Two days in a row? Could DBW really be that consistent? Well, don’t bet on it for long but I thought I’d quickly respond to a question asked of me long ago. Like sands from the hourglass, so are the ashy damn days of BF’s lives.*
BW all over have long slathered lotion and vaseline (or great value petroleum jelly, let’s just keep it real) on their children and themselves so as to prevent the dry, cracked skin that daily and nightly plagues us. My mama refers to the post-Vaseline rub on as making us “shiny as copper pennies.”
And she is right. That ultra shininess is mucho preferable than the dry, look like we’ve been kickin’ in flour at Popeyes alternative.
But the question asked was why is it always one extreme or the other, shiny or real ashy dry. The answer is simple: because no one has figured out how to make products for BF that strikes a perfect balance. I mean for years it was either Palmer’s cocoa butter, Vaseline, or Jergens. We thought we came up a little bit with Nivea but there are still some problems with that (I’ll talk about that in a moment).
But very few products that are sold for “very dry skin” can actually do the job while still not making us look like either oil slicks or like nothing changed from before we slathered it on (I’m looking at YOU, Lubriderm). To bring power dynamics into play for a moment, lotion is an integral aspect of daily life for BF and you’d better believe these manufacturers know that. Take this video for example, produced by Vaseline and starring Sanaa Lathan:
You know what Lathan and her kin folk have in common besides blood? The need for lotion to help them love their skin. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. (I’m also including this little video produced by Vaseline to show more about the marketing to BF. Click here.)
Anyway, this lack of a perfect balance between moisturizing and wet is quite similar to the cosmetics industry where if we BW aren’t careful we’ll look like Precious’s momma Mary at the end of the movie.
In short, ashiness sucks. BF, we’ve all been there when there’s not enough time in the morning to moisturize, moisturize and we opt for jeans and long sleeve shirts so we can cover up the ash. We’ve just enough time to lotion our faces and hands (making sure we get in between those knuckles where the white ash likes to HIDE from us–oohh doncha just friggin’ hate that!!) when we’re running out the door.
To borrow a line from my friend Alyx Vesey, I’m saying all that to say this: Summertime is coming and you know what? I RESENT not being able to be comfortable with my ashiness because I HATE having to wear lotion during this hot ass time of year. Why, you curious readers ask? Because of what I said earlier: there hasn’t been a product made for BF that strikes the balance. Those water based lotions like Lubriderm, Jergens, Keri (do BF still use Keri and Jergens? I have to shake my head at that. You might as well use spit.) and Nivea are awful during the summer. Let me give you a BF word problem: Suppose you live in, ohh I don’t know–humid south Louisiana and you need to brave the 105 degree heat with a heat index of 450 degrees or so (I exaggerate but not by much). You do your duty as a BW and put on one of those lotions all over your 2000 parts and when you walk outside what happens? Ohh, y’all know what happens! The lotion separates OFF your skin! Equal parts lotion and water divide and conquer on your skin. Mix that with the fact that you’re perspiring like a whore in church and you’re off to a great damn day. I HATE that lotion can’t figure out how to stay ON my skin.
::DBW sighs and takes deep cleansing breaths::
But, that’s the only alternative because none of us want to look like this:
Or have to suffer the embarrassment of this:
So, there’s your answer. Why do BP always look real shiny or real ashy? Cause we’re damned if we do and damned if we don’t.
*Clearly, BP aren’t the only ones who suffer from dry skin. We’re just the only ones who discuss it frequently. A word of wisdom to WP: please, please, PLEASE get yourself some good lotion and try to moisturize the elbows. If I see one more WP with crusty ass elbows, I will holler.