German Absurdity: Health, Wellness and Beauty

 


German Absurdity: Health, Wellness and Beauty 

A Disclaimer: This may ... um ... will be harsh and I know a hit dog collars

As I sit here with a charcoal mask on my face I wonder the lengths a German woman will go. I seldom do this. I was given the opportunity to relax so I took it complete with an ingwer shot, a foaming milk bath and now this tightening clay mask. I do not need any of this stuff and it isn't even preventative for me. I am six months out from forty and I look about twelve. Just last week I was asked for my student ID to get a discount at the apotheke and I technically could have children entering college myself. I am delighted that I have avoided acne, wrinkles and not being carded. I do have a nice patch of grey hairs, random moles which are hereditary and bad knees but all of these are things I conceal. I am not sold on the idea of doing all I can to stop time or overly enhance what I have got. For me lotion and chapstick are enough. The niceties of a wax or a facial are things I just don't do anymore and most beauty treatments were introduced to me rather late in life. I have never had a manicure other than trimming of my cuticles. I have never plucked my eyebrows or had anyone else touch them. I have never done anything permanent to myself other than hair dye which I was introduced to at age 35. I do however subscribe to trying to eat well keyword trying and drinking obscene amounts of water. And I know that has a lot to do with why I look as young as I feel. But I cannot help but notice most German women are are doing a lot more than me. But I do not see them getting any return on those beauty investments. 

I know what y'all are doing

I used to work in the beauty industry here and abroad. I know exactly what all women are striving for especially white women. Flushed skin, natural highlights, thick brows, plump lips, cat eyes, long nails, full eyelashes, wide hips, big butts and small waists. A lot of Black women possess this naturally and some of us are exaggerative. However, we mostly just play up our features with a tiny bit of makeup. We don't do permanent enhancements because we age well and look good as is. I think a lot of modern women of all races are looking to improve their regimens and to ease pressure around it. So we get scheduled waxing, lash installs and artificial nails - it is just easier. However, all these treatments that are bordering on ethical fuckery are problematic. The chemical peels, botox, kybella, that eerie vampire thing, the tattooed flush or tan, microblading, permanent freckles and bonded extensions. All of this stuff is just insane to me and it is wildly popular here in Germany. You see so many women that have destroyed their face and bodies with procedures that aren't really regulated. I feel like perfectly good looking women willingly botch themselves trying to possess something they aren't meant to have or to simply turn back the hands of time. But if you look your age already why fight it with extreme measures? Why not just embrace be a Isabella Rosalini, Julianne Moore or Amy Adams?

I see there is a sort of progression

I find that German children are absolutely gorgeous. Golden spun blonde hair, plump and rosy cheeks and crystal colored eyes like marbles in cocoa, green and blue. Then they grow into questionable teenagers suffering awkward growth spurts, buck teeth, acne and other pubescent woes. I didn't have breasts or wear a bra until my twenties. I do not know what it is like to be 13 with boobs, thick calves and a affinity for cropped clothing. I see German teen girls and I don't know whether to serve them alcohol and or cover my husbands eyes. And by the time these young women hit their twenties and thirties they really look it. Now I gave you a disclaimer! German women to me just look old from their heads to their toes. The guys don't get questionable until they are mid life but German women just tend to fall apart after puberty. And sadly they know it. There are so many tanning salons, fitness studios, health and kosmetic boutiques. These women are doing anything and everything to look young, refreshed and fit. Unfortunately, it is all counter productive. Outside of genetics, a lack of preventative dental procedures, vitamin D deficiency and all that smoking and drinking - it is inevitable to look bad here. Add in hard water, not owning a vehicle so you put all this strain on your body and no fluoride . I look at German women in comparison to the American girl next door and the differences are startling. If I peel back the shitton of makeup that everyone wears today I would expect to see a face without scarring or pitting. If I see your hair without highlights and extensions I would expect to see well conditioned strands with trimmed ends. When you talk and go about your life I would love to see naturally manicured fingers free of chipped polish and bottle opening callouses. But German girls in the nicest clothing with shining auras have all these flaws with mircoblaided brows, gel talons and Ardell lashes straight from Atlanta, Georgia's finest CVS. Why do our German girls look like this or aspire to this aesthetic when all Germany preaches is fresh, holistic and natural beauty. I mean there are so many campaigns for health & wellness in lieu of artificial beauty and no one practices it. 

It goes beyond aging

I shouldn't have people asking me if this is my real hair or my real age. I shouldn't be pushed detox teas and collagen drinks while at the grocery store. I shouldn't be forced to go to a back room spa for things like that come naturally like a face flush or full eyelashes. If German girls and women were truly eating all this fresh fruit, yogurt and mineral water combined with fresh air, daily fitness and vitamins they wouldn't look like they do. I can count on one hand the amount of German girls and women I have seen actually practicing what they preach. I am talking about the genuinely pretty girls preserved in time by decent face cream, daily flossing and good quartz nail files. I am talking about the 1 in 8 of girls sitting on the train typically by themselves with no friends. And maybe the poor souls that avoided the plague of aging and looking unkept are abandoned by the others. Maybe there has been a reversal in beauty in terms of popularity and approachability. Maybe German boys like girls with ratty hair, bad teeth, smoking and wearing bronzer. Or maybe I am just out of touch. But I cannot believe the amount of backhanded compliments I get from German women about my appearance especially when I take a closer eye to them. I am doing nothing differently at this point. And all of us are stuck at home. We should all look like fucking goddesses de-stressed and refreshed from uninterrupted beauty regimens. There simply cannot be any excuse for our appearances outside of gaining weight or losing muscle. I digress, beyond the masks I see young girls with bloodshot eyes and hands like mechanics all the time. 

