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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The Feminine Mystique » » Body Image (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Cinnamon
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Hi girls! I know this is a a rahter sensitive topic to some, however, I really wish to have your insights about this.

As a performer, you have to showcase your bodies every once in a while. And being that, you, for sure, knows how to take care of your body, watch your weight, etc etc all for the sake of being presentable.

So my question is... are you already contented with yourself, or do you wish to change things in you to improve on magic and life? I hope you get my drift.

Cyssa
Destiny
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Hi Cyssa,

Wonderful that you brought this up in this forum.

In entertainment appearance counts... AND it counts A LOT!

Whether it should count is irrelevant - it does. Arguments about 'why don't they focus on the talent?' are irrelevent.

We do not need to be Miss Universe. We do need to present ourselves nicely.

(I'm preaching to the converted here. The avatars on the Café indicate a very well presented and attractive set of women. Also the posts in this forum tend to be more rational than on some others - I don't think we need worry much about sensitivities.)

We must eat healthy foods, exercise, look after our skin, avoid drugs and excess alcohol, not smoke (memo to self) and be attentive to our grooming.

All this can be difficult to fit into a busy life - but it will improve the quality of that life - and your magic, immensely.

In the last 6 months I took off 20 kilos and I feel wonderful - it's beneficial to the body - AND THE MIND.

Entertainment is a fantasy - an escape for people from the drudgery of every day life. They cannot enter the fantasy when confronted with a smelly, sweating slob plodding round the stage, clumsily grabbing at shoddy, paint-chipped props - chewed nails, food stained t-shirt, uncombed hair, yellow teeth - and a self belief to equal Houdini.

Sounds like a monster?

In fact it's an accurate description of some men who want to perform at childrens birthday parties. I've looked at their websites.

It is important with appearance not to get carried away and end up riddled with self doubt and insecurity - like some fading Hollywood star desperate to retain her youth.

Look the best YOU can, and remember there is nothing unattractive about a well presented woman of any age. I have seen absolutely beautiful ladies celebrating their 100th birthday on the evening news. Youth is a wonderful thing - we all get our turn at it - and then we move on. Unlike a fondly remembered waist measurement - we cannot go back to it.

As for being content - I think we need to find a balance where we are content in our lives - because we are constantly striving to improve - not desperately seeking the next wrinkle or beauty treatment - but just constantly striving to improve.

I loved a post from Randi Rain where she mentioned she would like in the future to be more buxom and someone suggested she shouldn't do that for men. Randi pointed out she wouldn't be doing it for men - but for herself.

Destiny
Autumn Morning Star
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Thanks, Cyssa for posing this excellent discussion question. I agree with both you and Destiny: You are both onto some important things here. Body image is a real tricky thing. People are literally dying to achieve skinny. "Healthy and fit" is what we should be looking toward achieving; for without your health you have nothing. (Congratulations Destiny on the fantastic weight loss! 20 Kilos over 6 months is a healthy way to lose. We are proud of your achievement, girlfriend!)

As for me, I am happy with my body but I want to stay in good shape. I took a course in college to learn how to correctly use weights. Clearly, 90% of the people in the gym injure themselves by using weights wrong or not taking a break between weight-workout days to let their muscles heal.

I work a three types of magic shows: A children's show, a medium size family/college/corporate show, and a full 90-minute illusion show. Man, that illusion show is the toughest! It is so physical and takes so much energy! Even though my own fitness plan includes five hard workouts weekly using treadmill and weights, I am still sore after illusion show rehearsals!

I am also a vegetarian and watch what I eat. (Yes, you can be a junk food veggie, with lots of pizza, chips, dip and the like.) I read health magazines and research any health issues I am having before I go to a doctor. As for medical, I prefer to use homeopathy or acupuncture as a first line of defense. Only when rarely needed do I use the "big guns" of western meds. (When I think about the fact that 16,000 people die in America annually from simply taking ibuprofin (like Advil) it gives me pause!)

The body-mind connection is important and I work hard to feed my spirit and maintain a balance between the two. Sometimes I need music or poetry to feed my soul. Sometimes I need a to volunteer at the animal shelter and get licked by big stinky dogs. Sometimes I need to be hugged by little kids who believe in magic. Sometimes I need to anonymously help a stranger. Sometimes I need good friends, a good java, and good conversation.

I imagine I will always do magic, even when I am very old. I think each stage of life can be loved and accepted for that which it brings. I want my journey through life to be the healthiest possible. There are no guarantees, but if I exercise and eat right I think I have a better chance of lasting a long time. That means I get to do magic longer, and that is FANTASTIC!
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
Cinnamon
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Okay... so I've thought about this strategic questionnaire... I hope you'd have time to answer.

