Thursday, December 18, 2008

Moustache Wax

I was talking to a friend of mine on MSN when I noticed that he'd changed his display picture to one of him twirling his moustache... And quite the 'stache it was! I only wish he'd taken the picture in sepia, so the true nineteenth century glory of his mustachio could be appreciated.

I complimented it, of course. He told me that he needed wax. I suggested a standard tub of pomade, but then it occurred to me that he probably just wanted the novelty of having a container marked "moustache wax." I asked, and I was right.

Of course I was right.

I googled moustache wax, and was directed to the wikipedia page on the topic. It's a mere stub, but it does come with a recipe!

I decided to explore a couple more links, because making one's own wax doesn't supply the container with the funny label, and next up was Firehouse Moustache Wax. I don't really understand the reasoning behind the fire engine sound effects, but that's probably because I wasn't expecting it and jumped when it started. But I did not judge! (Well, not much.) I was on a mission! Instead, I clicked on the products page, so I could learn to understand what it means to look like someone who would tie a distressed damsel to railroad tracks while twirling a waxed 'stache.

Success! There was a review! Featuring this sentence:

I decided to heat up my moustache with the hair drier and I spread it through.

I giggled like the school girl that I once was, and went back to the google results page. And then I struck gold.

A few excerpts? I think so. 2007 World Champion Moustache expert Ted Sedman thinks so as well.

"I am a Canadian, Handlebar Moustache sporter. Have not found moustache wax, but have been using toilet bowl seal wax. This wax has no odour, spreads colourless, and does not cause potty mouth. Best part about toilet bowl wax is the price, less than a Canadian looney and you get about half a pound."

A true legend in Canadian bargain-hunting! But does it come in maple? How can it be truly Canadian if it doesn't come in MAPLE?!

One of our members used just soap when he ran out of wax but when the rain came down it foamed up and made him look as though he was rabid!

Yes, that is a problem. How is anyone supposed to take moustache-twirling and evil laughs seriously when it comes from someone who looks rabid? They'll be focusing on the potential rabies (and accompanying scent of Jergens) instead of the mustachio!

The other day a delightful lady friend of mine observed that I have recently become quite furry, which conversation rambled around to an old friend of hers from years gone by that used peanut butter, as an alternative to wax, for his moustache.

Now, this is just an example of wasted potential. He could clearly have rolled his moustache in seeds and used himself as a bird feeder all winter long.

Now those poor birds will starve. Shame on him.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Unattainable Beauty Standards

This article is more than five years old, but it discusses a phenomenon that I've seen my entire life: colourism. As a child, I didn't realize that it wasn't just limited to the South Asian community, but spanned many different communities of colour. It wasn't a shock when I did notice, because I was so used to the idea already. It seemed normal. Shitty, but normal.

I wasn't a "fair" child. I wasn't really DARK, but I definitely wasn't fair. I remember my mother instructing me not to go out in the sun too much, because I would get too dark. For the most part, though, I just went on living my life. I wasn't ever too concerned with beauty ideals, for reasons that are a subject for a different post. However, when I started university, I considered myself towards the darker end of the spectrum. I would never have defined myself as fair, like my mother.

Growing up, I was mostly exposed to other North Indians, and didn't meet very many South Indians, but there were a lot of South Indians at my university. The girls started commenting on how fair I was, in reverent and envious tones. It was jarring, and confusing. At first, I thought they were insane, because I so clearly wasn't fair; I was more along the lines of average. But I was, in fact, a lot lighter than the people who were saying it. It didn't make a difference to me, but it did seem to make a difference to all of them.

Why the difference? I think the article makes it clear.

She goes on to cite dusky Indian female film actors Kajol Devgan and Rani Mukherjee as examples of her conviction, "If you are dark, then dark is the best."

This is Kajol, taken from here.

And this is Rani, taken from here:

Both of these women are about as dark as I am. The article presents them as dark, in much the same way that I was always considered dark as a child, but still attractive. However, this puts them at the "dark" end of the spectrum, effectively erasing women who are much darker. Since skin colour is very much related to perceived beauty in Indian society, the implication is that anyone darker can't be beautiful. The flack that those girls must have gotten for being dark must have been so much worse than my mother telling me not to play outside and hearing an adult comment on how much darker I was than my mother a few times.

It's like the brown version of the paper bag test. Basically, I grew up around people who were lighter than the bag and got labelled as dark because I was the exact shade of the bag. But the whole principle of the bag is fucked. It's a ridiculous and stupid parameter for beauty.

Obviously, I want it gone. But I really can't blame people for buying into it when it's framed as something that is economically beneficial. So how to get rid of it? Beyond emphasizing whenever it comes up that it's a pile of shit.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Because no one does like bad water. Especially not the fine people at this Victoria establishment:

For context, see here.