Thursday, January 17, 2013

We Need To Talk

I've gotten to a point with this blog where I'd like to hear more from you, my humble readers. We're 40 posts in, and that seems as good a time as any to pause for some reflection.

Firstly, now there are actually more followers on this blog than people I know in person, I'm going to go ahead and assume I haven't bullied ALL of you into reading personally. In this case, how did you find me? Did you find a link somewhere? If so, where? Were you randomly searching, "used pantyhose ebay", and found yourself here? (you laugh, but I know at least one person did. They're probably not still reading though)

Now you're here, and you're totally going to keep coming back (pleasedon'tleaveme),what have you enjoyed most so far? What annoyed you? What did you find boring? What would you like to see more of? What would you be happy to never see here again? Do you guys want to hear more about my crazy? About my nails? Would you be interested if I added more about my clothes, accessories, and how I put things together below my face? How about my queerness, and how that works into my femmeness? Do you have a favourite movie that you would like me to do some nail art of? What do you think I do that other bloggers don't? Why do you reguarly give me three to four minutes of your time, when there are a billion other blogs out there?
Please, feel free to be totally honest in your feedback. I can't promise to do everything you say, but I will take it all under advisement.

And lastly, tell me about you. Where are you from? How old are you? Do you have pets? What three words would you use to describe yourself? What's your favourite colour? Do you have any weird allergies? What gets you up in the morning? I'd love to know who I'm talking to when I send my words out into the howling abyss of cyberspace.

The Listen Lady is officially in.

This is my listening face.


  1. Sydney, 30, no pets.
    Blues and purples are my favourites.
    Allergic to nature. Sensitive to things that smell too nice.

    Up in the morning
    70% guilt/responsibility & mortgage (work)
    25% actually looking forward to the day
    5% too hot

    I like your blog because I like people who are into little frivolous things, but still do big thinking too.
    I found you through a link from a friend on twitter, but not sure whom. I then found out we had friends in common.
    I also like beauty blogs that don't just repeat the marketing, but actually are interested in the science. So I think the first thing I read was the Poison on my hands post. Really really really hard to find beauty advice that actually cares about the research.
    Funnily enough I'm not actually that into nails. Just not my thing, but I still enjoy reading your blog immensely.

    Beauty: I love makeup. I'm a sucker for eye make up and things that tell me they'll make my skin beautiful (especially if it's stupidly expensive)
    I've also been struggling with some identity issues around growing my hair long, when it's been short since I was 13. Just feeling unhappy about conforming to the norm, but but but hair buns and pretty ribbons...
    Have been getting into beauty blogs etc when I discovered I actually had friends who cared about this stuff too.

    1. I have so many feelings about long hair/short hair and identity. I have a feeling it will end up as a post one day soon.
      Question about your disinterest in nail stuff - would the current level of nail posts discourage you from reading in the future, or is it interspersed enough that it doesn't bother you?

    2. I don't mind the nail stuff at all. I just don't *do* nails. You made me buy some Sally Hansen that I put on my toes, so perhaps I'm a potential convert.
      Also I lie. I did shellac for a couple of months last year because it stays perfect the whole time. I just don't like normal nail polish on my hands. Cool with looking at it on other people's hands.

    3. Ahh, that makes sense. Also, ha-ha, I got you to buy something! I should totally get sponsored ;)
      Shellac kind of freaks me out. It seems so... permanent. But people say good things. Maybe I'll try it one day just for the hell of it. I'm surprised you didn't a reaction from what you said about your allergies - shellac is pretty heavy duty stuff.

  2. Hi! I have been reading for only a couple of weeks. I found the Reluctant Femme through a series of links from some other feminist blogs that I read. I promptly added you to my google reader. :)

    I do quite enjoy reading about nail polish and eye shadow. I have always been something of a tomboy. I never wore makeup until recently, and I never even started shaving my legs until girls in my high school gym class started hounding me over it...I graduated from college in 2011 and have been making my way with my first few big-girl jobs. I currently work in a corporate environment and I have begun to notice that the further I progress, the more expected it is that I look and dress like a grown-up lady. That seems to include make-up. Your guides to interview makeup were really helpful and I have been playing around with eye shadows a lot since then.

    I like being able to read about these things and try them out without feeling like A Bad Feminist. I appreciate that your advice goes towards what is practical and real for many people. I would love to see more about fashion, as I am still trying to define my styles there too.

    About me... I am 24 and from Nebraska. I used to have a cat but he got upset living in a small apartment so I had to give him away, thus foiling my plan to become the world's youngest cat lady. I love all colors, but especially purple and green. I don't know that I could describe my self in 3 words, but in terms of fasion and appearance I lean towards classic, practical, utilitarian (boring, if you want me to put it bluntly). I am allergic to Dial brand hand soap and certain dyes in socks.

