Beware the Falsehood of False Lashes

I like to observe things around me and one thing I’ve come to note of late is that a lot of women look like Muppets.  Miss Piggy has enormous, spider-like, all-encompassing false eyelashes and she is a Muppet, right?  Why would any woman want to look like that?  I am so perplexed by this trend.

The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers say that the false eyelash industry is booming.  One source said it made 44 million dollars in 2010.  Even with the threat of complications like infections and permanent loss of lashes, women are still lining up for this service.  I believe it because everywhere I look, I feel like I’m in a horror movie called “Tarantula” and women have spiders coming out of their eyes.  I keep a having a nightmare that I will be next.  But then I remember that I would have to actually drive myself to a salon, willingly sit in a chair for about two hours and then open my wallet for a couple hundred dollars first, and I would never do that.  What a relief!  Spending $10 instead of $7 on mascara at Target is when I feel like I’ve suddenly gone all crazy.

Really, though, doesn’t just buying mascara make you crazy enough?  How is one woman supposed to decipher all the different formulas?  I never know if I’m supposed to want to try the volumizing or the lengthening or the curling or the deepest blackest black?  And then, there is the choice in wands.  It was much simpler when it was just Cover Girl and Maybelline and Max Factor.  Now, you can’t even get Max Factor unless you live in the United Kingdom, which is terrible because it was always my favorite.  I digress.  The point is, we women have it hard enough.  We just need to get out the door in the morning and we don’t need to worry about such trivial things.  Now we have to worry about wands and formulas and then when everybody else on the train or in the office is showing up looking like Muppets, we might feel the pressure to look like a Muppet too.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m going to suggest that you rebel against looking like Miss Piggy.  I think Miss Piggy wants to look like a Kardashian, but who would want to look like that either?  Have you ever seen pictures of them without their makeup and their fake eyelashes?  You and I get up and we put on a normal amount of makeup, a mom’s amount, a working woman’s amount, and we go about our lives. How long does someone like you or me have to put makeup on anyway?  Five minutes for a regular day?  Ten if we’re going out somewhere really special?  We have important things to do, people who need us.  We can’t spend all day at the mirror.  They have to spend a week in a makeup artist’s chair to look like we’re used to seeing them, so when we see pictures of them in real life, we get scared.  Doesn’t that make you feel sorry for them?  Don’t you realize that actually makes you prettier than them because you don’t need all that stuff to look like yourself?  Think about that and be grateful.

I have never had eyelash extensions, or spent money on Latisse, the prescription so many women use to grow their own lashes to ridiculous lengths.  My own mascara changes every three months, but I average $8 to $10.  The most I ever spent was on DiorShow for $25 at Sephora and that was a stupid decision because I couldn’t tell the difference between that and the $8 mascaras.  I looked up some prices for lash extensions in my area and found they ranged anywhere from $450 for a full set for mink to $150 for synthetic and took two hours for the first sitting.  Fills were anywhere from $200 for the mink to $50 for the synthetic and took another 45 minutes to an hour, every two to three weeks.   That makes my $25 for Christian Dior seem like nothing, right?  Who has that kind of money to throw away?  Who has that kind of time to waste?  I don’t think Melinda Gates wears fake eyelashes.  She gives her money away to help people.  She doesn’t waste it on something so ridiculous. 

Well, here is how we revolt against this industry that is lying to us, telling us we have to look like the people in Hollywood:  Spend the money and the time on something else.  Something, or some things that will actually make you or other people HAPPY.  Do you want the truth?  Eyelashes do not make a person happy.  They don’t.  They can’t.  You are a smart person so I’m sure you can come up with ideas of your own, but here are a few of mine.

  • date night with your husband
  • family activities
  • music lessons for your child
  • music lessons for you
  • books for your child
  • books for you
  • books for the local school
  • books for the shelter
  • donations to the food bank
  • donations to your church
  • donations to the women’s shelter
  • donations to any charity
  • donations to another charity
  • art supplies
  • art classes
  • cooking classes
  • ingredients to cook a gourmet meal
  • a new painting for your home
  • symphony tickets
  • concert tickets
  • sporting event tickets
  • new shoes
  • a really pretty dress
  • family vacation
  • second honeymoon
  • anything else but fake eyelashes

You get the point.  If you are getting eyelash extensions or spending $165 per month on Latisse, that money would add up very quickly for other much more enriching experiences and could be used to benefit other people, especially your own families.  

Last week, my daughter and I went to see the ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty.”  It was magnificent.  We went to dinner first and all together it was cheaper than eyelash extensions.   Are the women of today’s society trading lovely, cultural, social experiences with loved ones because they would rather have fake eyelashes?  Even if you had all the money in the world, could not that money be put to better use?   If we really have that kind of money to throw away on falsehoods, what does that say about our culture?  About the women of today?

