>> Wednesday, 26 October 2011
The prompt for Wk 79 of Tara's Gallery is 'faces'. This being a pseudo-anonymous blog (cue ironic laughter), that one presents me with something of a problem. No names, no pack drill, and - crucially - no identifiable faces. Other than my own, on occasion, but I figure you deserve better than that.
Russia is famously full of beautiful faces. Natalia Vodolononiavonoviifcokeo (or whatever her name is - can you tell I'm behind on my Grazia and Heat reading?), and many other supermodels hail from this land of the gorgeous. I'm not sure why Russia seems to have more than it's fair share of beauty; I suspect it's a combination of genes, eating habits, and the women here ensuring that whatever they have, they make the best of it in a way which isn't necessarily a priority to many of us from elsewhere.
Sure, Western women may not particularly like the way sexuality is used as currency here, and there's certainly a different style of dress and make-up involved, but it's a fact of life that Russian women take more noticeable care of their appearance than many of us elsewhere. Whatever else they may be, they certainly don't feel invisible as they grow older in the way that women often complain about back home.
I am here to tell you, ladies, that there is a counter-culture. Women who wear their experience on their faces rather than smoothing away their wrinkles and blemishes with potions and lotions, perhaps not by choice but all the same, they don't fit the mass-export version of Russian beauty as shown in the meja.
I took this photo outside the Pushkin Museum last spring. This woman is simply sitting, probably on her break (she may well be one of Russia's redoubtable Museum Curators I refer tohere, she certainly has that look about her), enjoying the early May sunshine.
To me she looks formidable; not a bad thing to be in this city. And whatever else she may be, I would say that one thing this face isn't, is invisible.