If, after scrolling through newspapers and social media feeds, for some reason you still have appetite for something extra to throw you off kilter, let me recommend a book for you: Her Body & Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado. It’s a collection of short stories about women’s bodies which make for an eclectic mix of fantasy, horror, anarchy, punk, science fiction and comedy.
The stories are mainly quite weird, but in a very fabulous way – Machado is a brilliant (and much accomplished) writer. I read this book already last year, but I thought about it again after I read a recent article in The Guardian about how women’s mutilated bodies are still being used as exotic props in pop-culture (the article was referencing an exhibition about Jack the Ripper and his famous victims, whose faces decorate paraphernalia from posters to T-shirts).
Her Body & Other Parties is quite far off the chart I usually read in terms of its level of fabulism and queer horror-ness, and while I’m generally no fan of science fiction, I thought Machado’s provocative literary fireworks were actually very refreshing. I did do the semi-audible “what?!” gasp once or twice, but I don’t mean it as a negative thing: events in the real world make me want to scream out loud on an hourly basis these days. I had to eliminate twitter before breakfast lest my forehead vein explodes before I’ve nourished my body with a coffee and pain au chocolat – so yeah, real world lunacy considered, if reading fiction still manages to tease out a reaction, I’m buying.
Speaking of bodies, and back to the bourgeoisie, I acquired* the full line of Weleda’s Skin Food. We already know that Victoria Beckham and other important people are fans of the original Skin Food (the fact that Beckham uses the modestly priced Skin Food actually made UK-headlines and she was almost sainted for resorting to something a normal person can afford without selling their child’s placenta to cosmetics industry that can then use it for a cream for Victoria Beckham’s neck)**. The line has now expanded to include a lighter version of the greasier original, Skin Food Light (excellent hand cream), a body butter and a lip balm. I like the light version of Skin Food more – though the original grease does have its place for extreme heel-situations.
While I do, on occasion, want to worship my miraculous body by offering it rare, lush and expensive ointments (the millennials have taken to call the post-shower slapping on of body lotion self care, but whatever), I’m often very happy just to smear my old bones with something decent, and I find Skin Food Body Butter to fit the bill quite nicely. While Victoria Beckham mixes her greasy original Skin Food with coconut oil to keep her tan and to really “give her skin a drink”, I am not sure I have the patience to wait for such concoction to absorb, and also I have no tan to preserve. But it sounds interesting and doable, thus I’m putting the tip here.
* I bought everything myself.
** I am not dissing Victoria Beckham. I think she is quite fabulous, has an excellent style and taste in fashion, clearly works hard and has done really well by staying the f**k out of the desperate attempts at reviving the Spice Girls ruins.