Friday, May 13, 2011

And speaking of hair.....

And speaking of hair (see post below), I'd like to see a mano-a-mano between billionaire zealot douchebag Donald Trump's hairstylist and the aesthetic god/goddess who styles Cameroon's First Lady Chantal Biya. That would be EPIC.

I was once snuck into the Costume Institute "Goddess" themed dinner party for the dessert/entertainment course. This was easier to do since people were standing, mingling, and walking around by this point. As I sashayed in rocking a black cashmere tank top and floor-length satin skirt, hair in a bun making me look like Imelda rather than my aspiration - Audrey Hepburn - with a silk Manton de Manila purchased in Seville, trying to "blend in," I practically bumped into Donald Trump. Just then a hush fell in the room - and Diana Ross came on stage in a massive Afro wig. At that point, I almost fainted and began to cry softly, I love her so much. Once I came to, I began to notice my surroundings (Iman, Diane von Fursternberg, various heroin-chic models that I should recognize, but didn't) and was face-to-face with a 3/4 view of Trump's head -inches from me. Now, as a sufferer of academentia, who focuses on visual culture, I am trained to conduct detailed analysis of what I see. Yet even I was left with insufficient tools to understand what I was seeing. After a life-time spent obsessing on my bad hair and others' I cannot explain the alchemy/chemistry/engineering/mala leche behind his coiffure.

For more insight into the Bermuda Triangle of the male hairstyle that is Trump's coif, check out this BRILLIANT analysis from Vanity Fair where they use terms like "double comb-over" and "demi-mullet."

RIP Mirta de Perales

Source: (link below)

I was saddened a few days ago to learn about the passing of beauty icon, Mirta de Perales. The Cuban cosmetics guru was admired by all of us when I was a child. Everyone aspired to be a "Chica Mirta' which required straight, bouncy, manageable, shiny hair. Unlike the lucky girl above, being groomed by the Capillary Maestra herself at the Miss Piel Canela Pageant (what could be better than a Miss Nutmeg Colored Skin Pageant?), my hair was not manageable, stick straight or bouncy. It is heavy, coarse, inconsistently wavy, static-y, and prone to expansion like a loofah sponge under water.

Intimidating to dozens of hair stylists, my hair elicited gasps and cries of "What will I do with this?" Or, as one woman in Spain told me "tu tienes pelo de negra," which my current styling goddess, who finally "gets" my texture and style goals (basically, to look like a woman in a Christian Schad painting or better yet, Isabella Blow), calls it "a cross between black hair and Asian hair." Yeeessss.

Pathologized as a beauty defect by my severe grandmother, who was obsessed with looking European, and as light as possible, my hair and I were subjected to strict discipline. Not requiring the dreaded lye, my hair could be "tamed" at home. Which in a way made it even more "shameful" - they couldn't even take me to "el biuti" (beauty parlor) to handle the situation. They had to take care of it at home, on the DL. The hair required hot coconut oil mixed with eggs massaged into my scalp, followed by vigorous pulling at the hair from various sides at once by a couple of aunts, who twirling the clumps into a big round brush applied 20000-degree heat temperature blow driers to it. Ouch.