#2: Cosmetics, etc

28 Jul

Cosmetics are, doubtlessly, a great contributor to today’s economy. Three in every four women, one will find, have traces of makeup about them—no matter where they are, who they’re with or what they’re doing. Those who are more dedicated will even collect certain kinds of cosmetics, while some others foolishly scour the market for items that meet their near-impossible standards. Their search is grueling, money-consuming and—most unfortunately, more or less fruitless. This is partly owing to the fact that companies are willing to go to any abominable lengths to convince customers to purchase their goods.

But surely it cannot be that difficult? Get this: Not only are there millions of products to choose from, there are also thousands of product brands. Between the gossip and the media’s reports, shoppers are completely befuddled about which companies are the most trustable. In the midst of their psychological turmoil, they throw caution (and their cash) to the winds and buy redundant item after item—all in the hope that they will, at some point, stumble across some worthy, elusive nugget of true worthiness. So focused are these women (let us assume that the majority of these aforementioned persons are female) on their quest, they completely neglect to think about the effects that their “hobby” inflicts upon their lives. Things like…

…the drawerful of lipsticks? …the overdrawn credit cards? …the arguments over the spending?…

Forgotten, ignored and overlooked. No, these things simply pale in comparison. How could savings plans and relationships compare to indelible lipstick? Or perfect perfume? Ah, the hilarity of the mere idea!

So what is it about cosmetics that holds so many women in thrall? Why would otherwise healthy, self-respecting people go ahead and buy themselves ten different lipsticks and another assortment of earrings to match? My hypothesis is that the magic of these products is within their psychological effects rather than their immediate, physical ones.

Cosmetics, you see, is only one strikingly obvious example out of a million of this social phenomenon. This is, too, the case with other things such as jewelry and clothing.

What do these things do? Their main purpose is to make a person appear more good-looking. Then why do people want to look good? The key in this is that when someone looks nice and well-dressed, at least to themselves, they think that others will feel more positively towards them—and in general, this is true. When they have the knowledge that they will appear “more desirable” in other people’s eyes, they feel more self-worth. Some women describe going outside without makeup on as being naked, which only shows the extent of their reliance on makeup to boost their own confidence. If this is the case, then women’s love for these products suddenly looks much more logical. My opinion on this is that women buy them for the self-confidence and good feelings these things create.

Essentially, a woman wears nice clothes and makeup to make others appreciate her better, which in turn makes her feel more content with herself. A new garment is not only that, but also a bit more of confidence. How could one be blamed for seeking that?

The reason for these feelings? The media, presumably. It produces magazine after magazine full of photoshopped pictures of girls and women looking glamorous, leading people to mistakenly think that it is the norm. This puts a lot of pressure on the women of today, who have to endeavor to appear perfect. This is not helped by the fact that an increasing number of people are judging people by their appearance.

Perhaps instead of succumbing to the pressure, women should seek better ways to feel good about themselves. Some manage to do this, and lead happy, healthy lives. In most cases, those who do give in to it are unconfident and vulnerable to others’ opinions, and they live in their facade of wellbeing—using their possessions and good looks as a shield.

Although women such as the aforementioned have much to rethink about, we as a society have our responsibility to stop pressurizing women to look like celebrities and models—and learn to accept each person the way they are. It’s about time everyone realized that people should judge others by who they are, not what they look like.

******

I am sorry. Imagine that I have apologized profusely, and that I have promised to write proper blog posts soon. Ignore that I have done neither of those things. Actually, I’m just too tired to do anything much at the moment because of 1) kids with pianos, and 2) lots of books (guilty pleasures) to indulge in. Must…must…not fall asleep. If I give you another playlist…maybe not. You’ll either seek to strangle me or ignore my blog completely from now on. 

Please, just stick with the imaginary.

 

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