Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Henna. My beautiful Mauritanian henna. That no one in Egypt really thought was beautiful at all. I loved it. I loved the fact that it was new and interesting and different. It reminded me of a beautiful time spent in a country that was not like anything I've ever experienced. Then I went back to Egypt. Beauty is only defined in terms of what is familiar and known. Anything different is deemed bizarre and receives looks of wonder mixed with... disgust? I can't quite place it.
Four weeks later and all that remains is the nail henna. It only disappears as your nails grow, so this will be with me for a while. And yet the comments keep on rolling about how I really shouldn't have done "this". I loved my Mauritanian henna. But the pressure to cover up what remains of it is strong. Sigh.
Just another reassurance that the concept of "beauty" is a completely undefined and subjective one.