A lot of us have had those little nose hairs peeking out. And even women have upper lip (and lower lip!) hair. It’s just normal. So how did we get such a huge industry around removing those facial hair?
I had written a monologue about a young woman struggling with beauty ideals of facial hair, and made a Monologue Challenge to call for videos of the performance. I would like to thank all of you for participating and showing interest in this personal project.
Winner Video Performance
A huge CONGRATS to Karina Chandra for winning the prize with her video performance! Although the audio did have some minor problems, Karina’s performance was expressive, brave, and very funny at key moments. Enjoy her take here.
In real life, Karina is a digital illustrator, and you can see her lovely illustrations on her Instagram profile.
I hope this little project has encouraged us to take a deeper look into the beauty ideals around us, instead of simply accepting what is being thrown upon us.
I’m very excited to announce that I will be holding The Monologue Challenge this year! Open from July 15 – August 15 2021, with 2 chosen winners receiving a prize money of 100 USD and 50 USD. Full details below.
How to Join
Take a video of yourself performing the monologue that I wrote titled Pluck, Cut, Pluck. The monologue can be downloaded here.
Upload the video latest by August 15th 2021 on one of these three channels: your Youtube channel, your Instagram TV, or your Facebook page. Use the title Pluck, Cut, Pluck, A Monologue. The caption must mention Written By Airin Efferin. Use the hashtag #pluckcutpluck. In addition, participant must also upload the video to their google drive and let me access the videos. Make sure the channel you upload the video to is set on public (not private channel).
When you have uploaded the video, fill this google form (latest by 15th August 2021) with the links of your uploaded videos.
Two winners of The Monologue Challenge will be chosen and announced 31 August 2021 on my website. First prize winner receives 100 USD, Second prize winner receives 50 USD.
Please note that I will download the videos of the winners and upload it also on my Youtube channel. Winners should agree to this.
The Monologue Competition is open to everyone of all shapes and sizes. International winners will be paid via Paypal.
One participant may only submit one video.
Monologue must be performed in one take.
Phone quality is alright, but the recording must be taken in a place where the audio can be clear. Avoid noisy backgrounds.
Video should be taken horizontal, not vertical.
Setting is completely up to the creativity, imagination, and resource of the participant.
Winners will be chosen based on their performance, interpretation, and also the clarity of audio and video quality.
I am thoroughly funding this competition myself, there are no sponsorships or donations involved.
Pluck, Cut, Pluck, is a monologue I wrote. If you wish to use the monologue script for further use, do have the courtesy to ask my permission. Or…beware my wrath.
I noticed the vaginal cysts because I started bleeding (having my period) twice a month. The “second” cycle came about two weeks after the usual cycle. It was brown older blood, and it hurt. Like, hell.
I consulted friend, nutritionist, and pharmacist Anna Meiliana (remember her from my very first podcast episode?) about my problem. Well since about 2019 I have been building much healthier lifestyle habits. I exercise daily by walking or swimming (or even diving when I’m on the island!), cut down on the MSG and junk food I eat (I still eat some, but it’s vastly reduced), have a much healthier mental state, and consciously drink a lot of water. I don’t drink alcohol too much. I do smoke from a pipe every once in a while- in once every couple of months so I don’t think it affects my lungs too much. Since the pandemic started, I’ve also gotten much more sleep hours in.
From this, she deduced that it was probably something hormonal and urged me to check with a gynecologist. I chose Melinda Hospital because it’s one of the best (pricey, but very good) women’s healthcare hospitals in Bandung. People recommended Doctor Julius, and my husband Cung accompanied me.
Dr. Julius was great! Highly recommended if you are looking for a gynecologist in the West Java area. Images from the ultrasonography indeed confirmed the cysts. When I told Doctor Julius about my healthy lifestyle, he also asked if I was taking any hormone pills. Out came the confession about my acne pills.
Needless to say, I stopped those meds. Dr. Julius recommended birth control pills instead for 1 month, with very strict daily timing. I checked up again after a month and the cysts were all gone.
Seeking a Healthier Long-Term Solution to My Acne Journey
But… you know what’s coming right? I had to deal with my reappearing acne again. This time, I was determined to try something more natural to prevent future cysts. And I wasn’t going to try urine therapy again (check out part 1 of this topic). During the lockdown, I experimented with lemons. It didn’t have any bad side effects, but I just felt it was not strong enough. I wanted to exterminate the acne bacteria. Aloe vera proved to be a stronger disinfectant.
For the aloe vera, I simply cut off a small piece of the plant, store the rest in the fridge, and rub it on the inflamed places on my face. If you don’t have a garden, the aloe vera plant should be easily available at grocery stores near you. It’s a great low-cost option. Make sure to do an allergy test though by testing it to a small patch of your skin before rubbing it on your face.
I’ve had acne for as long as I can remember. Oops, scratch that – I’ve played piano longer (I started piano when I was 6 years old). What I mean is, it feels like I’ve had acne forever. If you see pictures of my skin looking alright now, it’s probably the Tiktok filter, or just the right light hitting at the perfect moment and I’m quickly pointing to my husband Cung saying “Hurry! Take a photo now!”
My acne journey has gotten better since the lockdown – interesting how the pandemic improved my skin quality. I think it’s a combination of not being out so much in the polluted air of Bandung and Jakarta, getting more sleep, drinking more water, eating great supplements, using aloe vera, and using all-natural skincare products.
Complicated eh? You bet. Way too many factors. That’s skincare for you, especially if you have sensitive or combination skin. It’s seriously way more complicated than relationships.
The first outbreak of my acne journey started in junior high when I was about 14 or 15, and continued on until my mid-20s. I’ve tried everything under the sun, even – look don’t judge me here – even my own urine. I think it’s something called urine therapy. It’s far-out, I know. But I was desperate. I didn’t feel good, nor beautiful.
When I finally got sick of my acne, I decided to try hormonal meds. The hormones were so strong the dermatologist said I have to stop eating this 1 year before I want to have kids. Well luckily, I didn’t plan to have kids soon. But I did plan to end my acne, whatever it demanded.
So I consumed the meds, and IT WORKED. However, when I was not taking it, my pimples would start to appear. That’s why I kept taking it for about 5 years until 2020.
To be honest, it was fine for those 5 years. My acne disappeared and I was happy. One day, all that hormonal build-up finally showed side effects.
In October 2020 I developed vaginal cysts.
To be continued to part 2.
Acne can be debilitating for self confidence. If you need a reminder of your beauty, read this poem.