My Body, the Money Pit

If Gail Vaz-Oxlade saw my credit card bills, she would go ape shit. Not that my debt load is extraordinarily high; well, except for that absurd mortgage. The personal finance expert and star of the Canadian TV show ‘Til Debt Do Us Part would mostly disapprove of how I spend my money. After cutting up my credit cards (actually I have only one), Gail would give me some labelled jars and force me to live on cash only. Then she would take out her highlighter pen to circle the most offensive items:

–‘$109.09 at the Rexall Pharmacy? What the fuck?’ she would exclaim.

–‘$227.50 at Laser Midwest Cosmetic? Was that seriously necessary?’ (Gentle readers, I think you will agree that yes it was, knowing exactly what that payment was for. Oh and I suppose I should apologize to the boys I freaked out with that story. All I can say to them is ‘prickly labia!’ ‘Ironed perineum!’ Yes I was a school yard bully).

–‘$52.00 for Kerastase Noctogenist Voile Nuit? What is that anyway?’

That, Gail, is an overnight revitalising treatment renewing effect for dull, tired-looking hair. Do you have tired-looking hair, Gail? Because I sure as hell don’t.

Okay so Gail would be right. I spend a lot of money on bodily services and products, all of them legal. Well, almost all of them. Shout out to those in the know! The rest of you have no idea what I am talking about, don’t kid yourselves. Back to the topic at hand: looking good costs a crap load of money. Please consider, however, that the following expenses are  absolutely necessary: hair cut with highlights done by a well trained colourist (obviously at a fancy salon that puts Bailey’s in the complimentary coffee); microdermabrasion with the oxygen mask that makes me feel special; laser hair removal from the neck down; tanning products for that healthy glow; quick-dry spray for nail polish; Clinique and Kiehl’s skin care products and make-up (only the near-best for me); Rocky Mountain foot balm; Diva Girl body scrub (love that pomegranate martini); and about 100 different wrinkle-removing-or-reducing-anti-puff-skin-lightening-rollerball-filler-massage-regenerist eye creams. I don’t think any of them are effective and yet I keep the faith, knowing with great certainty that the more they cost the more likely they are to work….some day.

My body is a money pit. I am the answer to the economic crisis.

I said something insightful to a friend of mine with a lot of experience in bodybuilding and figure competitions. ‘I have only one advantage over most figure girls,’ I stated in that pompous way I have. ‘Money. And I intend to use it to the fullest extent possible.’ I will have a stylist backstage, and will pay for professional tanning, expensive costumes, the best coaches, top-grade boiled chicken. You name it and baby’s gonna have it. The rest of it I probably cannot buy: poise, grace, good skin tone, bright shiny eyes, but if I find any for sale I will be whipping out that credit card right quick.

Not that I make a ton of cash but I can hardly complain, at least not publicly, about a tenured professor’s salary. Bodybuilding, figure, and fitness competitions do not pay much, especially not to women. (Aside: I would love to see a male figure competition, should any exist). It is practically impossible to make a living as a professional athlete in these activities, except as a fitness model or spokesperson and those gigs are few and far between. Even the most dedicated and talented athletes have to work part- or full-time and they often have multiple jobs, as teachers, bouncers, trainers, waiters, plumbers or what have you. These jobs are sometimes quite well paying, but sometimes not, and preparing for competitions costs money as well as time.

So I will ignore Gail’s advice and her mocking gaze as she withholds that over sized $5,000 cheque. I will continue to dispense funds on such necessities as Sally Hansen Lipinflation. Inflation is always good. And I will continue to try to write blogs that are less academic and have more swear words and anatomical references in them so that I do not lose the small audience I might actually have. ‘Labia, labia, labia!’ There, is that better?

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About feministfiguregirl

I am a 51-year-old professor named Lianne McTavish who receives as much satisfaction from working out at the gym as from publishing my academic research. About eight years ago, I decided to combine my two primary identities (scholar/gym rat) to create "Feminist Figure Girl," a fictional character who both analyzes and participates in bodybuilding. I competed in my first figure show in June of 2011, and then wrote a book inspired by the process, published by SUNY Press in February 2015. In this blog I will write about and consider my ongoing research on the body, while regularly making fun of myself. I recommend that you start reading my first post from August 2010 (available on the home page), instead of backwards from the most recent one, in order to get the full FFG effect.

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