January 25, 2009 I was a mini-Carson at four
When I was a little kid, I mean tiny, I used to sit and watch my female relatives. I’d sit and I’d Queer Eye these women, imagining that if my eldest aunt shaved a little weight off the back of her arms, could somehow plane off her tummy, and died her hair, she’d be reasonably attractive. I’d do this often enough to call it a fairly constant past-time.
I never once did this about my male relatives, and not because they were handsome and well groomed, but because before I was old enough for school, I’d well absorbed the lesson that men ‘were’, they did, they acted, they said whatever the fuck they wanted no matter how mean and they looked how they looked and that was that.
I’d absorbed the flipside lesson too well: women were there to decorate the world, to be shiny and pretty and in my view they were inexplicably failing. No silk stockings and impeccable fifties makeup in my family…yeah, you know, when you look at my family history, the fact that all those men were alcoholics and the women were the only way our family kept surviving, kept functioning – gee I wonder why they didn’t take the time to ensure they looked like pin-up girls before daring to show their faces in the morning. But even if it wasn’t for the fact that these women had had their livelihoods drained by caretaking self centred pricks and their offspring, it never occured to me to question WHY I felt that these women ought to spend valuable time on ludicrous rituals to make themselves more aesthetically pleasing to others, and WHY men just got the right to go about their business.