Tomorrow is my last day in Makassar. I had foolishly thought I might be able to take in a few leisure activities before leaving South Sulawesi. A trip to the famous Tana Toraja, for example. Or a few days spent snorkeling in the renowned waters of Tanjung Bira. Nope. I was clearly deluded. I did permit myself one diversion, however. For 2 hours today, I let Mami Ria put makeup on me. She wanted to do me up in the style of a traditional Buginese bride. My curiosity got the better of me.
It was a surreal experience. Right away, Mami lightened my skin color with foundation. When I squirmed and started to protest, she waved her hand dismissively and said, “Don’t feel the need to talk”—prompting everyone in the room to laugh. She quickly taped my eyelids so that I had the “coveted” eyelid fold. Using brown shading, she heightened the arch of my nose. And then she put not one but two sets of fake eyelashes on me. By the end, I barely recognized myself.
It was fun getting a makeover, but I must admit that it was also an ego blow to realize that what made me “beautiful” was the refutation of my God-given looks. And ultimately, I was just reminded again of why I prefer the “tomboi” look. Looking beautiful just takes too much time! [Read more…]