About a year ago I went over to the home of a dear friend.  When she greeted me I actually was startled as I hadn’t seen her new eyelashes.  They were very off-putting, jet black, miles long, and completely encircled her eyes.  She didn’t look like herself.  I found myself staring at her the whole time we spent together .  She kept asking what was wrong.  I finally had to say, “hey, I’m not used to seeing you with those things on your eyes.”  I felt like my friend was someone else.  She acted differently with them on, constantly batting her new Muppet eyes.  I didn’t like her this way.  She scared me.  I began thinking, “gosh, do I need to get those?”  Then she told me it was actually kind of hard to see through them.  Really?  And they were expensive.  Well, I have a hard enough time seeing as it is with my dry eyes and I already have bifocals, so I didn’t need one more issue.  Plus, it’s hard enough just to get the darn mascara on in the morning and off again at night.

Is all this eyelash business changing who we are as women?  Is it causing us to attract the wrong kind of men?  Is it making us hide behind something that’s not real and making us miss out on greater opportunities to grow our talents and experience the world?  Are we missing opportunities to serve our fellowmen because we’re spending all our money on ourselves?  And is it scaring off our friends and associates because it makes us bat our fake spider eyelashes and nobody wants to get hit with those things so they stay away?  Are we missing time with our families because we are tending to our vanity?  And, do you want to really get scared?  What are we teaching our children–both our sons and daughters?

If we are to Become Cream we must not be false.  It is one thing to look nice and put on makeup and a nice outfit.  In fact, I think those things are necessary.  We should take care to put our BEST self forward each day, but please—I beg you, not a FALSE self.  I believe we are false when we we go beyond merely enhancing our natural beauty to lying about it.  We become creatures we are not, thus lying to those around us.  Will God ask us what we did with our resources, time and talents and our beauty, our natural beauty?  I would rather say my children had music lessons and lots of books and we took family trips and had lots of adventures together–that we spent time together. 

I would rather know that I looked more like myself with my makeup off than I did with it on.  Something to think about. 

To quote Shakespeare, “This above all; to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” 

This is how we Become Cream. 

Note:  This is not aimed at women who seek eyelash enhancement due to medical reasons.

  •  

    Advertisements

    Beware the Falsehood of False Lashes

    I like to observe things around me and one thing I’ve come to note of late is that a lot of women look like Muppets.  Miss Piggy has enormous, spider-like, all-encompassing false eyelashes and she is a Muppet, right?  Why would any woman want to look like that?  I am so perplexed by this trend.

    The Wall Street Journal and other newspapers say that the false eyelash industry is booming.  One source said it made 44 million dollars in 2010.  Even with the threat of complications like infections and permanent loss of lashes, women are still lining up for this service.  I believe it because everywhere I look, I feel like I’m in a horror movie called “Tarantula” and women have spiders coming out of their eyes.  I keep a having a nightmare that I will be next.  But then I remember that I would have to actually drive myself to a salon, willingly sit in a chair for about two hours and then open my wallet for a couple hundred dollars first, and I would never do that.  What a relief!  Spending $10 instead of $7 on mascara at Target is when I feel like I’ve suddenly gone all crazy.

    Really, though, doesn’t just buying mascara make you crazy enough?  How is one woman supposed to decipher all the different formulas?  I never know if I’m supposed to want to try the volumizing or the lengthening or the curling or the deepest blackest black?  And then, there is the choice in wands.  It was much simpler when it was just Cover Girl and Maybelline and Max Factor.  Now, you can’t even get Max Factor unless you live in the United Kingdom, which is terrible because it was always my favorite.  I digress.  The point is, we women have it hard enough.  We just need to get out the door in the morning and we don’t need to worry about such trivial things.  Now we have to worry about wands and formulas and then when everybody else on the train or in the office is showing up looking like Muppets, we might feel the pressure to look like a Muppet too.

    If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m going to suggest that you rebel against looking like Miss Piggy.  I think Miss Piggy wants to look like a Kardashian, but who would want to look like that either?  Have you ever seen pictures of them without their makeup and their fake eyelashes?  You and I get up and we put on a normal amount of makeup, a mom’s amount, a working woman’s amount, and we go about our lives. How long does someone like you or me have to put makeup on anyway?  Five minutes for a regular day?  Ten if we’re going out somewhere really special?  We have important things to do, people who need us.  We can’t spend all day at the mirror.  They have to spend a week in a makeup artist’s chair to look like we’re used to seeing them, so when we see pictures of them in real life, we get scared.  Doesn’t that make you feel sorry for them?  Don’t you realize that actually makes you prettier than them because you don’t need all that stuff to look like yourself?  Think about that and be grateful.

    I have never had eyelash extensions, or spent money on Latisse, the prescription so many women use to grow their own lashes to ridiculous lengths.  My own mascara changes every three months, but I average $8 to $10.  The most I ever spent was on DiorShow for $25 at Sephora and that was a stupid decision because I couldn’t tell the difference between that and the $8 mascaras.  I looked up some prices for lash extensions in my area and found they ranged anywhere from $450 for a full set for mink to $150 for synthetic and took two hours for the first sitting.  Fills were anywhere from $200 for the mink to $50 for the synthetic and took another 45 minutes to an hour, every two to three weeks.   That makes my $25 for Christian Dior seem like nothing, right?  Who has that kind of money to throw away?  Who has that kind of time to waste?  I don’t think Melinda Gates wears fake eyelashes.  She gives her money away to help people.  She doesn’t waste it on something so ridiculous. 