1. How do you take care of your...

a. Hair
b. skin (esp the face)
c. hands
d. overall body figure
e. toes

2. What types of _____ are well fit for you?

a. well.. uhm.. bra
b. shoes
c. accessories

3. How do you usually dress yourself up when performing casually? Do you let people know you're a magician simply by the way you dress/ project yourself?

So.. there.. I hope you could asnwer that if you'd find time. Thanks.
Autumn Morning Star
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Great questions, Cyssa. I copied and pasted for ease of reading:

1. How do you take care of your...

a. HAIR - Aubrey Organics shampoo! It is the absolute best shampoo! http://www.aubrey-organics.com/

b. SKIN (esp. the face): I have used skin care since I was in my teens. I use Roc for smooth skin. I also do not go out and tan. No sun bed either. My skin is naturally olive anyway, but it gets pale in winter, especially after a gray European winter! If I need to be darker I will use a quality fake tan until my melanin kicks in, in spring.

c. HANDS - This one is especially important! Hands show age and damage faster than anywhere else! I use Roc hand crème at night and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream daily, because it is the only one that does not leave my skin greasy.

d. OVERALL BODY FIGURE: (I think I will write more about fitness in a different thread because I have some really good suggestions here.) But back to your question: I work out HARD in the gym. I go at least 5 times a week and use the treadmill, Stairmaster, elliptical strider, weight machines, and free-weights. I balance the weight workouts accordingly to give my muscles time to heal.

Shh...I also tap dance. Ha! But the difficult footwork helps me in Fancy Shawl Dancing (Native American Indian Dance). I also eat veggies, a bit of soy, whole grains, pasta, and drink lots of pure water.

e. TOES: Tea Tree lotion at night. I get pedicures and manicures regularly and like to have the toes buffed instead of polished for that sexy, shiny natural look.

2. What types of _____ are well fit for you?

a. BRA: Stretchy camisoles for the natural look and Uh...Cant see the tag.... Smile

b. SHOES: Heels and boots: Good Italian shoes like "Sudini's". For casual and Mary Janes, I LOVE "Soft Walk". Athletic shoes are a no brainer for a long and skinny foot: "New Balance". I only wear shoes that are comfortable and fit well!

c. ACCESSORIES: I find whatever nice bag I can get to match my shoes. I won't spend lots of bucks on a designer bag! I would rather buy magic! (Now, if someone wants to buy me an expensive bag that is ok.) Sometimes I buy gently used designer handbags or I shop for deals on E-bay.

3. HOW DO YOU USUALLY DRESS YOURSELF UP WHEN PERFORMING CASUALLY?
I perform full time, so I rarely pull out my magic in casual situations. I used to do this all the time, but people will really invade your space. You will end up being invited to parties because you will entertain for "free", then you burn out! When I perform it is in traditional Blackfeet regalia (like my avatar) or buckskin (like my Café staff photo.) I dress in black pants, heeled Sudini "Diamond" boots, and a ribbon shirt for when I am doing big physical illusions.

DO YOU LET PEOPLE KNOW YOU'RE A MAGICIAN SIMPLY BY THE WAY YOU DRESS/PROJECT YOURSELF?
Only when I am performing. When I am out and alone I remain pretty much incognito, unless I feel flirty. My stage personality is: Lots of stage presence, fun, and gregarious.

Footnote: I am about to leave to go on tour for the next three weeks and I always end up writing like crazy on The Café. It seems to center me. I will disappear on March 15, but don't worry: I'll be back in April.
Autumn
Wonder is very necessary in life. When we're little kids, we're filled with wonder for the world - it's fascinating and miraculous. A lot of people lose that. They become cynical and jaded, especially in modern day society. Magic renews that wonder.
Doug Henning
scooter magic
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Fredricksburg, VA
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Hum... I'm a tom-boy so most of these questions aren't really my thing. But I'll try my best because well when you’re in high school you have to know.
1~ hair- I just wash mine for right now because it’s kinda a transition stage between styles.
Skin- I just started using Proactive. It seems to be working but I don't use it twice a day yet because I don't want it to dry out my skin.
Over all body figure- I play softball everyday and go to the gym every chance I get. Eat healthy. Even though the Caféteria food is a little hard to recognize sometimes so I occasionally pack, a great idea when lunch is greasy mystery meat.
Toes- Pedicure, manicure once a month

2~ Bra- just your everyday bra nothing fancy or uncomfortable just something that gives the support you are looking for.
Shoes- boots or tennies (sneakers) unless I'm doing a large show then I wear heels but even then I take them off when we are setting up and taking down.
Accessories- One of my best friends makes really beautiful jewelry so I wear a lot of her stuff. As I said I’m a tom-boy so I don’t carry a purse and my ears aren’t pierced.

