Saturday, February 7, 2009

Shakespeare on beauty

"God gave you a face but instead you want to paint yourself another one." - Shakespeare

Somebody recently told me to put powder on my face and be more kikay. Wala daw koy kaarte-arte and that's why I tend to look older than my age and very plain. My friend even told me to wear plunging necklines for a change. He was probably joking but I was incensed. 

I remember the first day of my teaching career. I was 19 on June 6, 2001 and worried my first year college students wouldn't take me seriously because I was only 4 years older than them. So weeks before I had practiced wearing high heels and lipstick, thinking that these would make me look more mature at least. 

I vividly remember during a break on that first day of teaching that I had to go to the toilet and saw myself in the mirror. The pink lipstick was the first thing I noticed and remember feeling foolish so I took it off.

On that first year of teaching, the lipstick stayed off, never to be put on again (until six years later when I had bought a super expensive lipstick which I felt compelled to use as it would expire in 3 years time I was told). But the blouse stayed on and the heels too. Every day of that first year of teaching I walked up and down the 5 floors of the buildings named after dead Jesuits in those excruciating heels. That's how I ended up perfecting classroom management sitting down since this was the only position that gave my poor feet some respite. 

In the second year of teaching, I decided that well dressed teachers are not necessarily the best teachers so I exchanged my heels with flats and the pants with more flexible jeans. The blouse stayed on. The problem with blouses though is that they can be quite uncomfortable at the arm area. I lift my arms and the whole blouse goes up. 

Fastforward to my last years of teaching: my attire had evolved to sneakers, jeans, and t-shirts. Friends kidded me that I didn't look teacherish but I reasoned that a couple of male colleagues were doing the same so why shouldn't I? The problem was that every semester students would be pointing out in their teacher-evaluation forms that Miss Maya is really pretty BUT she would look prettier if only she dressed better. I never thought that my fashion sense could cause such ruckus. The students obviously wanted me to put more class and variety into my wardrobe - to help inspire them to actively participate in class (?) 

My hair, I discovered years later, was also a hot topic among students. A good friend who's the tita of one of my students confided that her niece and her niece's classmates observed I come to class with unruly hair. I didn't realize it was THAT unruly but apparently it was so I started combing my hair more often. Instead of only in the morning, I combed my hair before every class - if there was enough time left. 

I would like to end this blog entry with an insight of some sort but there are so many things to say that it's better not to say anything at all. If i have provoked you, caused you to disagree or agree with me well, then, my blogging goal for the week's been accomplished. 


claire said...

Hey Maya.. I commend you for standing up to what you feel is right. Honestly, I never wear lipstick too.. who wants to look older than they really are, right? Lipstick just adds years. So what if you look as young as your students.. I would think that's a compliment. :)

As for your unruly hair.. combing doesn't work for us with curls. I used to comb my hair but they would call me bruha. I found the trick: after showering, put on a knitted hat (like a toque), until your hair dries. It'll stay flat and put. The lower end, tie with something until it dries as well. I know they say it's bad to tie hair while wet, but I've been doing it for years and don't see any weird side effects.

Stay true to who you are! Mwah!

MayaFlaminda said...

hehe! I loove your curly hair! In fact, almost all the Vandenbroecken have curly hair.

claire said...

PS. Don't comb after your hair has dried! Or else magkalkag lang gihapon!

Anonymous said...

hahaha! maka-relate man sad ta ani oi. hehehe. many of my co-CIs would tell me na dili daw ko nawong og intructor kay naga sapatos man kog emo2x(kana gung naay skull2x or checkered na sapatos). hahaha. pero ana ko na strategy man nako na para to get their attention kung mag lecture nako. hihihi.


bitchvarsity said...

LOL @ the "miss maya is very pretty BUT" part. =)

bam said...

I remember when we (Karla and I) first saw you. Our conversation went something like this:

Both: She's so preeeeeeetty!
Karla: at naka-jeans and shirt lang siya!
Me: mas cool kaya yun!
Karla: kaya nga.
Both: hindi siya mukhang teacher.

Haha, basta parang ganyan. Nasa foodcourt na kami pero ikaw pa rin ang topic. hehe.