    Well, here is how we revolt against this industry that is lying to us, telling us we have to look like the people in Hollywood:  Spend the money and the time on something else.  Something, or some things that will actually make you or other people HAPPY.  Do you want the truth?  Eyelashes do not make a person happy.  They don’t.  They can’t.  You are a smart person so I’m sure you can come up with ideas of your own, but here are a few of mine.

    • date night with your husband
    • family activities
    • music lessons for your child
    • music lessons for you
    • books for your child
    • books for you
    • books for the local school
    • books for the shelter
    • donations to the food bank
    • donations to your church
    • donations to the women’s shelter
    • donations to any charity
    • donations to another charity
    • art supplies
    • art classes
    • cooking classes
    • ingredients to cook a gourmet meal
    • a new painting for your home
    • symphony tickets
    • concert tickets
    • sporting event tickets
    • new shoes
    • a really pretty dress
    • family vacation
    • second honeymoon
    • anything else but fake eyelashes

    You get the point.  If you are getting eyelash extensions or spending $165 per month on Latisse, that money would add up very quickly for other much more enriching experiences and could be used to benefit other people, especially your own families.  

    Last week, my daughter and I went to see the ballet, “The Sleeping Beauty.”  It was magnificent.  We went to dinner first and all together it was cheaper than eyelash extensions.   Are the women of today’s society trading lovely, cultural, social experiences with loved ones because they would rather have fake eyelashes?  Even if you had all the money in the world, could not that money be put to better use?   If we really have that kind of money to throw away on falsehoods, what does that say about our culture?  About the women of today?

    About a year ago I went over to the home of a dear friend.  When she greeted me I actually was startled as I hadn’t seen her new eyelashes.  They were very off-putting, jet black, miles long, and completely encircled her eyes.  She didn’t look like herself.  I found myself staring at her the whole time we spent together .  She kept asking what was wrong.  I finally had to say, “hey, I’m not used to seeing you with those things on your eyes.”  I felt like my friend was someone else.  She acted differently with them on, constantly batting her new Muppet eyes.  I didn’t like her this way.  She scared me.  I began thinking, “gosh, do I need to get those?”  Then she told me it was actually kind of hard to see through them.  Really?  And they were expensive.  Well, I have a hard enough time seeing as it is with my dry eyes and I already have bifocals, so I didn’t need one more issue.  Plus, it’s hard enough just to get the darn mascara on in the morning and off again at night.

    Is all this eyelash business changing who we are as women?  Is it causing us to attract the wrong kind of men?  Is it making us hide behind something that’s not real and making us miss out on greater opportunities to grow our talents and experience the world?  Are we missing opportunities to serve our fellowmen because we’re spending all our money on ourselves?  And is it scaring off our friends and associates because it makes us bat our fake spider eyelashes and nobody wants to get hit with those things so they stay away?  Are we missing time with our families because we are tending to our vanity?  And, do you want to really get scared?  What are we teaching our children–both our sons and daughters?

    If we are to Become Cream we must not be false.  It is one thing to look nice and put on makeup and a nice outfit.  In fact, I think those things are necessary.  We should take care to put our BEST self forward each day, but please—I beg you, not a FALSE self.  I believe we are false when we we go beyond merely enhancing our natural beauty to lying about it.  We become creatures we are not, thus lying to those around us.  Will God ask us what we did with our resources, time and talents and our beauty, our natural beauty?  I would rather say my children had music lessons and lots of books and we took family trips and had lots of adventures together–that we spent time together. 

    I would rather know that I looked more like myself with my makeup off than I did with it on.  Something to think about. 

    To quote Shakespeare, “This above all; to thine own self be true; and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man.” 

    This is how we Become Cream. 

    Note:  This is not aimed at women who seek eyelash enhancement due to medical reasons.

  •  

    Wear What Looks Good on You—Not What Everyone Else is Wearing

    I think I am one of the few people where I live not wearing the “maxi” skirt.  What does that say about me?  Maybe that I need to move to Italy?  Or at least to New York?  At least I’ll take that as a license to exercise use of my passport. What happened to a nice tweed or wool skirt?   With stockings and heels?  It is February.   

    Let’s talk a little bit about individuality and style and even fashion for that matter.  Have you heard the saying, “Fashion is what you buy, but style is what you do with it?”  It’s true.   Anyone can copy anyone else’s Pinterest board or go to the mall and buy what is on the mannequin, but what do you do with it when you get home?  Can you only wear that item that one way that you saw illustrated for you?  I hope you don’t think that.  It’s about knowing who you are, first.  You have to know YOU. 

    My little sister called a week ago, saying, “I want to ‘become cream’, but how do I know what my style is?”  I told her to go on Pinterest and start pinning what she liked, without thinking about it, just to pin what she instinctively was drawn to.  I promised her that she would see a pattern.  I told her that I had been quite entertained after recently setting up my own Pinterest account and going back to see that there was definitely a pattern to what I was pinning.  I am obviously a Seventies child, drawn to the long, flowing fabrics and layers of that era, along with the chunky boots, clogs, hats, bow-tie blouses, and collars.  Interestingly, it has transferred over into everything I buy today.  Even though the things I buy are new and fresh, there are definitely themes from the Seventies that I am attracted to, and I think they work well with my thin, 5-foot-11-inch frame.  Time after time, I buy flare-legged jeans, or at least boot-cut pants, with long and flowing blouses and sweaters.  I love layers–lots and lots of them.  Fall and winter are my favorite seasons where I can wear coats and sweaters and lots of clothes.  I loathe summer where other people strip down to tank tops and shorts.  I like to be covered up.  I love clothes and so I want to wear them. 

