEM ALL.

 

Blogger: Maxine Zhao

Alright, so I feel super honoured to say that Max once told me that I served as inspiration for her starting her blog. And man, do you need to see it. Maxine is what I’d call an up-and-coming fashion and lifestyle blogger with INSANE talent regarding taking timed tripod self shots. She’s also an absolute doll with a tiny little car named Kevin. Did you need any further justification? Check her out here.

Beauty

I’m not even going to pretend to know a lot about beauty. At all. Because I don’t. But I’ve been using mostly Nivea products as of late, just because they happen to work the best with my skin. For now. Stress breakouts are a real thing  and a good skincare regime is legitimately another university must have. Here are some of the things that I’ve been putting on my largest organ! (Skin. I’m talking about my skin.)

I have combination to oily skin, and this shine control face wash from Nivea is just YES. It’s super soothing on the skin, first and foremost, and it also works really well? It feels a lot like a continuous sea breeze while you’re washing your face. (10 points if you can think of a worse sounding line.) In the way of makeup, I don’t wear much because I can’t afford much (lol) but I DO love the LA Girl Perfecting Liquid Makeup foundation in Mahogany. I adore this foundation. It feels really light on the skin, and doesn’t wear off at all – I generally don’t need to reapply it during the day. I should really invest in a BB cream for the days that I don’t feel up to the industrial task of putting on a bit of paint. Hmm. Money.

Winning!

This month, writer and illustrator Dallas Clayton announced a competition on Instagram. He made six journals, and asked for cities from every continent to send them to. He’s still looking for some participants from Antarctica. Long story short, he chose Johannesburg! It’s all very exciting. I’m excited.

3. February.

February has been orange. It’s been the sheer intensity of my media studies course pack readings, the only pen I could find for two weeks, my flats that the 10 minute walk between buildings on campus ruined, and the 36 C days. I have learned how to hold my breath for as long as possible when being utterly submerged by the ocean that is “adulthood”. I’m not really an adult. Not even legally – I’m still 17. It does, however, seem that I am in the bracket where ‘act like an adult’ is applicable. I’m acting, alright.

For the first time this month, I was paid an allowance (!) which may not seem like much, but you need to realise that I’d never recieved an allowance before. Oh, Shalom, how did you go out to concerts and movies and the things you loved with your mostly make-believe friends through out high school? I didn’t. It was really cool – until I ran out of money. And had no way to get home from school because I couldn’t pay for public transport. Or food on campus. I’ve learned a lot since then. (Bye, morning cappuccinos.)

I’m really stressed out about what March will bring. March sees my FAFSA deadline (thank you uncooperative parent for STILL not having provided me with your tax information 🙂 ), my first official written tests, learning how to write an abstract & a research paper, more poetry analysis than I thought possible, and probably more tears than I am hydrated for. It’s surreal to think that we’re already almost in the third month of 2016, but I’m glad we’re all here.

This was lovely to write and compile and all the rest. Thank you all for sticking around! I think you are all very kind. I also think I want to make videos? Because I keep wanting to say things – in my actual voice, that people can hear – but then I remember that I’m typing. Hm. A thing to consider.

Love and light,
shalom


photos: maxine zhao’s blog, death to stock, nivea south africa, thestyleandbeautydoctor.com (swatches), dallas clayton’s instagram

 

A Look Ahead – 2016 & Beyond

Aloha pals! Merry belated Christmas! I hope all of your Christmases were merry and bright, and that your gifts exceeded all of your hopes.

image

I was genuinely so pleased with all the presents I got from my siblings and my mum — er, I mean Santa — and despite the craziness of the festive season and the family feud that is still ongoing, Christmas was alright.


AN UPDATE



Alright. SO 2016 is going to be a big, big year for me – and this blog.  I’m looking at moving countries for university (fingers crossed), and I’m looking at moving content – with regards to scooton.wordpress.com.

This sounds really dramatic, but all that’s happening is that I’m making a bit of a shift. I made this blog after two other blogs that I closed because “ohmyGOD Shalom why did you write like that were you like twelve???” (Yes, Shalom.You were exactly twelve, actually.) In the two years that I’ve blogged under scooton, I’ve used this blog as a space for me to document my new interests & lifestyle crazies. I don’t intend to stop – I just think that I need a fresh start (blegh, how cliche) and that my little cubby hole on the internet deserves a little more love.

What does this all mean? It means that I’m doing a little rebranding. I’m going to  do some major upgrades. It means that I’ll probably become more of a lifestyle-beauty blogger like I’ve wanted to for a while – there’s a saying that all lifestyle bloggers eventually get bitten by the beauty bug. It happened! It means that I’ll get to work on myself as a brand, and my brand as a brand – without freaking out about things that I never had time to fix. (I’ve got the time now, by some miracle!)

A massive thank you must go out to all of you who have read my inane ramblings for the two years that I’ve been sporadically posting on scooton.wordpress.com. Here’s to more years of my bitchy, ranty posts that you couldn’t get rid of if you tried. To  more pride, more winged eyeliner, more hauls-because-I-can, more music, more photographs, more black nail polish, and more of what I want my little corner of internet to be.

