Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What If....

We women stopped wearing really uncomfortable shoes we pay a fortune for?

We all stopped dumping chemicals on our heads and let nature take its course? Grey can look good too.

We stopped buying constraining and uncomfortable clothes?

We stopped buying creams and assorted pots of gunk and goo that promise impossibilities - like turning back time - at $200 a pop?

We stopped paying a fortune for makeup (really, how many lipsticks do I need?) that contains... what? We've stopped using lead powder on our faces (an Elizabethan beauty staple), but is what we're using now necessarily that much better?

What if we stopped injecting the world's most toxic poison into our face paralyzing it and thus, keeping it free of lines and any sort of expression.

We stopped getting plastic implanted into our bodies and fat sucked out to look just so?

We stopped getting unneeded surgery to pull our faces taught? (And no, I'm not saying no one should get surgery, and I'm not judging those who do).

Would whole sections of the economy collapse?

How bizarre is it that women's fear of aging fuels such large areas of the economy? Because they're told they must look young at all costs? Why do we buy into it?


What if we decided that not going against nature does not mean that we are "letting ourselves go"?

That getting older is not necessarily horrific. One of the most beautiful women I ever saw is in her late 70s no doubt, sporting wrinkles and sagging galore - and she is spectacular.

What if we realized that looking 30 doesn't make us any less 50?

That botox isn't beautiful.. it's just freaky.


Yes, I know, it's the medias' fault. Or at any rate that's popular wisdom.

But are we incapable of making up our own minds? I can understand the wish (need?) for women to feel beautiful - God knows I'm not above it - but aren't we going overboard? What are we teaching our daughters? That youth is the be all and end all of existence? It's sort of sad I think.

Who, really is expecting this of us? From what I've seen, not all that many of our menfolk. They have a naked woman in front of them, perfection is the farthest thing from their minds. They're just grateful she's there.

I don't believe for a minute that a lot of it isn't our fault. We buy into it, don't we, to a greater or lesser extent. We could say no. And if we did, expectations would change, would they not?

But do we want them to?

Why don't we just say no?


Dumdad said...

That's the myth - that men like women looking like plastic dolls. Speaking for all menfolk(!), okay for myself, I hate this look. There's nothing wrong in looking alluring and smart and whatever but forget botox and implants and all the other stuff. But, I'm afraid, like the diet industry, things will get worse not better. My poor daughter!

lime said...

rock on!!!

what if...?

then they'd look like me. i don't own any makeup, my hair is salt and pepper, i live in my birkenstocks.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

I had a nice visit here this morning. I don't do any of that stuff but an organice face cream. I miss cute shoes, but they don't feel good. My husband thinks I'm attractive, and I usually wear my paint cloths at home! It really is the inner self that has the long lasting appeal. And we laugh a lot together. That’s the real beauty secret I think!

Mr. Jazz said...

Une belle leçon de vie...

ticknart said...

The one that I've wondered about the most are the shoes. I don't like that women (and cross-dressers) wear something on their feet that damage their backs.

The rest are frightening, too.

Gnightgirl said...

This has always been a fascinating subject for me, and I've stopped and started similar posts.

While it's true that we are inundated with images of what constitutes beauty, women have been painting their faces and piercing their ears since the beginning of time--long before they were subjected to media images. I contemplate the

How much of women's desire to look "beautiful" is simply human nature?

Maybe I'll go finish my draft, and link to you here.

Big Brother said...

Way to lay it out lil sister... good thing that the women in my life like being "au naturel", since I really don't like the high maintenance barbie doll look.

Jazz said...

DD - Most guys I know don't go for it. You seem to be in the majority.

Lime - Well, I own makeup (I'm a total lipstick whore), but I broke way from the tyranny of hair dye a couple of years ago now. I was told I was letting myself go, I was told I'd look like an old lady, I was asked how I could do that to myself. Personally I love it, and I've actually been getting quite a few compliments on the salt and pepper look.

Leslie - Welcome here. I love your blog. And I think you're absolutely right. Inside counts most.

Mr. Jazz - I love you too honey.

Ticknart - Not to mention their feet. I wear heels now and then, but I'm incapable of doing the stiletto pointy toe thing. Just looking at those shoes hurts.

