Posted on Leave a comment

The Monologue Challenge

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

  1. Take a video of yourself performing the monologue that I wrote titled Pluck, Cut, Pluck. The monologue can be downloaded here.
  2. 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).
  3. When you have uploaded the video, fill this google form (latest by 15th August 2021) with the links of your uploaded videos.
  4. 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.
  5. Please note that I will download the videos of the winners and upload it also on my Youtube channel. Winners should agree to this.
  6. The Monologue Competition is open to everyone of all shapes and sizes. International winners will be paid via Paypal.
  7. One participant may only submit one video.

Video Requirements

  1. Monologue must be performed in one take.
  2. Phone quality is alright, but the recording must be taken in a place where the audio can be clear. Avoid noisy backgrounds.
  3. Video should be taken horizontal, not vertical.
  4. Setting is completely up to the creativity, imagination, and resource of the participant.
  5. Winners will be chosen based on their performance, interpretation, and also the clarity of audio and video quality.

Additional Notes

  1. I am thoroughly funding this competition myself, there are no sponsorships or donations involved.
  2. 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.
  3. If you have any questions, you can contact me.
  4. Last but not least, HAVE FUN and enjoy exploring beauty ideals as conveyed through the monologue!
Posted on Leave a comment

My Acne Journey, part 2

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.

Vaginal cysts.

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.

In addition to aloe vera, what has been helping my acne journey includes also AFC supplements, The Skin Diary Squalane Sherbet Cleansing Balm, and Argan Rosy Velvet Moisturizer. I’m happy with the result so far-finally feeling that it’s getting manageable with a better long-term solution than the pills I took when I was younger.

The 5th episode of my podcast is with The Skin Diary’s Anna Febriana Jaelawijaya (another awesome Anna!), so please tune in if you’d like to hear more about The Skin Diary!

Do you have skin woes? How do you deal with it? Share in the comments!

Posted on 5 Comments

My Acne Journey, part 1

May 2008, With dear friend Katie Velasco (now Katie Crosby).

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.

My skin is much more complicated than any relationship I’ve been in. And I’ve been in a lot.

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.

Drastic Actions

May 2011, in Texas. Taken by roommate Hye Young Lois Bang

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.

Posted on 2 Comments

You are Beautiful

You are beautiful

no matter that you gained some kilos,

or that you keep losing weight.

No matter that you are forty and still a virgin,

or that you slept with people who took advantage of you.

No matter that you focus on your career,

or that you are broke and in need of some help.

No matter what happened to you

or who happened to you

No matter where you are right now in your life.

You are Beautiful