The beauty industry and industry certainly is an apt title because the way some load the slap on these days, it certainly has the appearance of industrial strength. When did a little ‘enhancement’ become part of the manufacturing industry?
Make up was worn in the past to highlight your best features and disguise flaws, like pock-marked skin, and the acne covered teenager certainly has my sympathy but, is it just me or is everything becoming more and more ridiculous?
I was at a wedding a few months ago and when women go to weddings it takes an army of hairdressers and ‘beauty’ (and I use that word in it’s most loosest form because there is very little aesthetic appeal in the sight that I beheld) therapists to apply the (industrial strength) treatments. It’s no longer a case of a little foundation to smooth over the uneven patches and a little colour around the eyes to highlight their sparkle. Oh no, now it is fake tan, hair extensions, bras that have breasts pushed up and out so high, you almost have to dive out of their way as they arrive 5 minutes before their owners in order to avoid a couple of black eyes! Then we have the latest and most ridiculous attachment of all, the fake eye lashes which, rumour has it, have been used by small birds to nest in, I kid you not! A friend of a friend actually woke one morning to find a large spider trying to mate with hers…seriously, and she was still wearing them!
Now, young women might get away with this look (actually they don’t, it just adds years to them) but on the older woman it becomes quite scary. There were quite a lot of older women at this particular wedding and as they started to pour into the hall it was like watching the opening number in some mad comic opera, ‘March of the Drag Queens’ (the Darth Vader theme kept running through my head for some reason?) which would have been fine if it had been a Lily Savage tribute night or some such but Lily would have looked like an icon of style and good taste compared to this lot.
Firstly, they all had the hair with, and this is a particular pet peeve of mine, the ‘large ringlet’. They are everywhere these days, from school girls to television presenters. I remember many years ago watching a Bob Hope/Jane Wyman film in which they played a married couple who were splitting up and who meet on a night out with their newer, younger halves. Jane has a head full of ringlets and Bob quips, ‘Who did you steal those curls from, Shirley Temple?’ Ringlets do look lovely on a five year old but not on a forty-five year old!! Actually, I don’t know anyone over the age of seven who can get away with that look and, if you doubt me, then the only thing I can say to you is ‘Remember Nellie Olsen’.
Then there is the heavy application of the ‘war paint’ and the fake tan, and this is where the difficulty lies because the fake tan is of a different texture and colour to the face make up and, if it’s a ‘diy’ job at home, then you also have to add in the orange knuckles. If someone painted a wall in your house and left it this mis-matched in shading then you would be well within your rights to complain!! But this forty (or should that be fifty?) shades of tan and foundation actually make Oompah Loompahs look good. Again, not a good look on the older woman, especially if she’s a little on the heavy side, which most of these were and, even more so, when it’s a warm sunny day and the heat inevitably leads to the make-up running which then has to be re-applied and re-applied to the point where the outer edges start to crack and split and the whole sorry mess ends up looking like a bad polyfilla job. Not a good look any day but great for scaring children (if that’s your thing) and Halloween, or scaring children on Halloween even but not so great on a day out.
And where does this idea of beauty come from? Now, I’m not pointing fingers here but I saw Katie Price on a talk show one night and the host asked her what advice she would give to anyone trying to make it as a celebrity??? A really crap question to ask anyone but, anyway, she answered and this is the truth, ‘Just be yourself’, without a hint of irony and looked quite mystified and annoyed when a large portion of the audience laughed. This from a woman who has had more industrial treatments than a new VW. I mean, when you look at her hasn’t she been turned into a walking ‘rubber doll’ and she's done it to herself?
Now, botox has started to invade the High Street as well as the celebrity circles which, I suppose, on the plus side will stave off the cracking and splitting look but, really girls, what’s wrong with a few fine lines and even the odd wrinkle? What’s so wrong with your own face and skin colour that it all has to be covered and dyed??Did you ever see anyone who looked better after all the ‘beauty’ treatments and cosmetic surgery? All character has been wiped from their face and, sadly, IT’S ALL A CON!!!!
It’s just another weapon in the patriarchal-military-industrial-capitalist armoury to keep you feeling inadequate and consuming of products. These treatments don’t make you look better or younger, all they do to the older face especially, is to highlight the lines and wrinkles. What is so wrong with what God or Evolution (depending on what you believe) gave you that it has to be ‘improved’. What is so wrong with the natural look that it needs to be painted over. I’m not completely against a little make up, I mean I bought foundation back in 1998 and then I had to buy another one last year and there are days when maybe we don’t look or feel so good and a little make up can help. But I have found, as I have gotten older, that less is definitely more, especially when it comes to rouge. And if you really can’t live without the war paint then, scale it back a bit please, and if you’re not sure if this applies to you then a good marker for this is to ask yourself this question, Do young children cry when you talk to them? If they do, then it’s probably time to re-think your ‘look’.
Because if you really want to stay young looking then the best thing you can do for yourself is to eat well and lead an active life, cut down on junk food and the alcohol, cut out the cigarettes and treat yourself with a little love and respect, and that will shine out of you and make you look and feel better than any amount of beauty treatments, botox, silicon, or polyfilla ever will.