    I look forward to reading more!

    1. I'm really tickled how many people answered ALL my questions! I was kind of just throwing stuff out there :)
      I'm really glad you liked my guide to makeup for the utterly clueless! I wrote it because I remembered trying to learn all this stuff myself back in the day, and how irritating it was.
      Sorry to hear about your cat! I'd been lost without mine now she's wormed her bizarre little self into my life. Maybe you can just collect stuffed cats until you can get a bigger place?

  3. I believe I found you through a comment you left on The Beheld, though I also remember clicking through from The Closet Feminist and finding your name and putting it together that way too. You probably know more about me than you'd ever hoped, through reading my blog! And honestly, I'm just thrilled to have another blogger in this funny little feminist-makeup corner of the internet. Everything you write, I'll eagerly read! (And if at any point you did nail art of the Wizard of Oz or anything David Lynch I might just die of happiness.)

    1. I'm pretty relieved to hear you're interested in what I'm doing, because at first I was a little worried you would feel like I was just ripping you off :)
      (Also, I am totally adding Wizard of Oz to my upcoming nail art projects.)

  4. San Diego, 49, 2 cats, 1 goldfish. Artsy, hennahead, married. I've lived in 8 states and spent 7 months in China and 3 years in England. My mother is an old-school ultra-feminist who doesn't wear dresses, make-up or jewelry -- and thinks I am a total cop-out because I do... still, after all this time... I can't help it. I was born liking vibrant colors, design and make-up. I am now a professional henna artist/face-painter.

    I love reading your blog -- fresh voice and original opinions. SO, I'm not as into nails, I enjoy reading your joy. I found it somehow through a link on a link from an indie blog...and stayed because I like the content.

    I have a blog, too... but only about 3 readers... no worries, though; that's 3 more readers than I had when I started... it all works when you focus on what you're saying from your heart. You have a lot of heart and it shows.

  5. Mother/daughter relationships are so complicated, even at the best of times. I'm still reeling that my mother used to come across just like yours, but since I've "come out" about being into femme stuff, suddenly she wants to go get manicures together.
    "It all works when you focus on what you're saying from your heart."
    That's certainly at the heart of what I'm trying to do. I figure when there are a million other blogs out there, the best way to distinguish myself it to be honest and sincere.

  6. I found shellac ok because it mostly doesn't touch my skin, and I can wait 3 weeks in between before needing to do anything to it.
    If I were to wear nail polish on my hands I'd want to take it off and redo it a couple of times a week and my hands can't handle that much nail polish remover on and off.
    (If you decide to try shellac I know a lady who's good. One of the big mistakes a lot of manicurists make, apparently, is soaking your fingers first, which makes the shellac warp and come off too soon)

    1. I take mine on and off multiple times a week, but I found since I switched to the awesome homemade concoction Labmuffin came up with, my skin has been suffering a LOT less. Plus, it's SCIENCE, which I love.

      I'll keep that in mind about the shellac. There has to be a post in that at least :)

  7. Hi! I found you recently through a link from this blog post:
    Even though it is a link to your "manicure tips—butch edition" I am another one who is not so into the nail posts, but I don't mind them :) I recently got into the habit of wearing a neutral pinky-peach nail color and I like the way it looks and feels, but the crazy nail looks and colors are just way too much effort for me. I always feel kind of "disabled" when I have to spend so long waiting for it to dry. And then I hate when I find myself worrying about chipping my polish when I'm doing something like using my nails to open a package.

    Anyway. I enjoy a few blogs that are super-positive product reviews/tutorials and stuff, but I like yours because it's a little bit deeper, personal, and more real! I love that you use colors from just one eyeshadow palette (chosen because of the Resident Evil movies) and smush it on with your fingers.
    Other blogs make me think "maybe I do need to go buy a new MAC eyeshadow brush, I only have the one I got from the drugstore..." and yours reminds me that really we can do things the lazy way (smush it on with your fingers!) or however we want and not stress about it too much.

    As for myself, I'm 27, married, and I have a pug. I basically see beauty stuff as a kind of a game or skill that I can research and get better at. I like being able to put as much or little effort into it as I want on any given day, and not let it define me too much, if that makes sense.

    I don't remember if you've done many posts about your hair? Learning about "CG" for my curly hair made a big difference in my life, so I wonder if you would be interested in trying that out. (I am currently kind of bored of spending so much thought/time on my hair that I have an appointment to chop it off maybe to pixie length, though!)

