It's Really Hard To Write About Beauty Right Now

Our building still doesn't have heat or hot water -- say it with me now, "Brrrrrr" -- but it feels like a major dick move to complain about it.
Publish date:
November 5, 2012

Hey guys. We finally have power back in the Lower East Side and we're all pretty psyched about it. Our building still doesn't have heat or hot water -- say it with me now, "Brrrrrr" -- but it feels like a major dick move to complain about it. Especially when this is happening not so far from me.

My husband and I are lucky. We didn't lose anything; all that happened was that we were inconvenienced for a week. Thousands of people still don't have power, and a large number of those people don't even have a HOUSE in which they can hope to eventually turn on the lights. The temperatures are dipping down to freezing every night, and we have a crazy Nor'easter due to hit on Wednesday.

The news is breaking my heart even worse than usual. 40,000 people are expected to be displaced by this event, half of whom are residents of public housing. This is such an enormous disaster, and even though I'm sure you are sick to the back teeth of hearing people talk about it, us New Yorkers could really use your help.

Last Tuesday, with one day of powerlessness under our belts, I was thinking about writing a guide to staying beautiful through Hurricane Sandy. Hurricane glamour, and all that. It was meant to be funny, suggesting that you wear wigs when you couldn't wash your hair, and heartily recommending the Clarisonic, which, five days later, was still holding a charge! But that changed when I actually saw the news on Friday night. It all became much less funny.

It's hard to get your diva on when you don't even have water to shower with. But the fact that I'm sitting here, pouting about having nothing to write about, is ridiculous. Those of us who managed to get through this relatively unscathed feel wracked with guilt, heartsick when we watch the news.

I walked all over the Lower East Side yesterday, donating and helping out where I could, and tweeting donation drop-off points at various spots around my neighborhood. The message that came through loud and clear was that these people need more than just food: They need warm clothing. It is getting seriously cold and many of them have nothing to protect them from the elements. They need blankets, socks, thick sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves.

The death toll is 42 in New York alone, and it could get worse if these people -- including the elderly and disabled, many of whom are trapped in their high-rise apartments, afraid or unable to leave -- are unable to keep themselves warm.

I don't know how many of you took my advice to purge your Frankenclosets last week; hopefully it was a few of you! But what if you took the really warm stuff that you don't wear anymore, which you were originally going to sell, and donated it to some people who need it?

If you have warm clothing to donate, you can send it to a volunteer center. There is a list of locations here. Otherwise, money helps, too. You can make a donation to the Mayor's Fund to Advance New York City, Occupy: Sandy or the Red Cross. If you're feeling extra-generous, the Ali Forney drop-in center was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy, and is a refuge for LGBT youth on the streets. They could use your donations, too.

Please keep everyone in your thoughts.