Extract

I was lecturing a group of fresh-faced young girls, recent arrivals in the double-digit age category, on why they needed to follow the news.

It felt a bit hypocritical, really, telling this giggly gang they should concentrate more on what was happening in the country than on their face. Hypocritical because I too would rather talk face-framing eyebrows than spew my disgruntled bile over the parlous pre-election state of affairs in our country — and the precipice-edge tension in the world at the moment.

The girls were up on The Brow Thing (pronounced thang, or did I mishear?) The Brow is the new, or fairly new, face fashion obsession. There’s a thing/thang called microblading in which a handheld tool made up of many tiny needles adds pigment to the skin giving you “natural” eyebrows. It doesn’t last forever, the girls informed me. You need regular top ups. Like dipping into reputable news sites on your phone to “top up” on information about your surroundings, I said lamely. The girls sniggered, threw looks at each other and rolled their eyes. Teenage girls. Tough broads. Cruel. Hard audience. We moved on from The Brow to falsies. Now in my teenage day falsies meant stuffing everything from toilet paper to an old T-shirt to pieces of pillow foam into your bra to make your boobs look bigger. Trying to get both sides equally proportioned was the tricky part, and while the ample bosomed me didn’t have to try quite as hard as my girlfriends, the challenge was still daunting enough for u...

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