Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Unnatural "beauty"

I've been doing a lot of fashion research, trying to nail down the right "look" for Tim's groups. I also skim news and pictures of stars, looking at the same things (even though I think it's gross that we take performers, turn them into characters in the cultural story, and then treat them as no human ought to be treated).

I've noticed a few things that are mildly distressing because they are completely unnatural for women, and they are being pushed as the definition of "beauty".

For example:

Women who are in their 20s or 30s who are as thin as and shaped like 13 year olds, but with the breasts of a nursing mother. Minus the baby.  Women are not shaped like this. It's even more extreme than the Barbie Doll shape. Barbie's unnatural, but at least she has hips!

Orange skin. Seriously--who thought this was natural? It's only subtly orange, and I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be a "healthy" tan, but it's ugly. Humans come in all shades of brown naturally, and all of them are beautiful, from the palest cream to the darkest chocolate. But orange is not one of the shades humans naturally grow in. Why do we put orange makeup on our faces and orange-tone paint on our skin?

Dark tans on normally pale women. Yuck. Looks terrible. Who decided this was "beautiful"?

That one nose. You've seen it all over and probably not noticed, but you should. Scroll though pictures of stars and starlets and you'll notice they all have the same nose. Not only is it unnatural for two people to have completely identical noses, the nose they all have is one that doesn't appear in nature. Who decided this was beautiful?

Processed hair. Some colored hair is so natural that it still is soft and graceful. I'm not opposed to that. Some blow-dried, permed, straightened, curled hair is truly beautiful. It's not that. It's the hair that's so messed with it looks scratchy and uncomfortable to touch. Hair that has been bleached to an unnatural shade of blonde. Hair that is so full of goop that it stands up at unnatural angles. Bi-colored hair in different colors (black and white? really?). I actually find oddly-colored hair (blue, pink, purple) more attractive than what a lot of people do to their heads in the name of "beauty".

Racoon eyes. What are we trying to do, look like cartoon characters? Human eyes are outlined--by lashes. Not by charcoal on the upper and lower lids. It really isn't pretty, no matter how many stars do it.

I'm not opposed to makeup, but I think makeup should enhance women's natural beauty, not try to transform them into dolls or cartoons. So when I see women with lipstick on that is paler than a natural lip color, I wonder why they do that. It's really ugly. Especially when paired with racoon eyes.

I don't think it's a favor to women in general, and to our daughters in specific, that we accept these plastic, misshapen, discolored women as "beautiful."  Healthy women have to do very little, actually, to look truly beautiful. It's too bad we don't train our eyes to see this natural beauty all around us and instead train all these true beauties to think they have to be something unnatural in order to be acceptable.

It's like we're telling the world that cheap silk roses are so much better than the real thing!

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