Monday, January 7, 2008

Sow's Ear

I guess I knew there were farm beauty pageants -- or at least I used to know. I grew up in some pretty rural places -- still, I'm pretty sure I never saw or imagined true pig primping.

From today's Times:

As Jamie Brozman was sizing up her heifer last week, her main objective was to de-emphasize the animal's bulging shoulders by giving her coat a closer shave.

''It's really an art form, like sculpting,'' said Brozman, from the Just Enuff Angus farm in Nazareth. She spoke over the din of electric hair clippers and blow dryers that resembled distant cousins of wet-dry vacuums.


After the hogs are bathed, an oil-based gloss is applied to make their coats shiny, he said.

''You're not trying to hide something -- you just want to make them look as good as you can,'' McConaughey said. ''It's like these beauty products that are sold to the ladies.'

A make up artist chat room I stumbled upon said that oil-based products last longer and cover better. Which makes sense -- except that they completely bock your pours and one would have to imagine asphyxiate your skin.

In Ancient Egypt, according to a random, uncorroborated website, oil-based eye make up was used by both men and women -- both for appearance and for prevention of eye infection -- apparently common there and then.

I also did not know that mineral oil is petroleum based. This is disturbing to me. When I was younger I used to go to Miami Beach with my cousin -- she would cover her whole body in mineral oil and tan all week. Mineral oil smells like vacation to me -- though I have to say, those trips were filled with tantrums and jellyfish, so maybe just as well to throw it out.

I didn't mean to be talking about make up -- I meant to be talking about pigs -- silk purse sows ear all that -- how bizarre to imagine a room full of overall-clad farmers smearing oil all over a pig to make it shiny.

But it's all the same, isn't it -- it's like we want to laminate everyone and everything -- preserve, shine... with breathing being not quite so high on the list.

No comments: