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The look



One thing I find really frustrating is how I can intellectually recognise that I’m being manipulated, that what I’m worrying about doesn’t matter and is in opposition with my belief system, and yet some annoying part of my brain can’t let it go. I can also intellectually recognise that looks are important, that fashion is an art form, that we express ourselves culturally and artistically through our clothes. Our clothes, our make up, is our armour, protecting us from the world. Still, I find it crazy in this age of selfies and self-documentation that I still am surprised when I see another person’s version of myself. These days I get to control how I look – or do I? I realise that I’ve been fooling myself, that I’ve only been looking at a sliver of myself, the front-on.


If you’re in Levin, I will be talking in your town tomorrow, at 2 pm, at the Festival of Stories.

If you’re in Dunedin, I will be taking part in two panels at the Dunedin Writers Festival – one on Saturday 13 May, Picturing Words and Wording Pictures, and one on Sunday 14 May, It’s Personal.

If you’re in Auckland next week, I will be taking part in the Auckland Writers Festival – more on that later.

14 Comments leave one →
  1. 08/05/2017 12:47 pm

    Ha, I’m still working on perfecting my look at age 60! Some days I don’t care and others I do. We are such contradictory creatures!

  2. 08/05/2017 1:10 pm

    Being a sensitive artistic soul is a prerequisite for a concern with visual aesthetics I reckon! Don’t give yourself too hard a time- we all do it- men as well. Great comic, thanks. Enjoy the festivals : – )

    • Sarah Laing permalink*
      08/05/2017 1:54 pm

      Thanks! And yep, true as!

    • 11/05/2017 5:28 am

      LOL, yes we do. Have you heard of “Dove Men + Care”? the latest advert on the telly instructs me that it has minerals and herbs in it. Looks like Unilever crush a boulder up in it. KEEP IT MANLY, AAAAHUUUUUGH!

  3. 08/05/2017 1:42 pm

    Kindly like, share, comment and follow back my blogs, thank you.

  4. 08/05/2017 4:48 pm

    76 and it still bothers me. I wouldn’t dream of going out the door looking like me. And if I did I’m convinced no-one would know me. Or ever want to again.

  5. carolbrown215 permalink
    08/05/2017 4:55 pm

    Surely it’s healthy to care about your appearance, though I’d draw the line at injections and surgery. When down, slapping on the slap can buck one up. At the aesthetic level, it’s certainly pleasing to see the well groomed and those that have made an effort, out and about. Keep right on caring, Sarah.

  6. daveyone1 permalink
    08/05/2017 8:19 pm

    Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

  7. 08/05/2017 9:34 pm

    This is just brilliant

  8. 09/05/2017 8:10 am

    This is a fascinating subject and I love the way you’ve done it with such perception. If you think photos of yourself are disturbing, what about video? I never quite got over seeing myself in one (and never again) when I suddenly saw not me, but my mother. The thing is, most of the time I sort of assume I’m invisible because I just don’t think people see me, which I know sounds odd, but it does make this self-awareness thing less of a problem. But then now and again I do see photos of myself and get a huge shock. Hmm. I think I need to be a bit more aware!

    • 11/05/2017 8:29 am

      When I look at myself sideways in a mirror, using another mirror, I look EXACTLY like my Mum! Freaks me out 😳

  9. 11/05/2017 5:25 am

    You ain’t gotta wear makeup. I’ve seen women with acne scars, sans makeup, it’s just fine. I don’t know whether you look at Cosmo (Australian Cosmopolitan?), but those “articles”, like “50 WAYS TO SEX HIM UP!” would have you thinking that all men want you painted like a tart. Actually, when it comes to romance, I like men, maybe that’s how it’s easy for me to say “Girlfriends, you ain’t gotta sport heels.” See, my sisters tell me stuff. Like how those heels are making ya back ache. Tell you what: the kids are all right. I know a woman, maybe about 28 years old, she doesn’t wear makeup. Still a cutie-pie.


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