you don’t alter your pinayness, you alter yourself to fit being a pinay

NOT ONLY did esposa hermosa not find a recent article I read about bridal tube feeding an alarming commentary on the lengths women will go to look “acceptable” on her wedding day, it actually inspired her to do something similar to fit into a picture-perfect party dress that she declared was the ONLY outfit that would satisfy her norm in looking good for an event.  I didn’t believe there was actually a pop culture adage to the effect that you don’t alter (a certain fashion designer’s dimensions), you alter yourself to fit (that designer), certainly commercially-conceived consumer hyperbole, but I saw it brought to life by esposa herself, declaring a one-day fast (save for smoothies and crackers) just to look fabulous (she already looks fabulous to me) for said event.

Which just brought to mind the various pressures women are subjected to just to prettify themselves and therefore give themselves the veneer of acceptability (let alone beauty) in civilized society.  It would all be very well in absolute terms, but we all know that men are not subjected to this pressure to paint our faces, finger nails and toe nails, put on at least half a dozen different substances on multiple layers to moisturize, lighten and strategically shade spots on their faces, specifically eyes, cheeks and noses;

Routinely in weddings, debuts and formal occasions, nobody gives us men a second look (even in our supposedly virile 20s, 30s and 40s) with our beer bellies and five o’clock shadows, but these same men would thumb their noses at their mates if the latter came out with anything less than flawless complexions and hourglass figures.

Obviously with my resume’, I can only speak for Pinays, so I hope there are some parallels you can draw if you’re other-Asian, Caucasian or of some other persuasion.

Depending on the amount of time a poor girl has before a big event, she can either pick out an outfit she’s never worn before or buy a brand-new one, usually worth several paycheques, pick out or buy shoes that match said outfit, replenish her store of makeup and hair care products or outsource the hair-and-makeup job to a professional who’s paid by the minute, and don’t forget the sidetrip to buy accessories, real jewelry and fashion jewelry, all the above to attend an event that besides the celebrant, no one will remember, to partake of food that will be a distant memory the morning after, and attended by people half of which she doesn’t even know.

And her boyfriend / date / partner?  He gets to wear the same suit he’s worn for Junior-Senior prom, graduation, his wedding, and probably the same suit he’ll be buried in (sorry to be morbid).  A sprinkle of face powder, deodorant and some after-shave, if he’s saved some from last time comprises the full range of aesthetic preparation he will undertake for the same occasion.

Nothing new for him, but hopefully everything will be freshly laundered.  All he needs to do is keep his shirt free from wine and ketchup stains, prevent scuffing the dull sheen of his loafers, and comb his unruly hair every now and then to avoid negative comments about hair gone awry.

On the other hand, his mate, harrassed Pinay, has a thousand-and-one items on her inbox.  Hair in place?  Check.  Face perfect?  Awesome for now.  Gown, bag and shoes coordinated? OK.  Now just hold that pause for the next three hours for the pics and Facebook posts so we can get this show on the road.

Sigh.  It’s hard enough to be pretty and sexy.  Harder when you’re young and eligible.  But it’s truly a challenge to be all that, and Pinay.

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