Living in the Deep South for the past eight years, I've grown accustomed to the somewhat different beauty standards we lasses live by down here in the sweatier states. Most of the things you've heard about us Steel Magnolias are relatively true, especially when it comes to our hair: the bigger the hair, the closer to heaven indeed.
On this journey towards heaven/nirvana/maximum flammability, I rely primarily on a steady routine of tease, spray, then pray. My hair is pretty big on its own, so volume is never particularly difficult for me to achieve. For other, less #blessed ladies, alternative methods of hair fluffery are required.
This is where the iconic Bumpit comes into play. I still remember the first time I saw an infomercial for the Bumpit in high school, and as I was still living in the vast, sweet tea-less, "you guys"-riddled wasteland known as The North, I remember thinking, "Ha. No one would use that."
Now I live in God's Country, and the Bumpit is truly as ubiquitous as sweet tea or grammatically incorrect anti-Obama bumper stickers on pickup trucks. In my past life as a sorority sister (lol, I know), I saw many a blonde, tanned biddie slide a Bumpit into her highlighted coif before that evening's "Golf Ho's and Tennis Pro's" swap with the local fratlords of Pi Kappa Roofie.
I personally have never used a Bumpit for two reasons: One, it feels like cheating in the same way Spanx do. Two, like I said, my hair already has more of a presence than my personality ever will, so I feel no need to bump, bump, bump it up. I take no grievance with the device, though—that is until it's improperly worn. Like firearms or condoms, when used incorrectly, Bumpits can be offensive and downright dangerous. The Bumpit should be worn discreetly and stealthily.
This past weekend, while sipping a beer by my lonesome and getting some writing done at my favorite neighborhood spot, I witnessed a Bumpit in the wild. And by "in the wild," I mean it was showing. The head in question belonged to a woman I'd never met, but she was with a dude I got really drunk with a couple months ago and ended up at a Whataburger with once upon a 3 a.m.
It was pretty obvious she didn't mean for her Bumpit to be on display. I mean, no one would want that. Right? Right???
But, here's the question of etiquette: Should I have said something?
It seemed inappropriate at the time for two reasons: One, I didn't want to embarrass her in front of this dude I assume was her date for the evening. I couldn't compose a clever way of casually approaching with, "Oh, hey girrrrl... Oh, and hey dude whose name I can't remember but who once witnessed me drunkenly unhinging my jaw to swallow a burger whole while simultaneously trying to get with your hot friend... Sorry to interrupt, but I can, um, see your Bumpit."
Two, maybe she didn't care? Maybe this chick is some next level paragon of true DGAF realness. I shouldn't pity her. I should respect her. In fact, I should ask her to mentor me. Bumpit Bitch, I bow down to thee. I worship at the altar of your chunky wedge heel.
In general though, how do we all feel about alerting others as to their public beauty faux paus? I would for sure want someone to tell me if my foundation was unblended on my jaw, or I had lipstick on my teeth. However, there's not always an incredibly graceful or tactful way of doing so, especially in public with strangers.
I guess it's a question of etiquette, and the fact that I don't know the rules for this particular situation is probably the ultimate giveaway of the fact that I will never be A True Southern Lady. I'm working on it, though. (I've decided to get very tan and married soon. Yeehaw.)
- How do y'all handle situations like this?
- Have you ever told someone you didn't know that they were making an embarrassing beauty slip-up? Has someone done the same for you?
- Most importantly, do YOU wear a Bumpit? Show me.