    The point is, to be your own little self.  We are individuals for a reason.  God didn’t make us all look the same.  He is the Creator, the Chief Artist, and He was not using a mold when He made you and me.  And, thankfully, the clothing designers do not make just one kind of clothing.  We are blessed to have an abundance of choices.  So, with all of the creative talent effervescing in design and fashion, why is everyone wearing the same things?  Just because someone starts wearing one trend, why does everyone else have to follow?   It’s so un-creative. 

    Are we afraid to be different?  I think that’s what it really boils down to.  Do you want to get real about this?  Are you afraid that you might be the “weird one” at church or school?  You envy–yes envy–the woman who knows how to do it, and secretly wish to be her, but you talk about her as if she is odd to others, and complain to your friends that she must be loaded with money to afford her closet full of nice clothes.  It’s not fair.  You could learn something from that girl.  You could ask her where she shops, or ask her to come over and help you.  She might love to help you.  She might even end up being your friend.  You might even find out she’s a lot of fun, and not the selfish spender you think she is.  She just happens to have an artistic flair others don’t and she might be able to help you find it in yourself.    The whole key is to get excited about being YOU, and stop looking to copy other people.

    My sister started pinning outfits and said, “I guess I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.  How can you be stylish in jeans and a t-shirt?”  Guess what?  You can!  It’s in the details.  In the shoes, in the jacket, in the bag and the cardigan and the accessories that go with the jeans.  I wear jeans every single day.  I just wear mine differently than my sister and she wears hers differently than me, because she’s Jane and I’m Gina.  It’s supposed to be that way.  Be yourself and wear what looks good on you, not what everybody else is wearing.

    Do you have a special necklace your grandmother gave you that you are “saving” for something special?  Wear it now!  Do you have a collection of beautiful scarves?  Wear them!  What do you already own that shows the world that you are special?  You can tie those things into your daily wardrobe.  Maybe you have a few key pieces that you wear every single day.  Maybe a special necklace or watch and maybe you are known for wearing those pieces.  If so, make them your signature pieces.   Maybe you are known for carrying a unique green handbag.  If that’s your unique signature, keep it–it’s special.  Resist the urge to be like everyone else.  And, when you see everyone else kicking up their heels to follow a new trend, resist and hold out, and instead, start your own.  And if you can’t get others to follow you, that’s even better. 

    Remember the story of the Ugly Duckling?  The poor little duckling was harrassed and belittled because he didn’t look like all the other ducks.  He felt badly about himself, wishing that he could look like all his friends so he could fit in with them and better receive their affections.  Even the adult ducks scorned him and shamed him.  When it was discovered that he was not a duck after all and was in fact really a swan, a much more magnificent bird, the reasons for him looking differently were manifest.  Why would he ever have wanted to be an ordinary duck?  He was a glorious swan, the envy of all the lake, but he did not know it because he was too busy trying to fit in with all the ordinary ducks. 

    So it is with us also.  We will not ever know we are swans if we are too busy trying to follow all the ducks.  Please have the courage to look in the mirror and in your closet.  Get to know yourself and what you like and what looks good on your body.  Try on all your clothing first and then throw out everything that doesn’t flatter you and make you feel beautiful.  Have the strength to resist what the ducks are wearing and be the swan that God intended you to be.  Have grace and withdraw from the fashions that are unattractive and immodest.  Don’t participate in any trend that you would not want your daughter or granddaughter to wear in your presence. 

    There is beauty and strength that come from within when we have the courage to be the women God designed us to be.  The world would like us to all be the same.  When we are all the same, we keep each other down.  When we keep each other down, no one can succeed.  Where no one can succeed, we all fail.  This is not God’s way.  God is the Master Creator.  It is His intention that we be like Him.  We are created in His image and so we are destined to also be creative.  One way we can do this is to be creative in the ways we present ourselves to the world.  Let us show God that we appreciate that He made us all differently when we were in Heaven and thus not try to all look the same now that we are here on the Earth. 

    Click on the link in the post below this one for an inspirational message on why it is important for us to be creative. 

    Wear What Looks Good on You—Not What Everyone Else is Wearing

    I think I am one of the few people where I live not wearing the “maxi” skirt.  What does that say about me?  Maybe that I need to move to Italy?  Or at least to New York?  At least I’ll take that as a license to exercise use of my passport. What happened to a nice tweed or wool skirt?   With stockings and heels?  It is February.   

    Let’s talk a little bit about individuality and style and even fashion for that matter.  Have you heard the saying, “Fashion is what you buy, but style is what you do with it?”  It’s true.   Anyone can copy anyone else’s Pinterest board or go to the mall and buy what is on the mannequin, but what do you do with it when you get home?  Can you only wear that item that one way that you saw illustrated for you?  I hope you don’t think that.  It’s about knowing who you are, first.  You have to know YOU. 

