Treading along not-so-grassy-unknown-park in Scotland few months back, I was enticed by the superstructure of this tree. It was an ageless beauty or should I sat aging beautifully??
Ahem…so am I aging beautifully or am I an ageless beauty?? I am faceless for most of you so you can’t compliment me but I would be modest – with every passing year, I feel proud of my age and flaunt it at every occasion without shying from it. What’s wrong with getting old, eh? Why ‘oh-you-should-never-ask-woman-her-age’ etiquette rule? For decades women are playing she-who-dies-thinnest-and-with-the-fewest-wrinkles-wins game.
The fashion industry is a 100 billion dollar a year industry, just in the United States! The advertisers and marketing psychologists have turned people into consumers – how to make people feel “not right” unless they buy the beauty product marketed to make them “feel right”. Thereby ensuring that billions will continue to be spent in trying to attain the unattainable.
As a young girl, I did felt depressed and dejected because I did not exemplify our culture’s standards of beauty. Billboards, magazines and movies showcasing rail-thin models with ridiculously over-exaggerated features made me judge myself harshly but one of my class teacher helped me to realize the fallacy in this desire to fit within this pre-arranged standard, and led me instead to focus on my own sense of beauty – a keen intelligence, understanding, and strength of will. She promoted an image of self-acceptance, beyond the cliché stereotypes that control beauty. And I still live comfortable in my skin, applying the hints of makeup when I go to work but not even a teeny-weeny extra to over-power my real beauty.
Makeovers are such an inherent part of growing up female that the ritual goes largely unquestioned by many young women. Why we are so inclined to judge our manner of appearance as critical to ourselves?
Our society’s expectations of beauty and the ideals that are placed on women. World of beauty is fascinating in the statistics and facts. Billboards say it loud on our face which force me to consider why beauty is applied only or mainly to women, and why it seems to be applied in areas to where it is irrelevant: Why should a female office executive be expected to look like an anorexic fashion model? Why are her male colleagues judged by completely other standards? In order to advance professionally and maintain a romantic relationship, women are spending large sums of money, plenty of time, and paying a lot of attention to their looks — in order to maintain the kind of look they see in magazines and advertisements, and which seems to be expected of them. We must realize how much the media affects how we see ourselves.
I do agree that many of the unrealistic standards of beauty in our country place women at a disadvantage because they draw our attention to exterior features rather than more important aspects – our mind and character.
I want to tell every woman I see who appears on the verge of collapse from self-starvation, or who seems ashamed of her natural self, unable to face the world without a mask of makeup that genuine relationships are possible only when couples see each other as they are, and for what they are.
Ofcourse, there is some quality of ‘ugliness’ that is absolute and which women should constantly strive to get out of. But let’s make a wow to ourself and all the other women out there, and not to the latest miracle cream from L’Oreal, is what we are truly worth.
P.S. Although my post sincerely talks about women, I also feel sad as that men do suffer from depression and eating disorders as well – Have you noticed that advertising campaigns for male grooming and cosmetic surgery have increased over the past two years?