Written by Pippa Evans

Health

100 Days as a Biscuit: week seven

Pippa Evans’ biscuit challenge has elicited some weird and wonderful responses from the people around her. Here are nine.

You don’t look anything like a biscuit!

It’s a phrase my mother said – it’s not a fact.

The same as when you say, “She had a face like smacked arse!” You don’t really imagine a massive red arse, do you? DO you?

It is hard to look exactly like a biscuit, although I enjoy trying to match my face to a biscuit type. This week, for example, I am a Jacob’s Smiley Face (an inferior Jammy Dodger, in my humble opinion). Last week I was more of a Boaster, all lumpy and grumpy. I aim, of course, for the ultimate biscuit… a Golden Crunch Cream. But that is just a dream. A dream, I tell you!

You are so brave.

Am I? Really? Truthfully? Not really.

Yes, I am brave to an extent, because it is surprisingly scary not to conform to the general rule of the world that women must have perfect skin, highlighted features and perfectly shaped eyebrows at all times.

Yet it is also – surprisingly – not scary when you actually do it. When you actually bare all (and although it’s not physical nudity like getting your tits out, it feels like it) you realise that we THINK we have to look this way, but actually, unless you are a supermodel (and only about 10 women are) you can do what you want with your face. No one REALLY cares. And if a complete stranger makes a remark, why are we listening to them? Or is the true pain when someone we know says it? Are we actually afraid of judgment by people we know? OH MY GOD! That’s it. We fear friends and family knowing the truth about our upper lip and your spotty back.

‘Brave’ is a strange word for me. I always think of brave people as firefighters, surgeons, lifeguards, and Jack Bauer types. Not internet bloggers doing experiments on themselves. Less bravery, more attention seeking. Go me!

This is really stupid. I mean, it’s no big deal.

Actually, it’s really brave. See above.

Biscuit wk 7

You already have a husband so it doesn’t really matter what you look like.
WHAT THE FUCK? Did you really just say that? I refer to my interview with Sali Hughes and my interaction with this guy on a train. I wear makeup for ME not so boys will look up my skirt. If I want them to do that, I’ll wear a sign saying “No panties” not slap on a load of No.7.

Are you doing it right now? I can’t tell.
BLESS YOU. You have just proven the point that makeup is not always necessary. To be fair, it was my dad who said this and he wasn’t wearing his glasses and he is about 300 years old, but I’ll take the unintentional compliment.

I could never do what you are doing. I think I might die.
This has probably been said to me the most and really makes me think about our relationship with makeup. That doesn’t sound like a healthy relationship with an inanimate object. Air, food, water: I grant you, these inanimate objects (well, some food is animated until we shoot it, obvs) are life or death, but mascara? Should we really be that attached? Can we really be that attached? Sure I have had a few evenings when I REALLY WANTED MY MAC CONCEALER but other than that, to shed the face paint has really made me notice my face. And all that it tries to tell me that I just cover up. “Shut up, face! I know I’m tired! Why do you have to tell EVERYONE?” we shout. At ourselves. When in fact it needs kisses, not compact. So I don’t think you would die, but you might have occasional pangs of desire for a lipstick.

Can I have your makeup?
NO. I will probably have a binge when this is over (I know I keep contradicting myself: it’s complicated). A bit like when I don’t see my beloved Mr Pippa for a while, I remember all the things that I absolutely love him for. I also realise how many vegetables he eats and, therefore, how many I don’t (but think I do), because the salad drawer in the fridge is still full from last week’s shop. COME BACK, MR P, ALL IS FORGIVEN!*

*He’s on a work trip. Please don’t think this is a real shout out to save our relationship. That would be, even by my standards, a pretty lame romance.

You are beautiful without makeup. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
I love the first half of this sentence. Sort of. I mean, it’s meant as a compliment, but it still focuses on being beautiful as the main aim of my face. I don’t want to be not beautiful, but I also don’t want that to be the most important thing to people when meeting me. I want it to be my amazing ideas, not my eyelashes.

The second half of the sentence suggests that perhaps the first half is difficult to believe and that few people will hold this opinion. It’s the sort of sentence they say in a coming-of-age film when the ugly girl decides to start her own fashion line and it is doomed to fail, but her slightly lame uncle encourages her (he is the loner in the family, so she relates to him, even though her over-preened mother doesn’t like to talk to him. They will, of course, be reconciled in the end and mother will buy ugly girl’s highly successful fashion line. Does anyone know a Hollywood producer? I think I just wrote my first screenplay).

Thanks for this, kind Sir, I won’t let anyone tell me any different – mainly because I don’t tend to ask people, “What do you think about my face?”

Your face isn’t who you are.
Mr Pippa said this to me. I asked him how he had been experiencing this experiment, since he looks at me more than most people. And he said: “I mean, you look more tired without makeup, but really, you just look like you. I don’t really think about it, if I’m honest. I didn’t marry your face, I married you. And your face isn’t who you are.”

HELLO? Isn’t that so poetic? And he works in computers so I KNOW he can’t just conjure that stuff up. I felt like Julia Roberts in my favourite prostitution-glamorisation movie. Your face isn’t who you are. It’s like a conclusion in itself.

Biscuit I most resembled this week: Jacob’s Smiley Face.
Hours spent thinking about makeup: A couple.
Enquiries into my health? Still no one asks if I am ill. Could this be a 100 per cent success rate?
Next week: What the hell is makeup anyway?

@IAmPippaEvans

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Written by Pippa Evans

Pippa Evans is a comedian, improviser and the co-founder of Sunday Assembly. She lives in London.