Scarf (as belt): Ebay
Shoes: Ecco, thrifted
Day 4 of the Dress your best challenge: I'm dressing to flatter/draw attention to my complexion. I mean by this both the color, tone, softness/hardness of the big ole' epidermis, the biggest organ of everyone's body.
My skin was a touchy subject for a while. My mom is very fair, and as some of you may know, light skin is fetishized in most places in the world (except where folks are naturally fair). See this NYTimes article and this blog post for more info. The preponderance of skin lightening creams in the Global South/East Asia reflects deep seated prejudices about skin color, class, and beauty, but we don't have to go into that now. The key thing is that for a while I internalized some of the not so nice things said about darker skin.
In addition, until about 3 or 4 years ago, I still struggled with break outs that made my complexion less than picture perfect (I think it was pretty common in graduate school). I think it was my perfectly complexioned mother's mission in life to spend as much money possible to manufacture clearer skin. I tried almost everything under the sun, and then I sort of stopped trying. I tried to minimize stress, eat healthier, exercise, drink water, fresh produce, etc. I put almost nothing on my face now except some moisturizer and some glycolic acid (I occasionally use a mask, but only when I want Blokey to mock me. He has pretty damn perfect skin too). The most important part, however, was accepting myself as not perfect. I could spend money on pills, creams, and contraptions and possibly have marginally better skin, but instead I've just decided that this is not a big deal. It doesn't make impossibly unattractive, it just makes me "me."
(Lula likes to blog too, but I'm deducing from her facial expression that she prefers the scarf around the waist, not the neck)
Here's what I've figured out as being pretty awesome about my skin. It hasn't really aged since I was 16. There's a just a bit of dryness under my eyes, but I don't have crows feet, even when I smile. When I furrow my brow, the skin crinkles, it doesn't wrinkle. This rather oily, thick darker skin looks pretty good as I'm get older. My skin is also pretty well moisturized without lotion, even in the winter (even in Minnesota winters). Also, with the exception of 2 pictures, I haven't worn make up in any of my photos on this blog. While I can look better with some make up, I still think I look all right without it.
Finally, I don't have to worry about "looking too pale," which I didn't know was a problem until my fair-skinned friends explained the dilemma to me. Someone tried to do my colors once and declared that I'm one of those weirdos who can do cool and warm colors. White or cream? Both, please. Black/brights or earth tones/browns? Either works. I can wear a wide variety of colors (even if I often don't) and I think I pull them off relatively well. This blog is partly a way for me to explore colors, patterns, and non black looks, and I think I'm making good progress.