Body Love: H is for Hygiene
My German grandmother used to say that I always should wear clean knickers when leaving the house. I need to make sure to have clean fingernails, to bathe and to brush my teeth. Apparently you never know if you will have an accident and end up in the hospital. And what would the doctors think if I were dirty and smelly? – I never really took her thoughts about this seriously, but when my mental health declined, I realized how easy one can slip into not caring about hygiene anymore. So this year I have put some extra effort into taking care of myself physically.
It sounds embarrassing, but depression took away my ability to take care of myself. Even these days, it is still hard to eat regularly, to get out of bed, to get some sunshine and fresh air, and to shower. This year it has been a bit better: I have been able to shower almost every day! Some days it was really hard, and it was my only accomplishment of the day, but washing off the hopelessness, the sadness, the anxiety and the stinky smell of nightmare-ridden sleepless nights has helped me tremendously to feel better about myself. I don’t feel as disgusting or unattractive on my bad days, when I smell of fruity bodywash and coconutty shampoo.
Hygiene is more than brushing your teeth or taking a shower, at least for me. It is about taking care of your body in a way that it feels clean and presentable. Yes, I wash my hands for more than twenty seconds every time I have left the house and return home. And yes, I brush my teeth twice a day, I wash my hair, I try to keep my nails clean. But it is also about upkeep for me.
As someone who has never had a lot of financial means, I always had to take all sorts of beauty treatments into my own hands. I have not been to a hairdresser in almost 15 years, I have never had my nails done, or my eyebrows, or been to a spa, or been professionally waxed. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t take care of those things. I just do that at home, with products I buy cheap. And I must admit that I also like that I am able to be in control of what I use and how, instead of being at the hands of someone who doesn’t know my body and needs.
I use a lot of different beauty products and even when I am not doing well, I still do my skin care routines every day. It is a sort of self-care for me. So I wash my face, exfoliate, tone, lotion, facial masks, facial mists, vitamin serum. All the trimmings. I also shave my own legs, my cunt, under my arms, twice a week. Exfoliate the rest of my body, use bodylotion. And I use about five different hair products, from coconut oil to antifrizz spray.
Hair and Make-Up
I cut and dye my own hair too. And my hair is complicated! Can you believe that I have had my bangs for 10 years, and my sides shaven (mohawk) for over 15 years, and I did it all by myself? Yup! I used to dye my hair black, which made things easier. Well, it wasn’t so easy to get my hair from black to light blonde before I could dye it purple though. It took me almost two months to get there. But I did it by myself.
I trim my bangs, I shave or trim my sides. I cut my split ends. And I bleach my hair and then dye it purple. I got to admit that at one point a third of my hair broke off about 8 years ago when I had parts of my hair dyed pink. I overbleached it and when I tried to brush through it, my hair just broke off. Well, I learnt my lesson, and I am more careful now!
One thing that I do and that makes me always feel better about myself, and the way I look, is make-up. Some might say it is the opposite of hygiene, because you are not cleaning your face, you are making it dirty! It is a sort of physical self-care for me though. I love the process of putting make up on, and I never really rush through it. I have been wearing make up ever since I was 13 years old, and I have shaved my eyebrows for the first time when I was 16. For a while, I tried to pluck them but it just doesn’t work for me. They have a weird shape. So I draw my eyebrows on, with eyeliner. I use a lot of make up products but I never really went for the expensive ones.
I must admit that the way people apply make-up has changed and while I try to go with the times, I am sometimes really confused by all the layers of stuff that people use. Well, I guess I use them too now. Back in the day, you had one product that was both foundation and powder, and if you used some lotion under it, you were good. Now you need primer, foundation, contour, powder, setting powder, glitter, setting spray. Geez Louise!
I am still mostly going for the simple goth make up, but I often experiment with different colours, depending on what I feel like, which shade of purple my hair is and what I have at home. Sometimes I wish I had the means to get all the Jeffrey Star and Kat von D products, but then, got to be grateful for what you got! My favourite thing to use is liquid eyeliner, by the way. I like some tattoo eyeliners too, but nothing beats liquid eyeliners! I have been considering doing a series on my blog about make up, with tutorials and such, because I am being asked a lot about the products I use, or how to do a certain style. So that might be something that is coming in the future!
Hygiene mostly means keeping clean. But for me, it also means to keep your body as well taken care of as you can. And just like clothes, to enhance the things that you like about yourself, and fix those that you don’t like.
I am doing the A to Z challenge during the month of April. My theme is Body Love. So you will get 26 posts from me, following the alphabet, related to the topic body love. You can check out more about the to A to Z challenge by clicking on the banner. You can find a list of sexbloggers participating in the challenge on Mrs Fever’s site.