Hiii SYB Babes and newbies!! Welcome to Shake Your Beauty Part Dieux (insert double pirouette and body roll)! I’m positively giddy to be back! As many of you know, I shut my four-year-old blog down in ’09 to focus on being Essence.com’s beauty editor…and every day, I quietly nursed the SYB-sized hole in my heart. Don’t get me wrong, Essence was magical. Lovely peeps, iconic brand and Michael Ealy was a frequent visitor (he smiled at me once and I swear I got a little pregnant).
But out of all my career milestones – the “beauty editor at Elle/Lucky/Glamour/Teen People/Essence.com” thing, the books, the Olay commercial, my face showing up on a Panamanian ad for a nose-slimming clip #truestory – SYB might make me the most proud. I started it back in 2005, when there were only like 5 1/2 beauty blogs in existence and I’d just realized “blog” wasn’t a skin condition like psoriasis. I had a ball talking Nars Exhibit A Blush and DIY Brazilians on my terms, not a magazine’s — and most of all, getting to know my Babes! The most loyal, hilarious, wildly beauty-obsessed chicks on the planet. Let’s do it all again, girls! As always, hit the comments section to ask questions, share obsessions, etc. But if you throw shade, know that my mom might read you. It’s happened before.
So, my life has changed dramatically in the last two years. The Cliff’s Notes version: My baby, Carolina May (aka Lina Bean, The Bean, Lina Lina Bobina) is THREE and a hilarious sass machine; I’m now a divorced single mom, but trying to make it sexy; I’m growing out my relaxer (not sexy); I’m a pole dancing monster; and I just went into business with my sisters, Devon/”Brownie,” an entertainment lawyer and new mommy, and Lauren, TheRoot.com’s Deputy Editor…stay tuned for the big reveal! Two clues: black hair and crazy discounts.
And speaking of hair.
Yep, still frequenting Brooklyn’s baddest Dominican salons for weekly blowouts. My favorite is owned by a moody siren we’ll call Sex on Fire. She looks like what her alias sounds like – picture a tumble of platinum and cherry-red extensions, lacquer platform stilettos, and all House of Dereon everything. Last Sunday, Sex on Fire looked peaked and was having visible trouble wielding her blowdryer.
Me: Are you feeling okay, Sex on Fire? Do you need to sit down?
Sex on Fire: I can’t sit down, mami (grimacing). I don’t feel good.
Me: What’s wrong?
Sex on Fire: Umm…I had bad food, my stomach not so good. Umm…hold on. (She sends her junior stylist to go get lunch; now the salon’s empty). Okay, I tell you the truth.
The truth: Sex on Fire pulls her jeans down to reveal the biggest ass I’ve ever seen on a person not on the cover of King magazine. She’s like a size 8 or 10, the brand new butt is a 20. How did I not notice this? The badonk is encased in a gauzy, surgical panty contraption…through which I see twelve band-aids across her cheeks, each punctuated with a tiny dot of blood. In my head, all I hear is Big Sean chanting “ass, ass, ass, ass…”
Sex on Fire: I got butt injections to make it fatter! It hurts but I perfect now! I perfect now!!
Me: Well…look at that. Sexy!
Sex on Fire: I know. But wait.
She then lifts up her shirt to her chin, showing a corset and a pair of swollen balloon breasts, wrapped in gauze.
Sex on Fire: I got lipo and did my tits, too. $15,000 for everything. I never had nothing, no ass, no tits. And I had too much fat in the middle. I never try to get a man porque what I’m getting him with?
Me: But…but…Sex on Fire, you have such a dazzling personality! You’re beautiful.
Sex on Fire: Now I beautiful (looks me up and down). You don’t got ass or tits either, mami. You need the shots, especially. How else you get a new man?
Me: How else, indeed.
Sex on Fire: Butt shots, mami. You be perfect like me.
And then she puts her clothes back on and blows out my hair like she didn’t just Shug Avery me down (“you sho is ugly!”). And I’m thinking, please god tell me she didn’t go to one of those butchers luring chicks into hotel rooms to inject their arses with ingredients found at Home Depot. And then I thought about “I perfect now.” What she did was uber-extreme, but how could I judge, when my I’m all about products to make you feel more perfect. The difference is, when you rock a hot pink lip or a shine serum, you’re enhancing what you already have, and there’s self-acceptance in that– you’re not Frankenstein-ing yourself to gain a brand new body.
I may be shaped like a straw, but I’m smart and loved and when I smudge Laura Mercier Caviar Stick Eye Colour in Steel ($24) on my lids, I feel trampy-hot and invincible (second mention, that’s how boss it is). Plus, when Bobina looks at my Mahogany poster, she thinks Diana Ross is me. I perfect now!
So, what do you think about the whole butt injections thing? Have you done it? Would you? Bizarre or bizarrely empowering? What would Hottentot Venus think of all this? Let’s discuss.