Do German women subscribe to daily beauty regimen?

So for me the concept of waking and sleeping with a consistent routine is integral. This is basic grooming 101. As a child you are taught to wake, wash up and brush your teeth. Then at night before bed you do the same. You typically change this to your needs as a teenager. If you are active in sports, or work after school or live in a home with other people sharing a bathroom. Maybe you shower once a day, or shampoo your hair every other day or only floss only when you eat strawberries. For me I have seasons, in the Summer I could shower four times in one day and in Winter I may do it every other day. Again, these are choices we have to make to preserve our skin, manage our time and look well. I have met people with psoriasis that shower once a week and women that only shampoo their hair when they get into the salon. For me, the act of looking ones self in the mirror is important whether I leave my home or not. I am constantly taking stock in my skin and its texture and clarity. I spend one to two days a week focusing on my hair but most days I cover mines up. I keep things like hand cream and nail tools by my bed and near the sofa in the living room. Nails are a pet-peeve of mine and I will always file them and keep them neat. Fortunately, for me I do not require a face regimen of cleansers or tonics. I also don't have a dire need to shave everywhere all the time. But I do have a favorite sunscreen and I exfoliate when I shave. These are things in my daily "beauty" regimen. Makeup, procedures are not included in that. I wear makeup on occasion. I go to the gym when I can. I do not do things to myself! Are German women just rolling out of bed? Are you all just waiting for a professional to do the hard stuff like hair removal, skincare and hair maintenance. Seriously, I am noticing more and more people don't even brush their hair or wear actual deodorant. Is the some sort of vegan, hipster, bio thing?

I mean bio doesn't me dead

When I enter these health food stores and bio ladens they are full of products that do the job. I personally have been an ambassador of The Body Shop since I was eleven. I mean it is as wholesome as you can get for everything from soap to eyeliner. I use their washcloths, loofahs, body wash, mascara, scrubs ... alles. They have a variety of things so you can choose to smell fruity, woodsy, natural etc. I don't see this organic lifestyle as an excuse to be messy or stink. Fair trade coconut oil is more expensive than an actual product to brush ones teeth or cure ones armpit musk. You should honestly fry fish in that or mushrooms or whatever floats your boat. I guess what I am trying to say is I personally am crunchy to an extent and have plenty of crunchy and conscious friends and we don't look like shit. I think there is a huge disconnect in Germany that being aware allows you to look a mess. That the image of being holistic is one of a dry face, dull hair and brittle nails. And the look of true beauty is artificial with fake enhancements, full face makeup and a shitton of brand names. There is no medium of a quintessential German girl with glistening braids, tinted lips and her own eyebrows - the milch m├Ądchen, Oktoberfest dirndl wearing, Rapunzel in a castle girl. And she too would be bathing in streams, adorning herself in wildflowers and using beet juice for rouge. But she is pretty, naturally so and doesn't look and smell like the bio tonne. So why do I keep having these encounters where odors and essences seep through my N95 on the train in the way Axe does on a hot Summer day?

Women have to hard, I am trying to align but I can't

As a woman I understand how hard it is to be a woman. Some days it is hard to get out of bed when I realize all the things I have to do to be presentable just to walk my dog. So on the days where I have to be fresh and forward it is all the more daunting. Then we have the 5 to 7 days out of the month or times where things like new soaps or condoms didn't agree with us. And then there are mood swings, emotions and the general unwell feeling of being bloated or fat or not having anything to wear. Being a woman is fucking hard and I have been there for all of these moments. I have also screamed in the mirror at a line of demarcation in my hair or an occasional chin pimple. And days like these I really want a pedicure or for someone else to shape up the back of my neck. However, in all of the above I know there are things, realistic and acceptable things I can do about my appearance. There is no one physically forcing me to do anything other than what I feel I should for myself. No imaginary constructs and social waves will make me succumb to marring myself. I also do not have to conform and if that means not wearing aluminum based deodorant for some so be it. We do not have to wear slips, shave our legs or eat salads. But we do owe it to ourselves to be aware of self. And sometimes women look so unaware or too misguided by others perceptions to be 100% themselves. Being present means wearing clothing, looking clean and smelling good. It means the basics. And it doesn't require you to overdraw your lipline, wear a waist cincher or pay 75€ for coffin shaped nails. I am so tired of seeing vapid, overdone women and girls all alone on the Linie 18 reeking of whatever Gucci fragrance, with makeup on their coat collar and their lashes preventing them from seeing their phones. For an outsider looking in this is German beauty at its finest. Usually a minute or so later they begin rolling a cigarette. To each their own but I really don't have any advice to give when you ask someone like me what I am doing to look the way I do. I guess the only answer I could give at this point is I do me. 



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