Death by beauty

Recently, over the last year I’ve entered on the path of total acceptance of my face as it is, spots and all. That means not feeling that it is my sense of duty that the world should only see my face when I’ve shovelled on god knows what. Have you seen the ingredients list of some beauty products? They’re long, very long. Chanel number 5, a perfume that women drool over has a very expensive ingredient called ambergris in, which is actually the digestive tract of a sperm whale. I worked in boots at the fragrance counter a couple of years ago and the locked, special cabinet at the end, reserved for only the most generous or wealthy gift givers (or believers of marketing B.S) had contained in it these types of perfumes £100+. And what’s in them? Parts of a poor whale who just wants to go about doing its business not harming anyone.

Mail Online, Vogue and Cosmo, to name a few of the crappy magazines or online hubs for pointless and dulling beauty information or ‘advice’ that you may stumble across in your day to day life. Cut it out, put it down or at best run a mile! They are the unknowingly fatal way of poisoning yourself a slow painful death by beauty. Your sense of self-worth will always come up to close scrutiny when indulging in these types of empty distractions because they want you to compare yourself to an airbrushed model, 33% lighter than the average woman. They want you to buy into what they say. They want you to reach into your pocket because that’s what their beauty microcosm relies upon. Naomi Klein hits the nail on the head when she says in The Beauty Myth “What editors are obliged to appear to say that men want from women is actually what their advertisers want from women.” Think about it. Why would they tell you anything else than you must have this new product or that new product if it wasn’t to prop up the beauty industry which in return supports them?

And thinness. ‘Beyonce loses 1 stone in 2 days’ or ‘Michelle Kegan’s perfect body and perfect life’. These are actual titles that I know I’ve seen on magazines. What is this? Who writes this twaddle? Why is our culture so fixated on female thinness and the perfect life? Klein radically questions this notion and comes to the conclusion that this obsession is actually one of female obedience “Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” Any obsessive behaviour puts the focus on the concern and all other important conquests fall aside to make space in the individual’s life for intense scrutiny on one thing. This is not healthy, this is not radical, this is not liberating for women. This is dangerous and is stopping half of the population from focusing on more pressing matters. Politics, economics, world wars, the amount of natural resources left on earth. These things take time to gain a position on and the answers aren’t found in shitty magazines or applying another layer of mascara.

But it is hard to ignore the noise that big brands make, there’s no denying that. They have lots of money and can spread their message far and wide. Those advertisers don’t give you any space to breathe; on the tube, in the newspapers, on the radio, all over social media and the web. These messages are impossible to escape and one shouldn’t even try. You can’t possibly change the world, but you can change yourself. You can decide that enoughs enough and that you’re just not listening to their meaningless nonsense any more. And so that’s why I decided to stop with the bullshit and remove the makeup from my morning routine. Accepting that I am the way that I am, with or without the enhancements of the beauty industry is a challenge. But I do believe that “She wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.” Challenge the world, present your best self, that doesn’t mean the one which is superficially enhanced or added to. Your hair colour, skin colour, skin complexion are just perfect the way they are. Don’t let beauty become who you are. We are not pretty little objects.

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