Tuesday, 10 January 2012

I'd Like To Look Like A Cheeto, Please

Did everyone read Naomi Wolf's feminist manifesto The Beauty Myth in their women's studies class in university? About how beauty is a patriarchal, unattainable, construct used to keep women psychologically suppressed as we struggle to conform to standards of beauty--whatever it means that day, week, year--thus diverting our attentions and keeping us from conquering these modern times when we have more freedoms and open doors than any other generation before us.

(*Warning, that was a major simplification. Details sort of escape a person when it's been SEVEN years since they were in university. Sob.*)

Then did you flip to the back cover of the book, see Ms. Wolf's stunning author photograph that was obviously styled for beauty, and wonder: "???"

Well, what I'm wondering is if beauty is a suppressive moving target, when did we move into the territory where Cheeto orange skin, paint bristle eye lashes, and bike tire lips were the desirable thing? Over the Christmas break, I watched a couple of reality television Christmas specials on my U.K. broadcasting channels, and I was horrified by how the women looked. Seriously, their fake tans look like they reached into a bag of Cheetos and rubbed those trans-fatty neon-orange tubes all over themselves; then, when they were Cheetoed up, they went into their dad's garage and found a paint brush he'd use to paint the side of the house with, sawed off the bristles, and glued them to their eyes. Then they took a bike pump and used it to inflate their lips before scalping Barbie and sticking her plastic hair onto their head.

I'm so confused why this Cheeto-orange-scalped-Barbie-Michelin-tire-lips-paintbrush-eyelashes-look, is so widespread? And in case you think it's only on television, I have seen multiple girls in real life who look like this! When we were in London last May, and I was fighting the crowds to get a glimpse of what a TopShop looked like, I realized that an alarming number of girls around me were ORANGE and seemed to have difficulty blinking since they had about seven pairs of false eyelashes glued to their poor eyelids.

In fact, I don't even understand how these girls could walk down the street without getting attacked by a ravenous dog or a hungry hobo who wanted to lick the essence of Cheeto off their face. I'm also wondering how long it's going to take before we start to see girls walking around with such heavy eyelashes that they have to violently flip their head backwards just so their eyelids will retract and they can see in front of them? You know, sort of like your childhood doll My Blinking Baby. Remember how hard you used to have to shake blinking baby just to get her eyelids to stay open?

Listen, I realize the topic of fashion and beauty trends can be a real can-of-worms depending on which side of the line you stand on. But remember when I bought a lipstick that made me look like a cadaver? Basically, I admit that I'm not immune to wanting to add an extra flourish to my features (though it might be nice if I knew what I was doing), and humans have been exaggerating their features since 10,000 BC when the Egyptians (women and men, alike) were lining their eyes and eyebrows with kohl, rouging their lips and cheeks, perfuming their skin, and dying their nails and hair with henna (holla, Grade 12 Lost Civilizations coming at you!). Basically, the human race has always been vain and show-offy.

What I'm confused about is when we decided that Cheeto orange skin and lips that are so big it looks like a nest of grubs is going to explode from them, started to become a new beauty ideal? 

1 comment:

mom said...

Honestly, who has the time or energy to do all of that. Those woman must have to get up extra early to get themselves ready to head out the door. Just think what they will look like when they are 50 - or even younger...Yikes....scares me just imagining it.