That prams and art are not mutually exclusive.

Standard issue lady bits

The vivacious Fox in Flats has been flying the Anonymums flag high, and running dares on her blog to help mums break out of their fashion ruts. One of my favourite dares was to wear red lipstick everyday for a week.

I posted the dare on my Facebook page and a friend said “I’d love to try, but I have no upper lip.”

I had never noticed my friend’s lack of top lip before, but it was obviously at the forefront of her mind when I mentioned bright lips. I couldn’t imagine a whole life of not wearing bold lips, not even once. I think she’d look great in a paper bag, personally.

It struck me that we all have these ideas about what we should and shouldn’t have in terms of our looks, and we (women) feel apologetic when we don’t come with all the accoutrements we’re ‘supposed to’ come with. It’s silly really, because I’m pretty sure by the time you reach your 30s, we’ve all figured out that we come in different shapes and sizes: as The Smiths say, some girls are bigger than others. Indeed, some have no top lip and some are missing other bits.

I have something missing. In fact, two somethings. I don’t have eyebrows. Well, I do, but they consist of about 12 hairs each. I’ve never had to pluck, wax or dye them. They’re just there, two tiny smudges. Most people don’t notice until I point it out, and then we have a good chuckle and I go on to live a full and happy life with no eyebrows. I do squint a lot, but that seems to be genetic (thanks mum). Having lived a full and happy life without eyebrows, I can’t actually figure out what they’re there for. Perhaps you can enlighten me, O-eyebrowed-ones.

The bottom line? We are so much more likely to notice our own ‘flaws’, but not that of other people. I think my friend with no top lip looks fabulous. Perhaps we’re all a little bit weird and wonderful, and that’s what makes us unique.

It made me wonder: what other bits are women missing? What part of you is not standard issue? Do you feel self conscious about it, or is it your secret weapon?

20 Responses to “Standard issue lady bits”

  1. Shelley

    Apparently eyebrows are there to frame the face or something like that. I have very thick dark eyebrows that i have to get waxed every 2-3 weeks (its painful to say the least so your lucky you don’t have to worry about that. I think im pretty standard issue apart from a mole on my forehead just above my hairy eyebrow. Im not overly self conscious about it but i do have a fringe that covers it.

  2. Ink Paper Pen

    I swear I read once that eyebrows are supposed to prevent copious amounts of sweat dripping into your eyes….I don’t have eyebrows either, just very, very fine lines that don’t need plucking or waxing and I can’t say sweat in the eye has become a problem.

    I have a dicky left little finger, it is permanently crooked, the tendon doesn’t straighten. I was born with it, apparently it is a strange genetic trait passed through mum’s side, always on the left hand, always on the little finger. No one ever notices it but if I bring it up it seems to provide ridiculous amounts of oohhing and aahhing. It meant I had to learn to play the guitar left handed and that my ring finger had a bit of extra work on the piano but other than that I do believe it is my secret weapon. It’s a brilliant way to cut through uncomfortable silences.

  3. Rhi@FlourChild

    I have a bunion on my foot. Like an old nanna.
    I don’t mind it, aesthetically, all that much, but I hate that I can’t (physically) wear gorgeous skinny shoes.
    Otherwise I guess I am pretty much standard issue and am happy with it all.
    When my Mum had chemo she lost her eyebrows and eyelashes, and it completely changed her face. But I guess if you have had little brows your whole life, then that is YOU, and no-one would notice 🙂 I’d never noticed, from your photo!
    It would be incredibly boring if we all looked the same.
    x Rhi

    • the rhythm method

      Isn’t that interesting? I read recently that chemo causes you to lose ALL of your hair, not just the obvious hair, but the velvet coating of hair that covers our whole body. It does completely change one’s face. You’re right, no one notices my thumb print brows until I mention it, and then the ‘show n tell’ of freaky body parts begin.
      It would be boring if we were all the same. 6 billion clones. Blurgh.

  4. MultipleMum

    My hubby gives me grief about the length (or lack thereof) of my little toes. They have only been problematic very recently when I tried on some Fivefingers (toe shoes) and I realised just what he has been talking about all these years! Sadly the Fives don’t come in different sized toes! x

  5. Lucy Mulvany

    Can I trade you some perfect eyebrows for some crap teeth? Or some perfect eyebrows for some dodgy toes (like MM, my little toes are pointless they are so small.I am sure that is what makes me such a clumsy.)? Or some perfect eyebrows for some weird pigmentation issues on the back of my legs?

