Underneath my yellow skin

Life hacks from the Queer Eye guys

I just binge-watched the two seasons of the rebooted Queer Eye on Netflix, and I’ll have a full post on it later. For now, however, I want to talk about a few life hacks I’ve taken away from the show in general. Before that, I want to talk about a life hack I’m trying from a Buzzfeed video of all things. The video was on coffee addicts giving up coffee for a week, and the one thing they all had in common was that they suffered from anxiety, and they had a scientist* on who talked about the link between caffeine and anxiety. The minute she said it, I was like, “No shit!” It made perfect sense once she said it, but I had never thought about it up until that moment.

I drink a ton of caffeine a day. I have a 64 oz growler I keep filled (around 50 oz) and sip throughout the day. In addition, I drink a cup or two of tea and coffee sometimes, though I’ve mostly cut that out. I estimated that I drink 60 oz of caffeine a day, which isn’t great. I decided I wanted to get it down to 8 oz and mostly drink tea rather than Diet Coke. Now, I’ve given up caffeine cold turkey before, going from 6 cans of Diet Pepsi a day (hey, I was in college. I didn’t know better, and I didn’t discover my allegiance to Diet Coke until decade later) to none. It was horrible, and I would not recommend it to anyone.

This time, I decided to wean myself off rather than just quit, and I would do it by switching out the Diet Coke for tea. All caffeine is not equal, and even though there have been no definitive studies about the effects of aspartame, I can confidently say that it’s not good for a person. In other words, there is no downside to cutting out Diet Coke. First day, I cut myself down to roughly 25 oz. Ouch. The second day, I got it down to 20 oz. Yesterday (Saturday), the fourth day, I had to get up at 4 a.m. to take my parents to the airport, so I slammed a Diet Coke on the way there. One thing I’ve learned from this experiment is that Diet Coke is pretty gross-tasting. Even the mango one, which was my favorite of the new flavors, made my lips pucker. In addition, when I got home from the airport, I wanted to sleep, but I couldn’t because I was still jittery.

I’m down to about 8 oz of caffeine a day, which was my target, and I’m trying to have it in the morning, then do without for the rest of the day. It’s been difficult because I’ve been incredibly fatigued the rest of the day. It’s not a normal kind of tired–it’s a body-encompassing fatigue that is really hard to explain. A great word for it is lassitude, and, yeah, let’s stick with that. I’m actually thinking about going down to no caffeine, but I’m not sure I can do that. Plus, there are benefits for drinking roughly 8 oz of caffeine a day, so I’m not rushing to cut it out completely.

How do I feel about it? I hate the lassitude (told you I would use it), but I do feel less anxious. Of course, it could be that I’m too tired to feel anxiety, but I’ll take it, I guess. It’s also too soon to say if I’ll stick to it, but I’m pretty good at quitting things. Wait….I jest, but it’s actually true. I am wishy-washy in making decisions, but once I do, I go hard. I’m also usually better at quitting cold turkey, but as I said, I had a really bad experience with cutting out caffeine completely, so I thought it was wiser to cut back rather than cut out.

So. I have a few issues with the Queer Eye show, but one thing that really hit me was how by changing the exterior of a person, you can make an impact on the inside. I struggle with this because as a woman, I hate the whole makeup bullshit. I know, I know, it’s a choice and it makes you feel beautiful, and you look dead without it, but why is that? Society. “It makes me feel more confident and beautiful.” Why is that? Society. Watching Queer Eye really pushed this thought home because they’re very much into bettering their makeover-ees, and yet, for the men (they had one woman), there was no mention of makeup at all. If it’s universally important for confidence, then they would at least mention it, right?

Anyhoo, I don’t do anything for my skincare/hair care, and I’m started to think I should at least do something. I’ve been thinking of cutting my hair for a few years. It reaches my ass (and seems to be growing again after years of it not growing. Well, of course it grew, but you know what I mean), and while I think it’s my best feature, I’ve realized in the past year that I mostly wear it in a topknot or a high ponytail. The reason I’m keeping it long is because the white is coming through, and I want to have a Storm moment** with my hair. Unfortunately, it’s taken a million years, and I don’t know how Storm I will feel when I’m eighty. I’m getting irritated at how it gets everywhere, and it’s hot AF, yo.

The thing is, it’s become a mask of sort. Or rather, a pacifier. I hate almost everything about my face and body other than my eyes, so I’m loath to cut the one asset I have. I know it’s backwards thinking because if it’s not styled the best, then it’s not really an asset. I know if Jonathan saw my hair, he would shriek, “Oh, no, henney! She’s got to go!” The thing is, I’m a gal of extremes. I don’t like the mid-length look, so if I cut it, I’ll probably bob it. I look good with a bob, this I know from college, but I’m still nervous to get rid of it. Plus, it’s the classic everybody loves my long hair thing, and I actually had a friend say with a straight face that she probably wouldn’t talk to me for three days if I cut my hair.***

I think my hair actually looks good long, and I don’t give a shit about older women not supposing to have long hair–that’s actually one of my complaints about the show. How focused they are on age-appropriate whatever. I get you have to look a certain way for work and events, but in your own free time? I say wear whatever the fuck you want. In other words, I am going to wear tank tops and shorts, or nothing at all. Anyhoo, I may have to just take the plunge and cut my hair. It’s just hair. It’ll grow back.

Moving on to my face. I’m not going to wear makeup. There is no argument or debate here. But! I can do something with moisturizing my skin. That’s the one thing I’ve noticed as I get older–the loss of elasticity in my skin. I’m fortunate in that I have Asian skin, so we tend to look much younger than we are. I’m forty-seven (and have no qualms in saying this) and I bet most people think I’m under forty. Still. My skin looks tired. I need to find something that will work for me, though, because I’m allergic to all scents. Jonathan mentioned in the above video a rose hibiscus face mist, and I made a face as if I had eaten a lemon. It’s the same when he mentioned essential oils on the show. I visibly recoiled. Not only am I allergic to most scents, I hate the way rose water smells. Perhaps because I’m allergic to flowers. But, in Googling it, I found an aloe, cucumber, green tea mist that I could do.

Clothes-wise, I’m going to stick to my tanks and shorts in the summer and sweats in the winter at home. I could step up my game when I go outside, however, though I’ve slowly been stepping that up as well. I’m fat, so I love flowing clothes that aren’t restrictive. My mom brings me clothing from Taiwan when she visits, and they know how to dress Asians, yo! I need a few more pants, but I’m pretty good on the tops. I would like to find a ring or two that I could wear, but I’m self-conscious about my fat fingers.

The other life hack was about focusing on where you want to be. There was one makeover-ee who was a stand up comedian. He needed help in a lot of ways, but Karamo focused on what he was doing in his spare time to promote his business (comedy). He didn’t have much going on his YouTube channel because he claimed he only wanted to put up his best videos, and according to Karamo, his Facebook was a mess. I’ve known for some time that if I want to do anything in the creative fields, I need to step up my social media game. The problem is that I’m not completely sure what I want to do, and I need to decide that stat before I can do the surrounding social media buzz.

I’m not good at selling myself, and I have to get better at that. Maybe the Queer Eye guys can give me tips on that.




*At least I think that was what she was, but I wasn’t playing that close attention.

**Everything is a moment to Jonathan.

***She can’t grow her hair out for anything, though she’s desperately tried, so she’s obsessed with long hair.

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