It’s hard to be a woman. To keep up with American standards of beauty we are expected to shave our legs, under our arms, shape our brows, paint our nails, color the gray out of hair, and have to wax parts of ourselves we don’t even like our gynocologist to examine. Let’s not forget about bras or worse, Spanxx to hold in those parts so clothes look sleeker and somewhat like we’re able to keep up in pilates class.
I’ve been reading Naomi Wolf’s classic The Beauty Myth (How Images of Beauty are Used Against Women) and like Howard Beale declared in Network “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore.” Or am I?
I stopped reading woman’s magazines like Cosmo and Glamour years ago, yet I find myself flipping through Shape and Self for diet and exercise tips.
I looked in the mirror this morning and examined that crease between my eyes that started to form–I’m not even sure when–one day a few months ago I realized that it was there and my face in my eyes was forever changed. Over the weekend I went to Target to get eye cream and mositurizer that aides in wrinkle prevention. I also made a mental note that to go my eyebrows threaded tomorrow after work.
I don’t wear makeup on a daily basis–maybe if I have a work event or when I go out on the weekends. It’s just a daily hassle and I guess I don’t care that much to look more presentable to work, wearing uncomfortable shoes and buttoned down shirts is enough for me.
Maybe we all draw our lines on what we will do to conform and literally “buy into” the American standards of beauty. In the end, as cheesy as it sounds, we have to do what we have to do to feel good about ourselves. Which I sadly fear, is a learned practice.