FIRST: In the name of clarity, I should say this picture is the actual result of a cucumber face mask, it is the product after it hardens into an exact replica of my faces contours (minus my chicken pox scar), edited for textures, and to convey a feeling.
I do have my girly tendencies, and occasionally I do a cucumber peel mask. There is something completely gratifying, sitting motionless and waiting for the mixture to set. When my patience is worn thin (because I am a bouncy little impatient thing), it usually means the mask is dry. With a twitch of a smile I test it’s readiness, if it pulls just enough to hurt pleasantly, it’s done. As I peel the now hardened second skin from my face I think of how many years I may be erasing (because I am unbelievably narcissistic and self-conscious), and take comfort in the fact that even though I smoke, drink when available, and sleep (what’s that) too little, I did what I could within reason to stave off the wrinkles and signs of abuse my body is already showing.
Yesterday, as I finished the final step, I looked down into my lap and seen me staring back at me. Not just my face, because of course it’s my face, but the sadness I currently feel was mirrored in the soulless, eyeless face/mask before me.
It was disheartening, so attempting to turn a negative into a positive, I tried to make it something I enjoyed looking at.
That is a perfect analogy for my feminism, my personal female identity. Raised with feminine examples I adored while I simultaneously feared becoming some of those same things myself. As an adult, and as a young woman I found myself by embracing something I was unsure and uneasy about becoming, by making it a little prettier to look at. We all get by as we can, one day, one picture, one poem at a time.