Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "An Extension of the Personality"

This poem is spillover from the July 19, 2016 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] curiosity. It also fills the "makeup / dressing up" square in my 5-1-16 card for the Solo Celebration Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by LJ users Ng_moonmoth, Book_worm5, and others in their pool. It belongs to the Cuoio and Chiara thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

"An Extension of the Personality"

One nice thing about living in
a Family compound was that
it offered a steady stream
of interesting things to do.

Once a month or so, they
hosted a community dance.
Cuoio and Chiara loved going
to those, and Cuoio invited
Salvo to join them.

So they crammed into
Cuoio's bedroom, which
was not really large enough
for three people to dress for
a party all at the same time.

Cuoio insisted, though,
since Chiara was the one
who knew how to dress for
these things, and he intended
to follow her lead -- a sentiment
that Salvo heartily shared.

"What are you wearing?"
Cuoio asked Chiara.

"The tomato dress," she said,
and it charmed him to see her
in something he'd bought.

Salvo had come prepared
with several possible outfits,
and chose the black skirt-pants
with the black-and-gold blouse.

It wasn't, quite, a feminine outfit
but it came very close, and
it looked splendid on him.

Looking at Chiara, Cuoio
picked out a suit subtly striped
in charcoal and black, with
a white shirt and an orange tie
to match her dress.

"Too much contrast,
and no unity," Chiara said,
shaking her head. "Try
the orange silk shirt and
the burnt orange tie."

Cuoio thought that would be
overkill for sure, but to his surprise,
it looked bold instead of loud,
the depth of color providing
a distinctly masculine flair.

"You're right," he said happily.
"This looks so much better!"

Chiara had stuck with
her usual sporty makeup,
wearing a deep coral lipstick
a few shades pinker than her dress.

Salvo dithered over whether
or not to wear makeup.

"Put your eyeliner on and
wear lip gloss in copper or
bronze," Chiara said calmly.
"Add blush if you want to, but
I don't think you need it."

"What about me?" Cuoio teased,
feeling underdressed all of a sudden.

She cupped her hand under his chin,
turning his face with a cool analytical gaze.
"You'd look great with eyeliner, but if we
do that, then you'll need the lip gloss too --
your mouth already gets lost in your beard."

"Oh, we should point his beard!" Salvo said.
"I've got a pencil for that, because mine
never comes in thick enough."

"Can we do that?" Cuoio asked.
"Aniella always said that people
shouldn't share makeup since
it would never look right."

"Tch," said Chiara. "We're
all Italian, our coloring is
nearly identical. We can
certainly share makeup,
although if you decide that
you like it, you should visit
an expert for a color match."

"Try me and find out," Cuoio said,
curious to see what would happen.

So Chiara outlined his eyes, then
tinted his lips, and finally turned him
over to Salvo for the beard.

When they were done, Cuoio
went into the bathroom to look
in the big mirror wall and was
stunned at the transformation.

His eyes looked large and bright,
his mouth more kissable, and
his beard as crisp as if he had
just come from the barber.

"Wow, I look fantastic!" he said.
"Sorry, that probably sounded vain.
I meant you two did an amazing job."

"Thank you," Chiara said. "It's part of
my responsibility to make you look good,
so I'm glad you gave me the chance."

"I didn't realize it could make
such a difference," Cuoio said.

"Makeup is simply an extension of
the personality," Salvo said. "The colors
you choose, clothing, jewelry, all of those
express something about you. It's why I
wear feminine clothes sometimes, because
it reveals a part of myself that I can't show
when I dress in masculine clothes."

"That fits," Chiara said thoughtfully.
"Is everyone ready to go now?"

Salvo looked about to start waffling again,
so Cuoio took him firmly by the elbow
and said, "Yes, we're ready. Let's go."

Chiara took Cuoio's other elbow,
and off they went toward the villa.

* * *


"The makeup is simply an extension of the personality and colors, clothing, makeup all express something."
-- Gene Simmons

Cuoio's Italian cottage has its major furnishings are all done in neutral colors, so that accents can be exchanged to create different color schemes. See the exterior and the floor plan. On the left, the patio has an arbor above it. The living room has a couch that converts to a bed. Between the living room and the kitchen is a center wall with a hearth fountain facing the living room and a shelving niche facing the kitchen. Cuoio's bed is actually more like a giant lounge, a soft S-shape stretched out long enough to lie on, all gentle curves and rounded corners. The bathroom has a sleek modern look.

In a Family compound, the Marionettes host frequent social events. This usually includes a community dance at least once a month, most often semi-formal to formal, but sometimes more or less so. It gives people a chance to dress up, socialize, and have fun. A mix of music and dance styles are offered so that everyone interested may participate including children, elders, and people with special needs. You can read about community dances, family dances, and how to host a family dance party.

Sporty fashion uses understated makeup. Chiara's looks similar to this. Choose cosmetics designed for active wear and know how to put them on.

Chiara's tomato dress matches Cuoio's suit. His finished look uses two principles for bold colors on men: 1) Use a lighter and a darker shade of your bright color, like this pumpkin shirt and burnt orange tie. 2) Combine with a neutral color, like the subtly striped charcoal-and-black suit. Traditional colors for men are very conservative. There are basic and more adventurous tips for expanding into brighter colors. Alternatively, you can just ask a fashion-savvy friend/relative for advice; this really is part of a comare's job, although most men don't exercise the option.

Salvo is wearing his black skirt-pants and unisex black-and-gold silk shirt. This also looks nice with what his teammates are wearing. While matching is not required, it's what you tend to get if you let the comare influence people's choices.

Men do wear makeup, although they may get hassled for it. Makeup is for anyone who wants to wear it, and Cuoio is secure in his masculinity. Makeup for men may include lip balm in near-natural tones, eyeliner, and beard corrector. Read some makeup tips for men.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, gender studies, poem, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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