Visible And Invisible Masks

Our invisible social masks are not enough. Now we have to wear visible masks, which have more advantages than merely shielding our breath and preventing the spread of virus–under the cover of a mask, we can do with a lot less makeup or even no makeup. How much time we waste every day on beautifying ourselves? Now the wasted time can be cut in half or even reduced to 25% of the pre-pandemic level.

My friend once told me that I don’t know how lucky I am as a modern woman, as far as cosmetics are concerned. In the bad old times, women have to put lead on their lips, apply crocodile dung, bind their feet, or tighten their waist so much that they deform their ribs. I don’t know where she learned such things. I’ve never heard anything about crocodile dung and its beauty effects. Somehow I imagine a highly skilled and unethical salesman who did a trick like that–selling something as shitty as that to women who yearn for beauty. This same college friend also told me that perfume cannot have its fragrance without a little bit of shit being put in. I just couldn’t believe her then and I still can’t believe her now.

I know some women will travel to New York City once a month at least to acquire beauty products that are suitable for Asian skin tone and Asian hair. Although New Jersey is right next to NYC, the traffic is atrocious, the tunnel perpetually jammed, the parking price sky high. Yet they are like those unstoppable pilgrims. Often the whole family would go. They would buy goodies that can’t be obtained in Jersey, eat dim sum, obtain a trunk full of groceries. When they come back, they would proudly tell their city stories, including their ticket–mostly for parking violations.

Somehow I feel that this pilgrimage to NYC is not just for material things, but rather it is to satisfy a nostalgia. Most of us come from big cities and in America you have to go to NYC to indulge in the big city craze. Everywhere else is just sleepy suburb.

And I know women who would travel to South Korea for cosmetic surgery. I mean traveling from New Jersey to South Korea. It’s a long way to go. At first I wonder why not in America. Then I was told that only South Korean doctors understand Asian beauty. The American doctors don’t.

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