Saturday, April 01, 2023

It is hard being a woman. We have to do everything and do it well in order to avoid criticism. Let’s be honest, we live in a man’s world—they get paid more, they get better jobs, they lose weight faster and they don’t have to shave if they don’t want to. You think a man would be able to tolerate laser hair removal? Or waxing? It just doesn’t seem fair. Not to mention that they never have to go through childbirth or the monthly inconveniences that come with being of the female gender. We won’t even go into the whole mikvah thing, as this is a family paper. All I will say about that is that before the Teaneck mikvah was redone, and you would have to take a number to wait in a waiting room that was before the actual waiting room, I felt like I was a deli order waiting to be picked up. But enough about that.

Another part about being a woman that I feel has gone too far is the whole dressing-up thing. Those of you who know me know that my favorite pair of shoes is not a fancy, red-soled masterpiece or some overpriced Versace creation, but fake Crocs. Yes, they aren’t even real Crocs, they are the Land’s End version that were marketed as “Gardening Clogs.” Apparently, the shoes that I wear almost every single day, the shoes that I have gotten resoled three times, since I have worn them through to the ground, the only shoes that don’t aggravate my plantar fasciitis, these wonderful shoes that I have been wearing all along as part of my ensemble, I should have been wearing them just to garden. I don’t garden. Tried it once, everything died and that was that. Does this mean that I should not be wearing these shoes to Glatt Express or to bar mitzvahs? Oh well. Live and learn.

I am not a fan of manicures or pedicures, wasn’t brought up that way and have no problem doing my own nails. Of course, when you only have boys, you have to be careful what color you pick. They are fine with any color that is a “team” color—the Minnesota Vikings are purple and yellow, the Carolina Panthers are teal, the New York Mets are blue and orange…any other color is scorned upon. Which is a shame but it keeps you humble. The other day I found a lovely shade of pink in my drawer, put in on, thought it looked great and a week later when the boys finally noticed I got an, “Uchh, what are you wearing on your nails?” So much for that.

And then there is the makeup. Years ago, a cavewoman came home after eating some berries and her caveman husband said, “Honey, your lips look so beautiful, you should eat those berries every day—they are a good color on you.” And a woman’s need for makeup and approval from a man was born. Stupid cavewoman. Makeup is a zillion-dollar industry—not to mention all of those Rodan + Fields sales people you are friends with on Facebook. Wrinkle remover, self tanner, and moisturizers—oh my! It amazes me that some women take the time to put on mascara, eyeliner, blush, lipstick and the like every single day!!! What’s the point? It is like the kid who won’t make his bed because it will just get messed up when he goes to sleep.

I was listening to the news the other day and they started talking about Alicia Keyes (a singer) who started a “Makeup Free Movement.” The singer had gone in for a photo shoot not wearing any makeup and the photographer decided to have her take the shots the way she was. Oh the horror! And now she is starting a revolution for women everywhere to not be be saddled down with the burden of makeup application. To be proud of their naked faces, to embrace the natural beauty, or ugliness, that God gave them. Hey Alicia, I never wear makeup-and though it might be scary for those looking at me, I don’t care. I live in a house with boys. When I wear makeup, they get nervous. Or think it’s a purim costume. I guess Alicia has a lot more influence than I do; at least now I know that my thoughts on makeup are being validated by famous people. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make me look any less frightening…

By Banji Latkin Ganchrow

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