    My little sister called a week ago, saying, “I want to ‘become cream’, but how do I know what my style is?”  I told her to go on Pinterest and start pinning what she liked, without thinking about it, just to pin what she instinctively was drawn to.  I promised her that she would see a pattern.  I told her that I had been quite entertained after recently setting up my own Pinterest account and going back to see that there was definitely a pattern to what I was pinning.  I am obviously a Seventies child, drawn to the long, flowing fabrics and layers of that era, along with the chunky boots, clogs, hats, bow-tie blouses, and collars.  Interestingly, it has transferred over into everything I buy today.  Even though the things I buy are new and fresh, there are definitely themes from the Seventies that I am attracted to, and I think they work well with my thin, 5-foot-11-inch frame.  Time after time, I buy flare-legged jeans, or at least boot-cut pants, with long and flowing blouses and sweaters.  I love layers–lots and lots of them.  Fall and winter are my favorite seasons where I can wear coats and sweaters and lots of clothes.  I loathe summer where other people strip down to tank tops and shorts.  I like to be covered up.  I love clothes and so I want to wear them. 

    The point is, to be your own little self.  We are individuals for a reason.  God didn’t make us all look the same.  He is the Creator, the Chief Artist, and He was not using a mold when He made you and me.  And, thankfully, the clothing designers do not make just one kind of clothing.  We are blessed to have an abundance of choices.  So, with all of the creative talent effervescing in design and fashion, why is everyone wearing the same things?  Just because someone starts wearing one trend, why does everyone else have to follow?   It’s so un-creative. 

    Are we afraid to be different?  I think that’s what it really boils down to.  Do you want to get real about this?  Are you afraid that you might be the “weird one” at church or school?  You envy–yes envy–the woman who knows how to do it, and secretly wish to be her, but you talk about her as if she is odd to others, and complain to your friends that she must be loaded with money to afford her closet full of nice clothes.  It’s not fair.  You could learn something from that girl.  You could ask her where she shops, or ask her to come over and help you.  She might love to help you.  She might even end up being your friend.  You might even find out she’s a lot of fun, and not the selfish spender you think she is.  She just happens to have an artistic flair others don’t and she might be able to help you find it in yourself.    The whole key is to get excited about being YOU, and stop looking to copy other people.

    My sister started pinning outfits and said, “I guess I’m a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl.  How can you be stylish in jeans and a t-shirt?”  Guess what?  You can!  It’s in the details.  In the shoes, in the jacket, in the bag and the cardigan and the accessories that go with the jeans.  I wear jeans every single day.  I just wear mine differently than my sister and she wears hers differently than me, because she’s Jane and I’m Gina.  It’s supposed to be that way.  Be yourself and wear what looks good on you, not what everybody else is wearing.

    Do you have a special necklace your grandmother gave you that you are “saving” for something special?  Wear it now!  Do you have a collection of beautiful scarves?  Wear them!  What do you already own that shows the world that you are special?  You can tie those things into your daily wardrobe.  Maybe you have a few key pieces that you wear every single day.  Maybe a special necklace or watch and maybe you are known for wearing those pieces.  If so, make them your signature pieces.   Maybe you are known for carrying a unique green handbag.  If that’s your unique signature, keep it–it’s special.  Resist the urge to be like everyone else.  And, when you see everyone else kicking up their heels to follow a new trend, resist and hold out, and instead, start your own.  And if you can’t get others to follow you, that’s even better. 

    Remember the story of the Ugly Duckling?  The poor little duckling was harrassed and belittled because he didn’t look like all the other ducks.  He felt badly about himself, wishing that he could look like all his friends so he could fit in with them and better receive their affections.  Even the adult ducks scorned him and shamed him.  When it was discovered that he was not a duck after all and was in fact really a swan, a much more magnificent bird, the reasons for him looking differently were manifest.  Why would he ever have wanted to be an ordinary duck?  He was a glorious swan, the envy of all the lake, but he did not know it because he was too busy trying to fit in with all the ordinary ducks. 

    So it is with us also.  We will not ever know we are swans if we are too busy trying to follow all the ducks.  Please have the courage to look in the mirror and in your closet.  Get to know yourself and what you like and what looks good on your body.  Try on all your clothing first and then throw out everything that doesn’t flatter you and make you feel beautiful.  Have the strength to resist what the ducks are wearing and be the swan that God intended you to be.  Have grace and withdraw from the fashions that are unattractive and immodest.  Don’t participate in any trend that you would not want your daughter or granddaughter to wear in your presence. 

    There is beauty and strength that come from within when we have the courage to be the women God designed us to be.  The world would like us to all be the same.  When we are all the same, we keep each other down.  When we keep each other down, no one can succeed.  Where no one can succeed, we all fail.  This is not God’s way.  God is the Master Creator.  It is His intention that we be like Him.  We are created in His image and so we are destined to also be creative.  One way we can do this is to be creative in the ways we present ourselves to the world.  Let us show God that we appreciate that He made us all differently when we were in Heaven and thus not try to all look the same now that we are here on the Earth. 

    Click on the link in the post below this one for an inspirational message on why it is important for us to be creative. 

    Why "Becoming Cream?"