Thanks for sticking with me since 2013, y’all. See you in 2016 as okayshalom.com– I’m so excited to share the new site with you all.

Happy new year for next week, and have a gorgeous day! I’m feeling a lot better having wrote this post. Special thanks must go to Tash from GlitterfulThoughts for encouraging me & talking me through some big decisions last night.

I’ll see (?) you all in the new year!

Love and light,
shalom

 

Lucky

Some disclaimers:

1. I am female.

2. I write from whatever perspective I want.

3. I am not actually a boy named Adam.


 

I’m very lucky. Her name is Jenifer and she uses strawberry scented shampoo.

I like to go on walks with her – she likes to walk. I usually hate being alone but I love being alone with her. I don’t know if that makes any sense – I tend to lose most of my sense when I’m with her. She’s like a drug, I guess. I feel like I’m on every drug in the solar system when I’m just standing next to her, and holding her hand usually sends me into a neighbouring universe. Heaven knows that she’s not out of this world, but she must be something special.

We’re both so ordinary, actually. I don’t know why. We both tried to be different at one stage; she got a piercing and I stopped wearing a belt on my jeans. It didn’t work, for me at least. She still has her piercing. It’s beautiful, like every other part of her. The whole of her is so, so beautiful.

They say that you don’t forget your first kiss. I think that’s a lie. I forgot mine. I think it was in a movie cinema and horrible. I do remember kissing her, though. She was holding my hand and I thought I was going to fly away. I liked her, and she liked me, and we both knew. We were sat on a carpet in her living room, and I couldn’t think clearly. It made sense. She was in front of me. Jenifer. What else was there to think of?

Between the skin on her hands and wrists and the voice that she had, I don’t know which was smoother. She looked at me very closely, and I thought I’d screwed up, but instead, she laughed. She laughed her beautiful Jenifer laugh, and tried to cover her face with the hand that was intertwined with mine. “I like you, Adam.” I forgot how to speak, as expected. She laughed more and I replied, “I know,”.

And then, it was like everything that I thought was good and right in the world was in front of me. I was taken by the smell of strawberries that wafted towards me, and the feel of her hair between my fingers. She laughed, and kissed me. By the time her lips touched mine, and I felt the muscles in her face work towards a small nervous smile, I was so far gone into a world where only her and I existed. Adam and Jenifer world. Full of kisses and strawberry shampoo and hand holding. I smiled, at a loss for words, and she giggled, and we both laughed more than we had in weeks. We lay on the carpet, close to the TV. There, with her head on my chest and my hand running through her hair, I asked myself why I was in the situation I was in, where she had come from, how she was so beautiful. I couldn’t answer myself. I figured I was lucky.

As my mom came around to pick me up, she skipped beside me as I walked to the car.

“I know, ” she whispered, as she kissed me on the cheek. I didn’t know how it could have happened. I didn’t get it. I couldn’t make sense of it. Then again, it may have just been a Jenifer effect.

“I like you, Jenifer,” I said. Then, I got into the car while she greeted my mom.

Honey just put your sweet lips on my lips,

We should just kiss like real people do.

                                                 -Hozier


Love and light,
Shalom X

Scoot on ~ being angry

I’m angry.

I’m angry because of reasons, and legitimate ones at that. Not reasons like “the sky is bluer than it was yesterday and now the sky feels like it has an iferiority complex with itself of yesterday” though that too could be a pretty valid point.

I’m angry because racism still exists. I am so tired of racist people, you literally have no idea. I don’t care what colour you are, if I like the way you think (i.e. if you actually think) then I like you! And that’s how it goes for me. But we just have some RACIST ASS BEEPERS in this world and I have no clue why. “I hate white/black/asian people because my parents hate them.” DAHECK IS YOUR PROBLEM? DO YOU HAVE NO MIND? I think that racist people should be vapourised, because God could use that skin and body you’re being racist in for something else, like, hmm, I don’t know, pehaps a human being who treats other people with respect?

I’m angry because homophobia is till a thing. I cannot stand those people who think that their kids will “catch gayness” from being around someone who is EXACTLY the same but loves someone different to how you do. I don’t get it. Listen, if a kid comes out after talking to a gay person, THEY WERE GAY TO BEGIN WITH! Like stop this, “No don’t go there he’ll hurt you” or “Don’t let her come close to you” rubbish. I think it’s such crap and I think that anyone who’s homophobic deserves to be smacked once. Then have some sense drilled into their heads, with a drill if unnecessary.

Lastly, I’m angry because people are intolerant. And not just “Mmm yeah I cant deal walking away” intolerant, intolerant as in REFUSE to be in the same room with people because, I don’t know, they think they’re better somehow? They just refuse to put up with anyone who’s a little, bit , or a lot different to them? Nay. That I cannot do with. Those people need hugs. Then cereal, because if that cant fix them…nothing will.

Anyway, that’s all for tonight’s rant, and I’m really glad I got it out there. Also, to whoever’s reading this, I really and truly appreciate you. I mean I started this new blog because I needed newness in my life and seeing that someone read an article, or liked something makes me get 13 self esteem points. So thank you, beautiful creation. 

All my love all the time

-Scoot xx