Beauty is a Beast

Sticks and Stones

 Entertainment reporters are abuzz over the purported hypocrisy inherent in exclamations from America's Next Top Model host, Tyra Banks, upon gazing at the "smallest waist/waste in the world" possessed by an up and coming potential next top model.  The "skinny" is that the high fashion industry has always been and will continue to be dominated by the glamour of haute couture where young, ethereally lithe, beautiful bodies are draped in the fabrics of designers, at an exorbitant cost well beyond the realm of the average, healthy American woman.  A king's ransom is spent marketing these wares in photographs that are choreographed works of art...creations that conjure a dream rather than the ordinariness of average daily life.  The fashion industry is about big bucks, not big butts.

Hypocrisy lives in everyone to one degree or worse.  The Catholic church has demonstrated a way of life that hid abominable hypocrisies that resulted in damaging many lives beyond repair and they remain in business.   That said, Tyra would be well within her rights to reiterate her statement "kiss my fat ass".

Tyra Banks says it all

Looking Ahead

Looking toward the future
Looking toward the future

A New Adventure

Having just exited my second unsuccessful marriage, I am looking toward the horizon with trepidation and exhilaration at the prospect of living authentically by my own rules for the first time in my life. I feel reborn…the daunting unknown ahead, coupled with the experience of 50 plus years behind me, amounts to a life “under construction”. Like my oil paintings, a blank canvas comes to life with each stroke of the brush. The background of my canvas is already created, colored by the years, but the details…the heart of the painting, are yet to be determined by the choices I make.

Ironies Abound

 Despite the fact that I am old enough to know better, and against my better judgement, I was flattered by my BFF into entering a "More" magazine beauty contest for mature women. Of course, she loves me and of course, I did not win...not even placed.

It is not a mystery that females are competitive in the beauty arena.  We are cajoled and shamed into acknowledging the importance of beauty.   "Toddlers and Tiaras" is a loathsome testimony to the big hair, big dresses, big ego and big bucks buying into the beauty industry.  It is big business.  It is dangerous in many ways.  The tirades, jealousy and ugliness displayed by the pageant moms is mirrored in their toddlers faces.  The mandatory, massive makeup blotting out the innocence on the baby faces cannot hide the base emotions felt by these children.  Worse, it sets the stage for an equally unhappy, shallow future based solely on how they look.  Based on genetics and the examples set by moms living vicariously through their daughters, it does not bode well for the future.  And so it goes...

Toddlers & Tiaras Diva Makenzie

Beauty Addicts

A routine trip to the grocery store or local Walgreen's is enough to know the truth that the fashion industry is alive, kicking up it's well heeled booties and kicking ass. The magazines that I covet hover solicitiously near checkout. It is difficult to ignore their presence. Like a greedy, starving waif, I study it voraciously, marveling at the near childlike, ethereal beauty so artfully displayed. Once again, I have spent more than I should for a compliation of one advertisement following the next, accomplishing their intent, each tempting shot luring the onlooker into the world of the wealthy, desiring what is just out of reach. A recent copy of "Elle" boasted 562 pages of must have dresses, jeans, jackets and heels plus the jewelry that goes with everything. Nevermind that this issue featured a photo shoot of "Eat, Pray, Love" star Julia Roberts sporting a Dolce & Gabbana corset dress for $1,395 and Bulgari jewelry at "price upon request". Suffice it to say, when I have checked out as much as I can tolerate, the $730 shoes in the Fall Shopping Guide, comparatively, look like a bargain. Everything is relative. I must step away from the magazine to regain my balance. And so it goes...

High Fashion & the models

Julia Roberts Eat Pray Love Elle Photoshoot

Above and Beyond the Cosmetics Counter

I survived the divorce I wanted, I signed a lease on an apartment I love, and one week following I was laid off due to the economy from the job I gave 13-years of my life. Although, I've been genetically blessed, the sequence of events left me feeling battered, distressed and old. After talking with my best friend about the science of rejuvenation today, I researched the miracle makeovers that "take years off in seconds", "Beyond Botox" online and in "The World's Most Unique Beauty Magazine", New Beauty. The magazine alone cost $10, so I knew treatment would be costly. However, the magazine gave clear, concise, informative synopsises of the state-of-the-art options and the doctors qualified to provide. I made my appointment and was not disappointed in the end result of aesthetic injectables. It seems sad, though, that in order to compete with, not only the Hollywood standard, where no one has any visible flaws, but to remain competitive in the marketplace, looking young is paramount. After all, what are we selling. And so it goes...