    My husband is behind me writing this blog.  “Write it!” he said.  I finally understood it was something I had to do.  I hope it is of some meaning to someone. 

    In searching for a name for the blog, I wanted it to be symbolic of what I was trying to say–that we can be beautiful, smart, creative women that can stand up and go against the grain of society.  That we don’t have to be like everyone else.  That we can find the light and the joy and rise to the top of wherever we are.  We can be our best.  It’s okay to be our best.  We don’t have to step on others to do it either.   And, it’s okay to be beautiful and talented and smart and not apologize for it.  I wanted it to be a metaphor and yet be a real example from my real life. 

    I searched for weeks and weeks for a word or a phrase that meant something deeply personal to me.  Then it hit me.  Cream.  Let me tell you about my experience with cream. 

    When I was in sixth grade, my parents built a new home on an acre of property far across town from where I had always lived.  It was strange moving out there where people had horses and cows and there were tractors in the alfalfa fields.  Where people actually wore cowboy boots and overalls.  It was in the late seventies and the energy crisis was hitting us hard.  People were doing everything they could to save a dollar.  My parents bought a Jersey milk cow that we named Lady.  At the time I actually thought it was a terrible idea.  Lots of chores for a young girl that was just trying to fit in to a new school.  The last thing I needed was manure on my shoes.  My dad built a small barn with a milking stall and a nice fence around it.  Every morning and evening he would milk the cow and bring the warm milk into the house for us to take care of. 

    At the time the milk and cream responsibilities fell completely to me and my younger sisters.  It wasn’t that it was hard work, but it was a pain in the neck for kids who didn’t want to be bothered.  It’s funny that now when I think about it, I can remember it like it was yesterday.  I can see it, smell it, taste it, everything.  I guess it really did leave an impression.  My sisters and I would take turns since it had to be done morning and night, no exceptions.  Dad would knock on the back door and leave the large bucket waiting.  Our job was to carry it into the kitchen, remove the lid and pour the hot, steaming milk through a paper filter to remove any dirt or hair or other debris.  It was amazing how warm that milk was when it was so fresh.  I hated the way it smelled though, and often had to keep myself from gagging.  I’m not going to lie.  I hated that job and everything that went with it.  I hated fighting with my sisters about whose turn it was and who did it last and who did it better.  After straining the milk we poured it into a clean, stainless steel canister that was part of a pasteurization unit.  This unit then fit down inside another stainless steel canister that was larger, which was filled with hot water.  After the lid was secured and the machine was turned on, the milk was slowly heated to a certain temperature and then slowly cooled back down.  This was to kill any bacteria and thus pasteurize the milk. 

    The miracle happened during the cooling process.  After the pasteurization was complete, the inside canister was placed in the fridge to chill completely.  After several hours of being chilled, the beautiful cream would rise to the top of the milk.  When we would remove the lid there would be a very thick, butter-consistency, plug of thick cream.  After pulling it off, we would skim the top surface for large pieces of cream left behind and save it for making butter, ice cream, and whipping cream.  The milk went back into the fridge to be further chilled.  In all my life I have never had milk so creamy, delicious, and silky smooth as that milk and, I don’t even like milk.  Those years that we lived in that house and had our cow are the only years I remember in my life that I ever enjoyed milk.  It tasted so wonderful!  It was smooth and creamy, sweet and full.  Natural is really the only word for it.  I know now that it is because it was not homogenized.  It was pasteurized to make it safe, but it was truly the way nature intended it.  Sweet and pure, creamy and beautiful, with the best of it, the cream, allowed to rise naturally to the top, where it could be saved for better and more valuable things. 

    You’ve heard things like, “the cream always rises to the top,” and “the creme de la creme,” and “let the cream rise.”  It’s a natural and scientific phenomenon.  The cream MUST rise to the top.  It has to because it consists of lighter, fattier material.  It must rise due to its lesser density.  There is nothing that can stop it from rising.  It absolutely has to rise to the top.  Even cream when poured into coffee or whipped cream put on top of hot chocolate will rise to the top or sit on top.  This happens when the milk is left undisturbed.  The cream, being lighter, will separate itself from the more dense milk, the heavier liquid, and work its way to the top.  In a sense, it is freeing itself from the weight of the heavy milk.  It’s like it knows it is the most valuable substance, worthy of being lifted to a higher plane.  Cream is a more valuable and expensive commodity than milk.  It is no surprise that it is richer and used in creating delicious desserts and sauces.  For something to be made with real butter or cream gives it a stamp of authenticity.  The finishing touch on anything is what?  Cream on top?

    Is this not a metaphor for our lives?  It certainly has been for mine.  The best cannot go unnoticed for long.  Love, right, and truth will always prevail, coming out on top.  A courageous heart, a brave soul, a loving example of service will always win over the evil in the world.  The sad part, for me, is that homogenization, or the world, is what keeps us down, trying to make us all the same.  How homogenization works is actually a really horrifying process.

