The Vanity and Bare Essentials Challenge

Posted: January 20, 2012 in Random Catatonic Fun
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vanity crap

My little project began during senior year in college and, although it never persisted for more than a few months at a time, it still took up a big chunk of every single year since then. Let’s call it “The Vanity and Bare Essentials Challenge.” Captain Obvious, double-check title please.  This has something to do with female vanity and existing without the stuff women think are essential to them such as facial wash, moisturizer, lipstick, conditioner, body lotion, daily panty-liners, foundation, and many, many more – you get the drift. Open any girl’s bag and you’ll find very few who do not carry a beauty kit. Ask any girl for a tissue and she’s bound to pull out a pull-up.

This project took root during an out-of-town trip with some girls, when we’d ended up staying overnight somewhere remote, and one of them freaking out because she forgot to bring her vanilla-scented hand lotion, insert epistaxis here. The wanderlust in my veins spurred me into thinking that, since I am bound to get stuck somewhere unexpected and remote time and again in the future, I had to start training myself emotionally and mentally to survive with the barest of essentials without freaking out just because I forgot to bring moisturizer. What if you’re backpacking across Southeast Asia and could not find any store that sells your particular brand of lip balm? Freaking out over these things sounds very nonsensical.

It is a fact that female vanity is innate in all women but, if millions of other women who cannot afford beauty products can survive without them for most (if not all) of their lives, why would I be any different? As such, this project was more than just a I’m-so-kickass-‘cause-I-don’t-need-no-conditioner project. It was a way of impressing onto one’s brain that, despite the blessings one has been receiving from family and other benefactors that has led to a relatively easier way of living, at the end of the day, all women – all people – are the same. It just so happens that, for other women, Lady Luck has been very kind in this lifetime.  Being grateful instead of being ignorant or indifferent about it is the point.

On the other hand though, there is nothing wrong with being the kind of woman who wants to maintain herself, especially if she can afford it. To each his own. It was, after all, Coco Chanel, who said, “It is imperative that a woman fixes herself up even if only for the sake of politeness,” or something to that effect. Personally, it was only when I started facing patients that I truly understood what she meant because, these days, one has to always keep in mind that, when a patient looks at his/her doctor, he/she should already feel confident and hopeful that you can treat him/her. A disheveled countenance does not exactly inspire confidence, does it?

There was a time when my project was at its peak that I went for three days without taking a bath. Of course, I barely left the dorm at that time but, then again, if I had, I wouldn’t have known if I looked like complete and utter crap because I’d given my mirror away too. Over the years though, the rules of the project became more lenient.  Ergo, I have become just like most girls. But I can also survive on a mountaintop for two days with less than a liter of water to use for hygienic purposes. Disgusting? I think so too but we, bare-essentials people, are kick-ass like that… or so I’d like to think, haha.

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