The price of beauty
Last Friday night, my boyfriend saw me wearing make-up and he said to me: “What have you done? You look like another person” What he usually sees is me in my pyjamas with no make-up whatsoever! I hadn’t realised how much I change when I wear make-up and my boyfriend’s remark made me wonder; why do we transform ourselves? Why do we want to look like something that society decided is attractive?
We all want to look beautiful and there is nothing harmful in having some fun with it. I love how I feel after a new haircut, after I’ve been to the gym or when I’m wearing pretty colours. I enjoy discovering new make-up products and I like following the fashion but I worry that the balance of fun versus effort is spinning out of control. Women are putting themselves under extreme pressure to appear sleek, fashionable and youthful. Girls and women of all ages and classes are being pulled tighter into fashion’s grip, spending more time, money and energy into transforming themselves into an “ideal of beauty”.
Studies show that attractive men and women earn more than less attractive but equally qualified individuals. Instead of women using their increased choice to dress as they please, they have found themselves having to reach for higher and higher standards. Women are in a double bind here. They are expected to conform to ever-higher beauty standards, but are then condemned for doing so.
Fashion has taken a stronger hold over the mainstream culture. It is no coincidence that women’s battles with their bodies have increased. Dangerous eating disorders are still rare, but every survey shows that a greater number of women are feeling unhappy with the way they look, and it is starting at ever younger ages.
Fashion is fun, it’s the way we express our taste and sensuality. But taking it too seriously-to the point where we’re never satisfied and always insecure that we haven’t measured up to some universal standard of primped perfection- is a kind of madness. Fashion should be at the service of women, not the other way around.
Thanks Angeliki for a wonderful guest post. What do you think of Angie's views? I agree with them wholeheartedly. Please share your opinions in the comments and remember to get in contact with me at caribbeanprincessmusingsATgmailDOTcom (using the usual convention) if you would like to do a feature.
Please note that I will be on a mini break in Tobago from Friday to Monday with CP2. However I have a couple of posts scheduled for you all to read since I