    Pasteurization is just a gentle and slow heating and then a slow and quiet cooling.  But, homogenization is high pressure and high heat.  Intense heat and horrific pressure.  Lots of it.  The milk is pushed through a fine filter at rates of 4000 pounds per square inch.  This actually tears the fat globules of the cream into tiny particles, which then disperse evenly into the low-fat milk.  The fat globules, or the beauties that make up the silky cream, are made smaller by 10 times or more.  By being made to be so small, they are thus evenly dispersed in the milk.  Permanently.  So they can no longer rise.  This prevents the separation of the fat, and prevents the rising of the cream.  It prevents the separation of the best from the good, the lightest and most valuable from the heavy and less precious. 

    The interesting thing is that when homogenization was first introduced, back when milk was sold in glass bottles, people wouldn’t buy it because they couldn’t see the creamy plug at the top.  People loved to scoop that out very first and save it to put on fruit or dessert.  It was a treasure.  When it was gone, everyone thought something was wrong with the milk, probably because there was.  Hence, after World War II, the introduction of the opaque milk cartons so nobody could see what they were buying.  Homogenization ensured smoothness, even-ness, and equality.  Sameness.  Boring-ness.  But at what price?  The actual chemical make-up of the milk was forever altered.  It would never be the same.  It is a fact that milk that is homogenized is actually digested differently than milk that is not.  Interesting, right? 

    So, you wonder, why a blog about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle named after something to do with milk and cream?  Because we are supposed to be free to be the cream!  We are supposed to be able to rise to the top if we want to, to free ourselves of the heavy, binding, lower-quality milk and go on to better and higher-quality things.  We are the cream.  At least we are supposed to be.  Maybe we don’t know it yet.  Maybe no one ever told us that.  Maybe we don’t believe it or we can’t see it.  Maybe we won’t admit it to others out loud, but we know it’s true within ourselves.

    We are women.  God created us.  We are meant for great and beautiful things.  We need to come to know that we are the cream and if we don’t feel like we are the cream now, then say that we are working on becoming that cream, working on rising up to the top of that sparkling crystal pitcher where we can reach our true and real potential.  We need to be examples of all that is right and good and smart and virtuous and show the world that we want it to be better than it is for our children and our grandchildren.  It might seem silly, but we can become the cream every day in our actions, in our thoughts, in our prayers, in our choices, in our associations, in our service to others, in our endeavors to seek learning and education, in our desire to make our homes beautiful and safe, in the pursuit of developing our talents, in presenting to the world our best selves in the way we dress and act and speak, and in the way we contribute to the world around us at work, in raising our families, and in serving in the community.  Wherever we go, whatever we do, let us be the cream. 

    I invite you on this journey with me as we explore the hows of Becoming Cream.  Becoming our best selves and help each other along the way. 

    Follow me on Pinterest:  Gina Holt. 

    Why "Becoming Cream?"

    My husband is behind me writing this blog.  “Write it!” he said.  I finally understood it was something I had to do.  I hope it is of some meaning to someone. 

    In searching for a name for the blog, I wanted it to be symbolic of what I was trying to say–that we can be beautiful, smart, creative women that can stand up and go against the grain of society.  That we don’t have to be like everyone else.  That we can find the light and the joy and rise to the top of wherever we are.  We can be our best.  It’s okay to be our best.  We don’t have to step on others to do it either.   And, it’s okay to be beautiful and talented and smart and not apologize for it.  I wanted it to be a metaphor and yet be a real example from my real life. 

    I searched for weeks and weeks for a word or a phrase that meant something deeply personal to me.  Then it hit me.  Cream.  Let me tell you about my experience with cream. 

    When I was in sixth grade, my parents built a new home on an acre of property far across town from where I had always lived.  It was strange moving out there where people had horses and cows and there were tractors in the alfalfa fields.  Where people actually wore cowboy boots and overalls.  It was in the late seventies and the energy crisis was hitting us hard.  People were doing everything they could to save a dollar.  My parents bought a Jersey milk cow that we named Lady.  At the time I actually thought it was a terrible idea.  Lots of chores for a young girl that was just trying to fit in to a new school.  The last thing I needed was manure on my shoes.  My dad built a small barn with a milking stall and a nice fence around it.  Every morning and evening he would milk the cow and bring the warm milk into the house for us to take care of. 

    At the time the milk and cream responsibilities fell completely to me and my younger sisters.  It wasn’t that it was hard work, but it was a pain in the neck for kids who didn’t want to be bothered.  It’s funny that now when I think about it, I can remember it like it was yesterday.  I can see it, smell it, taste it, everything.  I guess it really did leave an impression.  My sisters and I would take turns since it had to be done morning and night, no exceptions.  Dad would knock on the back door and leave the large bucket waiting.  Our job was to carry it into the kitchen, remove the lid and pour the hot, steaming milk through a paper filter to remove any dirt or hair or other debris.  It was amazing how warm that milk was when it was so fresh.  I hated the way it smelled though, and often had to keep myself from gagging.  I’m not going to lie.  I hated that job and everything that went with it.  I hated fighting with my sisters about whose turn it was and who did it last and who did it better.  After straining the milk we poured it into a clean, stainless steel canister that was part of a pasteurization unit.  This unit then fit down inside another stainless steel canister that was larger, which was filled with hot water.  After the lid was secured and the machine was turned on, the milk was slowly heated to a certain temperature and then slowly cooled back down.  This was to kill any bacteria and thus pasteurize the milk. 

