A vanity picture post in which Natalia goes back to her roots

Blond roots, to be precise. I was born a platinum blonde, grew darker over the years, and have recently been dyeing my hair something called “mahogany brown” (with occasional forays into “auburn sunset”). Now I’ve decided that it’s time to reclaim my blonde ambition.

I like this picture because the computer screen is reflected in my glasses, so that instead of being an Ordinary Dork, I am an Ordinary Dork with Geordie La Forge Pretensions.

As you can tell, I streaked my hair instead of going for a uniform colour. It’s less high-maintenance when the roots start to come in. Roots can be as trendy as anything, but I don’t carry them off very well. Streaked hair also shows off texture, especially if you have some layers going. My hair is naturally streaked, with some strands being very dark, most a medium light brown to dark blond, and a few very blond ones, and I really like enhancing that quality of it.

Also, I like this picture because I’m wearing glasses. I am trying to reclaim glasses. This is because I’m always embarrassed by them. They make me feel as though they obscure me, which is one of the reasons why I prefer contacts. Being teased mercilessly in school probably didn’t help that. I once read, in a Konstantin Paustovsky autobiography, no less, that Slavs respond negatively to glasses because we still associate them with privilege and snobbery. He wrote this over half a century ago, but Ukraine of the early 1990’s wasn’t much different in this regard.

Of course, American schoolchildren make fun of kids and glasses all the time as well, except that there is a stronger “nerd” aspect to it. I don’t think it’s really a class thing. Or not…? What do you think?

And do you think that being blond automatically makes a woman seem less intelligent? A lot of my friends have reported that dyeing their hair blond meant that people treated them differently. I’ve personally never noticed anything like that in my daily life as a blonde, but I could merely be oblivious. Sometimes, ignorance really is bliss.

The same Konstantin Paustovsky autobiography features a scene in which a train station attendant bemoans the invention of the telegraph: “Before, people knew nothing, and they were happy. Now you have the telegraph, saying that Bat’ka Makhno [a famous rebel leader during the civil war] is about to ride in and blow us all to hell.”

OK, that isn’t the actual translation, but it’s pretty close. My books are still a continent and an ocean away from me. And yes, I do feel like that train station attendant rather frequently.

Vanity: pictures of Natalia Antonova (me)

This is for everyone who thinks my blog is shallow. Haw haw.

OK, I’m beset by evil saber-toothed cockroaches, I dreamed of going to Kiev this month and reading Akhmatova among the tulips, and now that this didn’t work out, I am sad, and have writer’s block, and feel like being vain. I also wish to correct the fact that Google image search spits out a picture of the pregnant Monica Bellucci before any of my other pictures. It’s a beautiful shot, but I’m not a pregnant Monica Bellucci, and do not wish to confuse the future generations. Also, the banner on this blog presently makes me look way too emo, spreading even more inaccuracy.

So here I am (rock you like a hurricane?):

I look less like me in this picture and more like a friendly reject from the sort of comic book that will never be made into a crappy blockbuster (thank you, PhotoBooth), but this picture perfectly conveys my life in Dubai.

It was a bit like living on Tatooine.

By contrast, this is me in Jordan:

A war-weary commando, posing with her trusty weapon (dear makers of PifPaf, please make all checks payable to Natalia “Widowmaker” Antonova). They don’t make scarves with dead cockroaches on them, but a scarf with skulls will suffice in spreading terror in the hearts of the enemies. Or so I hope.

All of this is not to say that I am unhappy. On the contrary. Life has a good rhythm overall, and work on the magazine is good (if a little bit tiring as of late). I miss North Carolina, but it’s the people and the nature I miss, not the good old days. It was time to do something new.

“And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover.”
-John Masefield