Botox Injections

All about fillers

Walking the tightrope

Well intentioned comments rendered suggesting "You are beautiful" or "forget that beauty stuff, it's who you are that matters" are either said by mom or a man. Mom, because she loves you, and men who can't fathom the connection between beauty and the female psyche. It is ingrained from early on. It is important...the first impression of a female is the way she looks...from the standpoint of peers, strangers, and especially men who might be your employers, other employees, your doctor, lawyer, waiter, your boyfriend, your best friend's boyfriend and on and on. Men don't really understand. They are the lookers, commenting and judging, helping or hindering our path through life...less of an obstacle course as a "looker". Genetics aside, and beauty is subjective, we are all born with potential...something special that sets us apart. We are made aware of it early in life. It is usually pointed out and commented on at family gatherings...our eyes, hair, skin, whatever our particular endowment...we latch on and spend time, money and thought making the most of what we've got.

Today, the billion dollar cosmetic industry benefits from our quest to be our best. Competition for our dollars is an industry where I would have been wise to invest. It will always exist and proliferates as the baby boomers age. Fashion magazines are abundant, with many of us subscribing to more than one. They are packed with advertisements luring our wallets free from designer bags, with new products and promises too enticing to resist. By the time most beauty addicts have become disenchanted with the "latest miracle", age has crept into our faces despite the DNA modification serums now being touted. There are more marionette lines from frowning by this time than crows feet from smiling.

So, please don't tell me I'm beautiful on the inside. It will create the insecurity feeding the cosmetic and fashion industry. Besides, I know, in my mind's eye, the qualification my next employer will be looking for are the standards to substantiate the statement "Don't hate me because I'm beautiful".

Pink - Glitter in the air

15 comments

BobbiRant profile image

BobbiRant 6 years ago from New York

Good for you. I started over myself when divorced, two small boys and the clothes on our backs was all we had, but we had each other,so we did OK. I wish you much luck and much happiness.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

BobbiRant, Thank you for your kind wishes. Yes, it's been a wild ride. One week after I signed my lease, I was laid off from my job of 13-years. So, since May 20th, I am, like many others, on unemployment. I am trying to stay positive, but it is difficult on a day to day basis. I am lucky to have my best friend, my 7-year old Scottish Terrier, MacGregor for excellent companionship. It is easy to become isolated. I am trying to stay positive and just taking it one day at a time.


Lee Jenna Tyler 6 years ago

How could I be anything but proud of you. You don't know it but you're made of steel and have conquered more BEASTS than you know. You go girl! I'm ironically right besdie you and looking up to you. It's a stretch :) but oh so true. xoxo


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

.....well allow me for one small moment to indulge myself - and say that in your profile picture that is the luckiest hat in the world!!!!!

....and now onto your life-affirming story - life-affirming, because you are a survivor and you serve as inspiration to your readers - you are a person to be admired - you have dealt with these issues in life - you are dealing with this issues in life - and you have arisen

out of it as a proud, defiant, strong, bold and independent person - so keep on keeping on - and just try to take one day at a time - with your humor and dignity intact!!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Epigramman, how did I survive without you. Not as well as I do now with your unflagging encouragment. I thank you and am so glad you are on my side. I understand why so many love you so unabashedly.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

" The fashion industry is about big bucks, not big butts." I had to laugh out loud over this concluding sentence. But, seriously, Amy; you've touched on a subject near and dear to every red blooded woman world wide. All the ways in which to make us "perfect," forever young, attractive, desirable and wanted. Such a lucrative industry! "who you are that matters,...and it's what's inside that counts..." are all BS told to those of us who don't quite 'make the grade.' That is, if we allow ourselves to accept that as truth. Thank you for a great article and insightful, truthful! You are unabashedly honest, Amy!! voted UP , Awesome, Useful and MORE!! Kathy