3~ How Do You Usually Dress Yourself When Performing Casually? - A nice pair of slacks or kakis. Typically kakis.

4~ Do you let people know you're a magician simply by the way you dress/project your self? - Not really. I'm a very quiet person and extremely shy unless I'm with my friends so I try not to bring attention to myself or be any kind of flirtatious.

Ps- Autumn, hope you have a great time on tour.

Ashley
Ashley Taggert
moving up in the world of magic
Cinnamon
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Ashley: Ditto! Well, uhm.. I'm not 'that' girly, got more characteristics of boys than girls. Haha. Autumn, I hope you enjoy your trip! Be safe girl, and remember to braid your hair. Might have a subtrunk thing again. Kidding. Thanks for the tips girls! here's mine. Hope you get something from it.

1. How do you take care of your...

a. Hair--- this is my major problem. I have long hair but I'm too lazy to comb it often. Although sometimes it looks fabulous when I use Pantene, or dove combined with vo5 ( I mix shampoos). My problem is maintaining it. My fiance loves my hair eventhough it's noodled here and there, and wants it long. I used to have very short hair, and used to look like a guy and having long hair now is just kind'a uncomfortable. Oh well, all for the sake of mi miel.

b. skin (esp the face)-- another major problem, as the temperature here is very harsh to the skin. Face products irritate me, so I resort to putting real aloe vera (direct from the plant) on every night. I softens it, somehow, but it doesn't remove pimples. I attend facial sessions twice a month though. But during pre-menstrual days, there's a huge 'uprising' here and there. and I hate it.

c. hands-- I've acquired the very disgusting mannerism of biting my nails. I don't know why (oral fixation, perhaps). I keep it soft by lotion (victoria's secret forever), but nails are another thing. I just can't get my teeth off them. My fiance told me to buy fake nails... why? so I could just eat 'nails' direct from the box. He loves me.

d. overall body figure--- Ouch. No comment. I've been into two eating disorders simultaneously, since 14 years old. it had a huge effect (i shrank to 76 lbs, my height is just 5'3) but as I had partial remission, I grew... and it's frustrating.

e. toes-- thank god I don't eat my toenails! I massage them once a week using olive oil. or sometimes, my fiance does those things for me. anyway, I go to spa once a month...

2. What types of _____ are well fit for you?

a. well.. uhm.. bra-- avon, sara lee and wacoal are my picks. Most are minimizers.

b. shoes--- I love boots! I have platforms (what some call wh*re boots) and I love them! But usually, for comfort, I resort to sandals. With heels. I don't like heels which are too pointy. I usually trip over wearing flats.

c. accessories-- I accessorize when I feel like it. a bracelet would work. I always have my ring with me, I never remove it not unless it's a must. I don't like earins though.

3. How do you usually dress yourself up when performing casually? Do you let people know you're a magician simply by the way you dress/ project yourself?

my performing grounds are limited to people I've been with for quite some time. Most of the time, I'm in school uniform (this is odd though, I'm the only one in class who chose the skirt type uniform, others are all pants. so basically, I stand out). I usually have a different, well, 'personality' when being a 'magician' for the day. I'm usually loud, and simple. While doing magic, I become a bit serious, tough and a litle more perverted.
Sekhmet
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Appearance is definitely a big thing. People are going to pay more attention to the girl with good hair, makeup and nice clothes than some bum with a pack of cards.

It's unfair, but that's the way it is.

If there was one thing I would change about myself, it would be my ears. They're two different shapes and one sticks out farther than the other. Not to mention they're itty bitty. My sister teased me about them all my life, so now I have a bit of a complex. When I had long hair I never wore it up because I hated my ears. If I did, and got so much as a COMPLIMENT on them, my hair went right back down. They actually have plastic surgery for it, but I don't think I'll ever have that kind of money to spare, and I'll always have hair to cover them up.

In regards to your questions:
Okay... so I've thought about this strategic questionnaire... I hope you'd have time to answer.

