Ambidexterity

September 29, 2008
By

I was born predominantly left-handed. This was revealed in my kindergarten years when I started to hold pencils and write with my left hand. Unfortunately, most Chinese in the past regarded the use of the left hand as plain wrong. One reason for this is the belief that when a person uses the left hand to hold a pair of chopsticks, she threatens the harmony at the – usually round – dining table, as that person would be ‘fighting’ her neighbour to her left, who would likely be wielding the utensils with the right hand.

And so my babysitter sought to correct me; with the approval of my parents, I believe. I cannot remember what she did exactly, although I vaguely recall threats. The coercion obviously succeeded because I now write with my right hand…not beautifully but adeptly, certainly. ;) Even so, I am able to write with my left hand, despite seldom writing with it. I was even able to use it to good effect in History exams when my right hand was plain worn out discharging precious words in essays (albeit not as neatly as with the right)!

I maintain that I’m a little scatter-brained, thanks to this screwing up of my mental mechanisms. So forgive me, if I seem lost and unfocused at times. :D

Nevertheless, I’ve always viewed being ambidextrous as somewhat of a blessing. I’m able to do most things well with both hands and makeup application-wise, being ambidextrous is an advantage – I do not need to rely on one hand to line my eyes or hold an eyeshadow brush at an unwieldy angle to do ‘the other eye’.

That said, I’m sure there are many of you who are non-ambidextrous but manage just fine, either with one hand or have adapted to using both hands. For this, I admire you!


Posted in: makeup tools | other musings

5 Responses to Ambidexterity

  1. Phyrra
    September 30, 2008 at 4:20 am

    My brother unfortunately had that happen to him as well. He was left handed but my parents forced him to be right handed. I’m glad that you were able to make such a thing into a positive and useful experience for you, as it must be nice to use both hands!

  2. makeupmag
    September 30, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Thank you for your comment, phyrra. I believe this is not uncommon to Asian families. I hope your brother is fine with it.

    There are some things I can only do with one hand though; I cut – scissors and knives – with only my left! :)

  3. Phyrra
    September 30, 2008 at 10:59 pm

    We’re actually not asian, but I think it was the mindset of my family that even though my mother was left handed, that my brother should be right handed. It seems silly to me. And I think he’s ok with it.

  4. Anonymous
    October 28, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    my mother only found out when she decided to teach me how to write my name when i was very young. i remember very well i was caned and screamed at for being abnormal. the caning stopped but the latter continues to this day even. no wonder i can trust no woman… anyhow i’m glad you approach it with such a positive attitude. i am very comfortable using my left hand for washing my face, i apply my makeup on my left side with my left hand! have a good day.

  5. makeupmag
    October 28, 2008 at 10:33 pm

    Hi Anon,

    I’m sorry to hear about your negative experience. :(

    However, you know what they say about left-handed people being creative and talented! ;) :)

    Some research has claimed that the inclination towards using the left hand is a result of ultrasound scanning, as opposed to it being genetic.

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