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Isn't it pretty?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Feminine Torture Beauty Rituals

I've been holding off on writing this post for a long time, out of respect for the guys who probably don't want to read it. So, guys, skip this one - you have been duly warned.

This morning, when I was getting dressed, my earring was almost ripped out of my ear when it got caught on my shirt (can you say "ouch!") (oh, but don't worry, I have three more, earrings that is, not ears), and I was once again transported to that place inside me that cries "WHY???" every time I go to get my eyebrows done or engage in other feminine torture rituals (oh, excuse me, "pampering").

The lengths that women go to be pretty - the waxing, the threading, the plucking, the shaving. The make-up, the heels, the pantyhose, the hair-straightening. I'm not at all immune, I buy in, but I often wonder why on earth we subject ourselves to it. Is it because men tell us we have to? I honestly don't think so - I think we put the pressure upon ourselves when we look around and want her eyes, or her skin, never quite happy with what we were given.

To the point of surgery, eating disorders (as Ezzie was discussing last week) and crazy exercise rituals, I've rarely found a woman who was happy with how she looks. Even those who are seemingly confident still desire this or that physical feature to be changed and perfected. I'm not sure if I've ever met anyone who was completely comfortable with her body.

As low maintenance as I am (and I am pretty low maintenance as far as most women are concerned), I still do it. I put on make-up (though I have to admit that I've come to view make-up as fun and artsy rather than a pain), I wear the pantyhose, I cut myself shaving every other day, I get my eyebrows torn from my skin (which HURTS). I spend the money for those "necessities" that I can't live without such as mascara, lipstick and waxing (and I spend far less than a lot of people - I saw a girl on the bus last night with a long receipt of items from Sephora, and I know how much that stuff costs!).

Why do we buy into society's demands? Why do we pressure ourselves and spend so much time to look "pretty" when we would probably look pretty without all of it? I'm not sure. All I know is, I'm probably not giving up my bi-weekly trips to the threading place any time soon. (They just do such a good job, how could I abandon them?)

All the pain - what's the gain? (Oh yeah, it's when a guy you like looks at you and says, "You look nice." I know that melts me.)

(Note - It's been suggested that my sarcasm does not come out via the Internet, so by the way, while I'm serious about the topic in general, the post is kinda tongue-in-cheek. Don't take it too seriously.)

14 Comments:

  • Ok, since I am a guy I will skip the post and go right to the comments!

    Have a good shabbos!

    By Blogger Lakewood Venter, at 11/10/06, 9:49 AM  

  • I'm sure that you look very nice. Good Shabbos.

    By Blogger Amishav, at 11/10/06, 10:59 AM  

  • You've been reading my mind!!! I just spent nearly half an hour, um... "window shopping" at sephora.com. That's where I browse around, fill up a "shopping cart" with all the stuff I want- prices be damned! Philosophy, Laura Mercier, Too Faced, Fresh, Nars.... everything. Hundreds, thousands of dollars worth of luscious insecurity-busting consumerism.

    And then I survey the damage and determine that I look pretty good without all that stuff, so I simply close the window. Session's over, VISA card's still intact.

    I know, I'm nuts.

    By Anonymous judi, at 11/10/06, 11:39 AM  

  • By Blogger e-kvetcher, at 11/10/06, 12:56 PM  

  • Oh, so much to say...My guilty pleasure is Allure magazine

    By Blogger SaraK, at 11/10/06, 1:20 PM  

  • I love this post because I am on a one woman crusade to get single girls in the UK to wear makeup!

    It is arsty and does maximise your features and unfortunately we do live in a society where looks will get your foot in the door.

    I'm sure you are gorgeous!!!!
    I am Kasamba, I can tell these things.

    By Blogger kasamba, at 11/11/06, 3:07 PM  

  • nothing wrong with expressing yourself in an artsy, fun way through makeup ;)

    looks do matter a lot these days but i reckon you feel good if you know you look good.

    that being said, sometimes I buy shoes for comfort and sometimes I buy them cos they look good. unfortunately i will be spending the next several days recovering from wearing the pretty shoes over the weekend!

    (kasamba: girls in the UK don't wear makeup?! how is that possible... are they immune to advertising?!)

    By Blogger ~ Sarah ~, at 11/11/06, 6:37 PM  

  • Sarah:
    I know!!!!

    By Blogger kasamba, at 11/11/06, 7:12 PM  

  • I should have done what LkwdVenter did. :::shudder::: :)

    By Blogger Ezzie, at 11/12/06, 9:08 AM  

  • Venter -
    Smart man :)

    Amishav -
    Thanks!

    Judi -
    The stuff at Sephora is SO cool! (But way too expensive.) Luckily, you can find cool stuff elsewhere if you look hard.

    e-kvetcher -
    Seen it, very interesting video.

    SaraK -
    Never read that one, but I used to be totally addicted to both Cosmo and Glamour.

    Kasamba -
    I'm surprised to hear that girls in the UK don't wear makeup. Thanks for the faith that the makeup works for me :)

    Sarah -
    I don't really do the non-comfy shoes thing, I believe in comfort.

    Ezzie -
    I warned you!

    By Blogger Shoshana, at 11/12/06, 9:37 PM  

  • what's a threading place? i don't get it.

    great post!

    p.s. nobody can tell whether you got your make-up at wal-mart or sephora so you might as well save yourself the money, nu?

    By Blogger Maven, at 11/13/06, 9:05 PM  

  • Maven -
    Believe me, I do save my money! And no one has ever made a comment.

    By Blogger Shoshana, at 11/20/06, 9:43 AM  

  • Where in the UK are there girls who don't wear makeup? Though I must say I prefere the natural look. My wife gets all her's from Avon and would never spend silly money on such frippery.

    alji

    http://alji.wordpress.com/

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/24/06, 5:59 PM  

  • Why not feeling any guilt for this irrational behavior of the opposite gender, I still feel for you and all womanfolk.

    On the other hand, come to think of it, burqa solves many of these issues admirably easy ;-)

    By Blogger SnoopyTheGoon, at 11/25/06, 11:46 AM  

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