G'nightgirl - That's a fascinating question. I think a lot of that desire is indeed innate. How to explain it otherwise? But is there no way to be pretty without discomfort (hell, thongs come to mind). What annoys me is that we're so damn hard on ourselves (and that's a whole other post) if we don't look "right", if we don't conform to some stupid image we hold ourselves up to. Fer chrissake, 30 year olds are getting botoxed. Oops, ok, off my soapbox now.

BB - Yep all the women who surround you (at least those in your extended family) are low maintenance. It must be in our genes.

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

That picture actually made me cringe and "eep!" in horror. Why would anyone do this to their beautiful, real, lovely face?

Can we not have confidence in ourselves and see ourselves as worthwhile human beings, at any age? Why do we need the validation of strangers?

XUP said...

Me, too. They'd look like me. My hair is silver; I only own shoes I can walk at least a mile in comfortably and my skin care products are healthy food, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and exercise, not abusing substances and not getting too stressed about crap.

pinklea said...

You're so right. I know this in my brain, but not completely in my heart. I must confess that I do have my hair coloured and that I do buy some rather expensive skin care products and I do look at my face and think that maybe Botox would help. I do like wearing high pointy shoes sometimes(mostly because I'm not very tall) but at least I have escaped the tyranny of thong underwear!

geewits said...

I hope most women just do one or two of those things, but unfortunately there are probably many women that do all of those things. I liked Gnightgirl's comment about these things going on long before we had "The Media." I'd never thought of that. And I go to museums! (Hello forest, meet the trees.)

Jeaux said...

My brother's girlfriend looks better in her natural salt-and-pepper than in all the colors she's tried. Others don't. But style and grooming, a little art, are one thing... delusion another. Face lifts don't make anybody look younger... it just makes them look weird, and nobody is really fooled. There's a cognitive dissonance that functions on some subconscious level that is probably a feature of our reproductive imperative. Extreme measures always look rather monstrous. I think what we find appealing in one another is health and vitality, an inner light. Artificial youth looks anything but; in fact it looks predatory... and is.

Conversely, all natural isn't really natural, at least to human beings, either. Nothing wrong with bringing some intelligent and minimal enhancement into the picture. It's all about taste... making the best of what you've already got, and leaving it at that. I had an aunt whose crows feet I always admired as a boy, especially when she laughed. I thought they made her look striking and beautiful. If you have sex appeal at twenty, you'll have it at sixty.

Susan Tuttle said...

i am not capable of walking in high heels.


VioletSky said...

I have never mastered the high heels, or the makeup. Too lazy, or too smart?

Ian Lidster said...

What if women didn't do those things? Why, the economy would collapse. Oh wait, it already has Never mind.

Jill said...

I wish I had a clever answer. I wish I had back all the money I've spent on nail polish and eye shadow and magic skin potions that sit unused in my bathroom drawer. Maybe it's hope?

citizen of the world said...

I don't do the vast majority of those things - no uncomfortable shoes, no expensive creams, no botox or surgery. I'm not without vanity, but I think women have bought into very harmful ideas about how they "should" look. And I am especially unhappy about the more invasive things. A little make up? Big deal. Adding silicone to your breasts - now you're alternating what people think of as a normal body and that's a problem for all of us.

Hagelrat said...

Sometimes I want to wear pretty shoes, just because they are pretty, most of the time I am jeans and a top, trainers, no makeup and I never do anything to my hair beyond cut it twice a year and wash it. Actually that's a slight lie, I had highlights for the wedding, but only for the wedding.

Hannah said...

It's hard sometimes not to fall into the trap of trying to conform to a certain societal ideal, especially since this ideal is shoved down our throats all the time. But I still think its possible. The most beautiful people are those who are themselves. :)

Poutalicious said...

You hit the nail on the head; a man can be turned on by a donut so I doubt it's all due to them.

Rachel said...

if women decided that focusing on what mattered instead of slaving to some arbitrary standard of male desire, then men would become superfluous and the world would end.

ArneA said...

What if men stopped looking at legs with these beautiful high heals.
I will never stop.
Beauty will always be my attraction, and you fulfill my dreams.
Thanks God for the women.

jinksy said...

Lip salve, birkenstocks and white hair for me, anyday...

Poutalicious said...

Jinksy, we're living parallel lives. I was already here and read this the other day because I am a fan; but I came back just to say congrats on the POTD mention from David. Must be nice gettin' some love.

Jocelyn said...

I'm with you on all of it.

But the shoes in that first photo? Do they have to be wrong?