I'd rather be a Warhorse than a Princess...

Some people think Warhorse is selling natural beauty products.  We don't. But maybe we do. I guess it depends on your definition of beauty.

Rosalind Russell, actress and classic natural beauty, is quoted as saying, "Taking joy in living is a woman's best cosmetic."  Ok, so maybe Warhorse does support a "beauty" regime--get out and experience life, get dirty, get clean, get dirty.

My niece loves the outdoors, and surely isn't afraid of getting dirty, of exploring, of battling her big brother when he tells her she's too much of a baby to trek around with him through the woods. Let's hope she continues delving into dirt while she's growing into an educated, sophisticated, dedicated young woman.

Recently I was asked by a magazine editor for my best beauty tips. My sister laughed when she heard the voice mail message. I hit "Call Back" on my phone, and I asked if I could talk about our skin-loving Warhorse Pet Shampoo or our Hand Soap that would remove heavy grime and leave working hands soft, even with repeated use.   Cleaning tips might be better. Gardening tips? Cooking tips? Soap making tips?  Nope, the interviewer wanted beauty tips. As my sister said,  "Anyone who knows you, won't believe it." After thinking long and hard. I gave up my secret beauty tips:

                                                Eat real food. Brush your teeth.

                                             Don't look in the mirror too often.

                                                                Get Dirty.

                                                                   Move.

I don't know if my tips will make the beauty cut, but it got me to thinking...

Pretty is pretty tough to attain and maintain, isn't it?  And I would be lying through my teeth if I didn't admit that I hope my husband thinks I'm pretty. Sure, I'd be happy if Hugh Jackman, who just seems so darn nice and genuine, saw me in one of his Laughing Man coffee shops and thought, "Gee, that woman is pretty, and I like her salt-n-pepper hair."  I've been encouraged to dye my graying hair. I'm getting lots of beauty advice, lately.

Yes, beauty advice is everywhere. But I certainly have no business giving it to anyone, except maybe my definition of beauty--choices that help us be healthier and happier. The push for perfection is pervasive. And it takes a lot of time and looking in the mirror to be perfect. And please look out for the little girls who can easily slip and slide into a Princess Problem. 

Yes, I know my blog articles are marathonic...but I will continue...

I taught high school students for 15 years, and I know something about the Princess Problem--the exhausting PERFECTION journey that many of my female students chose. If you want more about the Princess Problem, check out Dr. Rebecca Hains' research on girls, women, and media.  If you want to see the Princess Problem in action, just look around--you can't miss it.

I never tell my 3-year-old niece that she's "sooooo pretty." In fact, I never comment on her appearance, because she's gonna get plenty "beauty advice." I got her a toy helicopter on her last birthday. Books of course from an English teacher. For Christmas, it was a jug of Warhorse Body Soap to clean up her little grimy hands and her dirt-stained face after her many adventures with big brother or cousins. 

If we can keep her 3 year-old sponge soaking, impressionable mind away from beauty magazines, from watching "Red Carpet" events, from Housewives of New Jersey (except as examples of too much makeup), little miss muddy hands can develop some mighty girl power, and remain unscathed by the Princess Problem.  Once she's got her own identity, then maybe she can handle teen magazines.

So what's a girl to do?

Ok, be pretty--and be pretty fun, pretty smart, pretty messy, pretty sweaty, pretty skilled, pretty aggressive, pretty kind.

Diversify. Step out of your designated gender roles and get dirty.

 

 

 

Most of the time, I keep my back turned toward the mirror, away from the "eye of  a little god, four-cornered." Sylvia Plath's poem Mirror personifies the all-powerful mirror, of how we women empower it so much, that, indeed, it does force us to "tears and agitation"--that "terrible fish" that rises towards me. I NEVER stand in front of those department store mirrors. I got to keep moving.

We Warhorses like to keep moving and and get pretty dirty from some malaria fighting bug spray and jungle funk in a Costa Rica Palo Seco mangrove filled with red snapper and crocs, from some layered sunscreen on the NC Inter Coastal Waterway, from some 26 mile marathoner sweat, from some Biltmore Estate trail riding green horse slobber, from some Myrtle Beach Harley Week grime, from some Pea Ridge back woods 4 wheeling red red mud. And we probably have to admit we want to be pretty while we do it. So we wear cool sunglasses.

Interesting sunglasses observation. I wonder if Dr. Hains' research explores how sunglasses are used in advertising, and make us feel hip, relevant, serious, tough, pretty? 

But I do need my functional "See What's Out There" Costa sunglasses when I am fighting the glare and searching for bottom hugging flounder in the shallow salt water flats at Oregon Inlet. It's just an added benefit that I imagine they help me look sexier, younger, prettier while I try to wipe the fish slime and dead minnow stink off my hand on my very chic Michael Kors camo pants.

Flounder Fishing is pretty awesome.