Ask Lisa: Is pampering myself a ‘thing white girls do?’ | Column

by | August 31, 2019 5:00 pm

Last Updated: August 28, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Solving the Language Equation
Dear Lisa,
I am Mexican, but I speak English better than most of my relatives and friends.
My elderly neighbor is raising her grandson, who is having trouble in math. I am trying to help by taking him to the library. They have math exercises he can do on the computer. What else can I do to help?
Trying to Help

Dear Trying to Help,
I think it’s wonderful that you are trying to help your elderly neighbor and her grandson.
I know these are busy times for nearly everyone, but, in addition to taking him to the library, can you help your neighbor schedule a meeting with his teacher? You could go along and translate to make sure his teacher understands how concerned you and his grandmother are and ask how you can help.
Let him know you plan to meet with his teacher. His teacher should have useful suggestions. Also ask about tutoring, because there could be a language barrier.
As the daughter of a veteran school teacher, I learned math using the multiplication tables our insurance agent used to hand out. Mom also checked out LP records from the Jonesville Elementary School Library. My sister and I listened to them before doing our math homework at the kitchen table.
Encourage your young neighbor so he doesn’t tune out on his all-important education. Tell him help is on the way.

Things “White Girls Do?”
Dear Lisa,
My boyfriend loves calling me an Oreo. He says I am only black on the outside because I use face masks to pamper myself and to help with my acne.
When he calls and I say I’m about to give myself a facial, he tells me to stop doing “things white girls do” because I’m not white. Should I?
Loving the Skin I’m In

Dear Loving the Skin I’m In,
First, tell your boyfriend that black is beautiful in every shade. Beauty and self-care have no racial component.
The holy Bible calls each of God’s creations “fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Second, let him know that loving and pampering yourself is never a bad thing. It does not mean you are self-absorbed and arrogant.
I have oily skin that my dermatologist at Columbia Skin Clinic says I’ll be grateful for when I’m 90 and look 70. I purchase my generic Milk of Magnesia facial from the dollar store. I keep it in the refrigerator and use it once a month. True beauty radiates outward from within.

“Ask Lisa” is primarily for helpful entertainment and is not intended to take the place of certified legal, financial, or medical advice.
Columnist Vasilisa Hamilton earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from the University of South Carolina with a psychology cognate with honors and a master of science in professional writing from Towson University, Towson, Maryland, with honors. Her website is
Please send your “Ask Lisa” questions to Letters may be edited for clarity.

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