    1. "I basically see beauty stuff as a kind of a game or skill that I can research and get better at."
      I like this! It really is, you know, when you get right down to it. Also, I'm happy you like my lazy attitude to purchasing makeup - I've tried using the proper brushes and doing it the "right" way, and I honestly can't tell the damn difference most of the time.

      Interesting idea about more hair posts...I don't really DO a lot with my hair apart from pull it off my face, but I also can't bring myself to cut it. *ponders* Interesting...

  8. Hello! I've known you for years, and found your blog when you started posting about it on twitter.

    I'm singularly unskilled in matters nail-related - in fact, fair to say that I suck at visual aesthetics in general. But I am fascinated by the process and the art that goes into it, and how much a part of identity and self-image costuming and beauty are for so many of my friends. I find it really interesting and revealing; and I think it's pretty cool you've put yourself out there like this. Another friend of mind does a vlog on makeup at @tabooliosweb, which you might find interesting, too?

    Plus, you're an interesting writer, and have interesting things to say across a whole range of issues I'm interested in - particularly mental health and feminism. Looking forward to more!

    1. Oh, whoops - personal stuff:
      29, Sydney, 1 cat (name: Flametiger Throwdown) + 2 more from our housemates, married to a very stylish and smart woman who has largely built my ability to dress myself like a grown-up; currently working in IR and studying law. Which accounts for needing to get up most mornings. Allergic to awkward family interactions and the word "synergy".

    2. Flametiger Throwdown? You're too cool for school Tom.

  9. OK personal stuffs first: I'm Veronica, 28, from Marysville Washington (it's a hick town north of Seattle). I have five cats and for Christmas last year my coworker got me a Crazy Cat Lady Action figure. I describe myself as a sarcastic, funny optimist (I know, how does THAT work? ....well mostly it doesn't but oh well). I love purple and am majorly allergic to all things stupid. My cats and my boyfriend get me up in the morning (and chocolate, if there's any in the day is always worth going through if I get to eat chocolate at some point!) I found your blog after you commented on mine ( and have been reading ever since. I love your writing! My favorite posts are usually ones with something whacky or crazy, but I like a diverse blog. Keep writing, cuz I adore you!

    1. I am so, SO jealous of your Crazy Cat Lady Action figure, and also your ability to keep up with five cats. I am reguarly worn out by my one - but then she is pretty demanding, even on the scale of cats.

      I am also totally with you on the idea that any day with chocolate in it is worth getting up for.

  10. Hi! I've been reading back through the blog and on reaching this post I thought I'd say hello.

    I got here from LJ (you linked from feminist_geeks possibly?) when you'd just started, and liked what I read. Then I think I was reading the Down Under Feminists' Carnival and a contributor might have linked back to you (possibly not in a featured post, I browse around) and found you'd written heaps of new material, so I'm sticking around to read!

    I like reading feminist blogs: feminism and comics, feminism and gaming, feminism and parenting, feminist movie reviews, feminism and politics... so why not feminism and femme? I really enjoy your thinky posts and delving into the meaning of dressing up and social messages and all that stuff. I enjoy your nail polish posts because I love shiny colourful things, and your photos are nice. I don't do it myself but I can appreciate the amazing colours and the skill of painting it on - it's a lot like painting Warhammer 40k minatures, cool to look at, too fiddly and smelly for me!

    The whole femme thing is, frankly, totally alien to me, but you make it interesting to read because you came from where I am and went to where you are on the femme spectrum without "selling out", deciding that looking pretty and having boys look at you is the end-all and be-all of existence, and you talk about the subject analytically. Also you don't assume that every woman was born knowing how to do eyeshadow or that being pretty ought to be everyone's top priority, so I think your posts will be able to help on a nice basic level when I want to find out how to look suitable for going to a friend's wedding. Every other makeup tip I've read in my life assumes you already know what to do - it's like they're written in another language!

    About me: I'm 31, from New Zealand, vegan, one boyfriend, two cats, one hyperactive kitten. At my job the only cosmetic I use is plenty of SPF 50+ sunscreen. I have short hair and comfy cargo pants, and my toenails are glittering with the remnants of the $2 Shop nail polish my niece painted on me on Christmas Day.

    1. I gotta admit, when I started this, I had a sneaking worry that maybe I was the only woman who didn't instinctively "get" makeup, and it has been SO encouraging to realise that I'm not. I'm also really tickled by how many readers I have who have nowhere near the interest in nail stuff that I do. It's an audience I never expected, but I love it!

      As for $2 Shop glitter polish, that stuff can ROCK. ;)


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I live for comments, good or bad.

Anonymous commenting IS allowed on this blog, but in order to reduce the amount of spam, comments on posts more than 14 days old will be moderated.