    The miracle happened during the cooling process.  After the pasteurization was complete, the inside canister was placed in the fridge to chill completely.  After several hours of being chilled, the beautiful cream would rise to the top of the milk.  When we would remove the lid there would be a very thick, butter-consistency, plug of thick cream.  After pulling it off, we would skim the top surface for large pieces of cream left behind and save it for making butter, ice cream, and whipping cream.  The milk went back into the fridge to be further chilled.  In all my life I have never had milk so creamy, delicious, and silky smooth as that milk and, I don’t even like milk.  Those years that we lived in that house and had our cow are the only years I remember in my life that I ever enjoyed milk.  It tasted so wonderful!  It was smooth and creamy, sweet and full.  Natural is really the only word for it.  I know now that it is because it was not homogenized.  It was pasteurized to make it safe, but it was truly the way nature intended it.  Sweet and pure, creamy and beautiful, with the best of it, the cream, allowed to rise naturally to the top, where it could be saved for better and more valuable things. 

    You’ve heard things like, “the cream always rises to the top,” and “the creme de la creme,” and “let the cream rise.”  It’s a natural and scientific phenomenon.  The cream MUST rise to the top.  It has to because it consists of lighter, fattier material.  It must rise due to its lesser density.  There is nothing that can stop it from rising.  It absolutely has to rise to the top.  Even cream when poured into coffee or whipped cream put on top of hot chocolate will rise to the top or sit on top.  This happens when the milk is left undisturbed.  The cream, being lighter, will separate itself from the more dense milk, the heavier liquid, and work its way to the top.  In a sense, it is freeing itself from the weight of the heavy milk.  It’s like it knows it is the most valuable substance, worthy of being lifted to a higher plane.  Cream is a more valuable and expensive commodity than milk.  It is no surprise that it is richer and used in creating delicious desserts and sauces.  For something to be made with real butter or cream gives it a stamp of authenticity.  The finishing touch on anything is what?  Cream on top?

    Is this not a metaphor for our lives?  It certainly has been for mine.  The best cannot go unnoticed for long.  Love, right, and truth will always prevail, coming out on top.  A courageous heart, a brave soul, a loving example of service will always win over the evil in the world.  The sad part, for me, is that homogenization, or the world, is what keeps us down, trying to make us all the same.  How homogenization works is actually a really horrifying process.

    Pasteurization is just a gentle and slow heating and then a slow and quiet cooling.  But, homogenization is high pressure and high heat.  Intense heat and horrific pressure.  Lots of it.  The milk is pushed through a fine filter at rates of 4000 pounds per square inch.  This actually tears the fat globules of the cream into tiny particles, which then disperse evenly into the low-fat milk.  The fat globules, or the beauties that make up the silky cream, are made smaller by 10 times or more.  By being made to be so small, they are thus evenly dispersed in the milk.  Permanently.  So they can no longer rise.  This prevents the separation of the fat, and prevents the rising of the cream.  It prevents the separation of the best from the good, the lightest and most valuable from the heavy and less precious. 

    The interesting thing is that when homogenization was first introduced, back when milk was sold in glass bottles, people wouldn’t buy it because they couldn’t see the creamy plug at the top.  People loved to scoop that out very first and save it to put on fruit or dessert.  It was a treasure.  When it was gone, everyone thought something was wrong with the milk, probably because there was.  Hence, after World War II, the introduction of the opaque milk cartons so nobody could see what they were buying.  Homogenization ensured smoothness, even-ness, and equality.  Sameness.  Boring-ness.  But at what price?  The actual chemical make-up of the milk was forever altered.  It would never be the same.  It is a fact that milk that is homogenized is actually digested differently than milk that is not.  Interesting, right? 

    So, you wonder, why a blog about beauty, fashion, and lifestyle named after something to do with milk and cream?  Because we are supposed to be free to be the cream!  We are supposed to be able to rise to the top if we want to, to free ourselves of the heavy, binding, lower-quality milk and go on to better and higher-quality things.  We are the cream.  At least we are supposed to be.  Maybe we don’t know it yet.  Maybe no one ever told us that.  Maybe we don’t believe it or we can’t see it.  Maybe we won’t admit it to others out loud, but we know it’s true within ourselves.

    We are women.  God created us.  We are meant for great and beautiful things.  We need to come to know that we are the cream and if we don’t feel like we are the cream now, then say that we are working on becoming that cream, working on rising up to the top of that sparkling crystal pitcher where we can reach our true and real potential.  We need to be examples of all that is right and good and smart and virtuous and show the world that we want it to be better than it is for our children and our grandchildren.  It might seem silly, but we can become the cream every day in our actions, in our thoughts, in our prayers, in our choices, in our associations, in our service to others, in our endeavors to seek learning and education, in our desire to make our homes beautiful and safe, in the pursuit of developing our talents, in presenting to the world our best selves in the way we dress and act and speak, and in the way we contribute to the world around us at work, in raising our families, and in serving in the community.  Wherever we go, whatever we do, let us be the cream. 

    I invite you on this journey with me as we explore the hows of Becoming Cream.  Becoming our best selves and help each other along the way. 

    Follow me on Pinterest:  Gina Holt.