1. How do you take care of your...

a. Hair
DON'T wash your hair every day. If you do, it gets stripped of all its essential oils (the stuff that makes it shiny and healthy-looking). Also, switching out brands is also a really good idea, since your hair tends to build a sort of tolerance to a shampoo if you use it for a long time. Use minimal product when styling (no more than three kinds), and ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS use a protectant when blowdrying, flat-ironing, or curling.

b. skin (esp the face)
I cannot stress how important it is to moisturize. Every day, all over your body. Keeping the skin hydrated keeps it from losing its elasticity as you age (which causes loose skin and wrinkles). You'll notice when you see older women, their necks look TERRIBLE. This is from a lack of moisturizing. You can prevent that, and it keeps you looking so much younger. As far as acne problems go, Proactiv is very effect for about half the people that use it. Some people have sensitive skin and the only outcome is all the redness because of the harsh cleanser. I'm fortunate enough to have been blessed with near-perfect skin (I get an occasional blemish, but mostly I get the painful pimples in my hairline). There are many other very effective cleansers, but always ALWAYS moisturize, even if you have oily skin, use an oil free moisturizer.
The Bare Minerals is a VERY good makeup. It goes on soft, and as the day wears on it even gets BETTER because the oils in your skin react to it a certain way. Definitely don't cake the makeup on, and DON'T sleep in it. Eye makeup will define your wrinkles over time, and foundation clogs the pores.

c. hands
Lotion. That's about it. And the occasional manicure.

d. overall body figure
I should really start working on this. I've been lucky so far... I have a terrible diet and rarely exercise. I'm a decently active person with high metabolism. It's definitely a genetics thing. I have a picture of my mother after her fourth kid (me) and she was as small as the day she got pregnant with her first. The only time I've ever gained weight was when I was on a medication. I got up to about 140-145 at 5'2. It wasn't pretty. As soon as I was taken off of it, though, I dropped right back down to 110, and I've been that way in the 3-4 years since. With my luck, I'll turn 30 and my metaboism will race downhill... I do try to control my portions at least... That counts for something, right? =S

e. toes
Clippers and lotion?

2. What types of _____ are well fit for you?

a. bra
Haha I just pick out whatever fits right. I do, however, want to get some of those silicone bras that just stick right to your boobs... Those look nifty.

b. shoes
Depends. Most of the time it's black boots or white tennis shoes. I'm a simple girl. When I dress up, I wear nice high heels or 'hooker boots', depending on the skirt I'm wearing. I'm a comfort girl, though, I can only wear big heels for so long before I'm tearing them off my feet.

c. accessories
I don't really do much with accessories. I have A pair of earrings, like 2 necklaces, and mabe 3-4 bracelets and rings. I like to keep things very simple.

3. How do you usually dress yourself up when performing casually? Do you let people know you're a magician simply by the way you dress/ project yourself?
Well, I don't perform, but I suppose if I did I'd do more street/casual magic than stage performances. I'd just choose jeans and a nice top.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
randirain
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Fort Worth, TX
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Hey Sekhmet,

I think you have a really cool look, even if you have freak ears.
(just kidding, I had to say it!!!)

But I do like your look...
I liked your hair longer though.
But you're cute and I like your style.

So are you in California or Texas?

I would also like to add, and this is not directed to you Sekhmet...

The number one way to keep your skin from getting wrinkles and looking bad...
Stay out of the sun and DO NOT SMOKE!!
Smoking is extemely bad for your skin.

Randi
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Sekhmet
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Nacogdoches, TX
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I am in California at the moment, been here since January, but I fly back to Texas on the 20th.

Thank you Randi.

My long hair was such a hassle.. not so much because of the length, but the thickness too. I never have to worry about going bald..
I couldn't... then my freak ears would be impossible to hide!!! And it was just too big for my face. I'm a small girl with tiny features and my hair really overpowered everything else.

Yeah.. I forgot about that smoking tip... >.<

That's also part of why I never go into the sun... I'm Native American so I naturally have this permatan thing going on, but I still get "pale" and I get all yellow looking.. But when I'm tan, I'm golden, haha. 20 minutes in a cancerbox and I'll be good.

Plus, then you have the whole threat of skin cancer... Eeesh.
There are none so blind as those who will not see.
randirain
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Fort Worth, TX
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I don't go out in the sun or cancerboxes because I have many many tattoos.

Everyone asks me if I just got them, because they are so clean.
Nope... it's been years.

I just keep light off of them.

I'm glad you won't be going bald.
I feel sad when I see a woman who are balding.
If that was me...
I would save every penny I have to get plugs.

There is thin hair on my moms side, but luckily I take after my dad.

My hair isn't thick, as in the diameter of the hair.
Matter of fact it's thin.
But I have quite a bit of it.

Randi
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