  6. Torre - Fearful Adventurer

    You may have no eyebrows, but it comes with a large advantage: no body hair at all! You’re pre-waxed by god, and many women would kill for your hairlessness (and smoothness … you’re awfully smooth).

    I have no calf muscles, and nobody likes to remind me of that fact as much as Ms. Karen Charlton herself. But that’s okay, because I’m loud and proud about my concave calfies.

    I’ve always wanted to sport red lipstick because I think it makes women look arty. But for some reason, it makes me look like a cheap whore. I manage to stay classy with my Lucas Pawpaw ointment.

  7. tattoomummy

    Not missing anything, but my pinky toe curls in beside my fourth toe. I always have pinky toe cleavage in ballet flats because of the weird way it sits!

  8. Nic

    I experience hormonal pimples and spotting on my neck and upper shoulders. It sucks. And started with my first periods at the age of 12. I used to be really self conscious of it, and it does affect what I wear. I am not one for spagetti strap dresses or shoulderless tops! But over the years I have matured, grown to accept it and get on with it. I have also discovered the connection between stress, sleep and hydration and the severity of it. My mum also suffered from this.

    • FLOWER06

      Understand entirely I am 37 and still get out breaks……so be it life still goes on

  9. Steff

    The veins on my legs show so much that I NEVER wore shorts as a kid or teenager! I’d always wear boys swim trunks over my swimsuits, too.

    Last week i was at the grocery store and they had a sales bin that had tons of make-up in it. I am not a make-up wearer, but the fact that I don’t own a single tube of lipstick popped into my mind. I decided to buy 2 tubes, a red and a deep plum, and I’m excited to wear them! (They were also only $1 for a $8 tube!)

    The first time I ever wore lipstick in public was a few weeks ago at my wedding, and I still haven’t had the guts to wear the new lipstick yet…at least I have some though!

  10. Secret Water

    I think the purpose of eyebrows might be as an early warning device for grey hair.’m still telling myself that the one i found the other day is just super blonde, ahead of the others for summer. I think I once had standard issue eye lids but i buggered them up by spending too much time sailing dinghies with no sunnies and they got very weathered. Its impossible for me to wear eye shadow!

  11. Bright & Precious

    I love the way you have accepted your ‘missing’ things. I’d like to think that the things we have missing are an opportunity to show our strength. Having said that, I’m still working on it! I have a birthmark on my right thigh. I’m still self-concious of after all these years, and cover up when I’m swimming (thank goodness for the board-short swimmer fashions these days). I don’t think of it as a secret weapon, but it’s made me focus less on trying to look like the perfect bikini model, because I know I’ll never be one!

  12. Susan @ Living Upside Down

    I filled in a questionnaire for a personal stylist (Alison Triffet/Style Counsel Online – who has been fantastic) earlier this year. In one section, I needed to list the three things about my appearance I liked most and the three I liked least. Coming up with three favourites was hard, but I managed to squeeze four dislikes into the answer for the ‘least liked’ by grouping lack of muscle tone in my abdomen and thighs as one point. It’s so much easier to see the flaws, real or imagined, rather than the positives.

    My flaws? I have spider veins on my thighs and ugly feet. I can live with that.

    As for red lipstick, I went and bought my first red lipstick ever a few months ago and LOVE it. I wear it frequently (several times a week) and it always makes me feel good when I put it on.

  13. Andrea @ FoxInFlats

    ‘Vivacious’ – that’s lovely! x

    I’ve got so many freaky things about me that I’d get cramp from typing them all out. I don’t care though, I’m still here, kicking around and that’s what’s I try to pay attention to. x

  14. Jodie

    My non standard item are the two saddle bags I carry around. They seem to puff up and deflate as my weight changes but never go away. I have just learned to accept them as I can’t face the alternative which is to exercise myself silly.

  15. parkconfessional

    Hey there, Great post and so true. How many of our physical fixations are factual and how many are just built over years of repetitive self abuse in our own heads? My whole life I have known inwardly that I inherited the Roman nose so prominent in just about every photograph ever taken of my forefathers. As far as I am concerned it is a giant beacon in the middle of my face, I may as well be a lighthouse in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean! My husband says it suits my face perfectly though and according to many, it’s noble and classic. I’ve always just assumed they were being nice to me because they love me, but who the hell really “nose”??!! xoxo


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