I am not a fan of Kim Kardashian. I am vain, true, but my primping has always been more on the crunchy side: no Botox, no hair dyes, no creams made from the embryos of small animals. In all my eco-conscious vanity, I am the hummus version of caviar. But last August, I went full on Kardashian to prep for a photo shoot. You see, my first novel, The Mango Bride is set to be released by Penguin in April, and while the delectable book cover has been designed by a the publisher’s in house artist, the author’s photo is all on me.
Therein lay the roots of my discontent.
I am painfully aware that the camera adds fifteen pounds, and most of those appear on my cheeks when I smile for photos.
Consequently, when my editor at Penguin broached the need for author’s photos, I braced myself for a few weeks of preparatory panic dieting. Full on Atkins doubled with a daily hour on the elliptical machine while watching old episodes of Gossip girl to keep me motivated — or at least terrorized by the fact that unless you are Blake Lively or Taylor Momsen or Leighton Meester — who ARE these mothers who insist on naming their daughters after wallpaper patterns? — you could never be too rich or too thin.
Two weeks into the Atkins diet , I was wading through bacon and steak and salad and sweet cream butter, but I was nowhere near the dress size of those wallpaper women and my cheeks still took up two-thirds of my face.
So I made a run to Sephora for false eyelashes. I figured furry eyelids would draw attention away from my outsized cheeks. This was a major departure from my usual routine because as mentioned earlier, I have made it a point of pride that no small animals are killed or go blind for the make-up with which I spackle my face. So I bought a pair of false eyelashes and tried to put them on at home.
For those of you who have never tried to put on false eyelashes, imagine being a five-year-old learning to tie shoe laces. More precisely, a five-year-old who lacks opposing thumbs. The damn things are impossible to stick onto the sliver of space above your real lashes. When I finally got them on, I looked like Ru Paul, struck by lightning. I took them off and tried again. I combed the hairs apart with a safety-pin, I cut the lashes into thirds. An hour later, nearly blind from eyelash glue, I put them down and wondered just wondered if drinking a double gin tonic would improve my dexterity.
While I was contemplating alcohol, my cat ate the false eyelashes. A small animal had killed my make up. Game over.