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Kathy, I am so glad to see and hear from you. I missed you. I admire your convictions and honesty regarding them. So, I am honored that you rank me among the honest.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

..back to revisit the classics - and all of your older material is classic AMY BECHERER .....and if I got paid a dollar everytime I said you were a fabulous world class writer I would probably have enough money to buy hubpages and I'd make you the CEO - which stands for creative - enlightening - and - outstanding - three words to describe your earlier work here at the Hub - in fact I'd like to see you do some more of this style of writing once again ...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Epi, you are an original from the word "GO". You are one of very few that I've had re-visit. You know, I just might do that! Just for you. I had an experience in court last Thursday, and during the drive home I thought about how interesting the experience was and maybe writing about it. Kind of like the "Perils of Pauline" amy-style. Thank you for the inspiration, Colin.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

Well Amy I just had to come back to the very beginning once again because 1)all writers love when their readers return and rescue some buried treasure 2)just to verify that yes - you 'had it' even upon writing and posting your very first hub here 3) I am finally at the hub of yours ahead the Buc of Billy and I feel so pleased with myself (almost smug) lol 4)and to tell you that your calling may very well be as a fashion consultant and columnist for a major magazine - lake erie time 10:59pm currently listening to Dylan's Blonde on Blonde album and just saying to myself - gee Amy where did two years go?


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I remember when I first started two-years ago at the hub. It seems like yesterday in some aspects, but I feel like I've come a long way, baby. Back then, I was still reeling from newfound independence and then the loss of my job. Quite a trip. But, I survived to whine some more. LOL

Thank you, Mister C, for bearing with me through the trials and tribulations of growing up. Better late than never. But, I'm still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up...


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

......the brand new and improved 'Stahl' ......sorry Leslie .......


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Love it!!!!! Thanks, Mister C


epigramman profile image

epigramman 4 years ago

well I think the beauty in this fabulous hub presentation is the pretty gal in the cowboy hat leaning against the car ......and I am the beast because I feel like a beastly orphan awaiting your next new poetic masterwork and without anything 'new' from you I feel like John Lennon singing Cold Turkey so here I am then revisiting a classic from another time another place in your mind. And I remember when I first read you around this time of 2 years ago ....... I thought to myself - wow no one writes quite like this - you have a style and language all of your very own - and I am still saying that - to this very day .....and yes I can hardly wait to see/read your new one 'hot off the presses' and I won't feel like an orphan anymore and if I can beat the Billy Buc Boy Man to the punch in being first in line - I hear that I will score some badly needed Hub bonus points - lol lol


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Awwww, Mister C, only you would be so kind to come back to this fossil and still manage to give me kudos. Yes, I have been unfocused these days and am feeling withdrawl from not publishing anything new in the past few days. I'm starting to feel like a "motherless child" being away from my hub family. So, don't feel alone, Colin. I'm rather an orphan myself these days. Love you, my crazy diamond.

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    Comments 4 comments

    ceciliabeltran profile image

    ceciliabeltran 6 years ago from New York

    How interesting. Having worked in the advertising industry, I know that a beautiful face is the key to sell something. None of those models are that beautiful but they have the template, the bone structure to build a dream on.

    It really is about that. Do you have the basic proportion that an idea can use to project our never ending hunger for idealized beauty or are you too real? That is atleast how we used to judge who to choose.


    Amy Becherer profile image

    Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

    I would have guesses you were in advertising as you seem to have a strong interest in the science behind the beauty. I would imagine that the concept of "who to choose" is influenced by the innate drive to genetically pass on the potentially best future to our children.


    Lucky Cats profile image

    Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

    Amy, I just watched the video of Makenzie...that poor child will grow up with a MAJOR oral habit, a lousy personality, no awareness of herself other than being a demanding, selfish and spoiled competitor. She is on such a long and lonely road to a life with no real human connections because she will be, sadly, so wrapped up in herself...amazing!!


    Amy Becherer profile image

    Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

    Kathy, I no longer have cable TV and can't view the "trainwrecks" that these abhorrent contests create. However, I have noticed that network "Entertainment Tonight" carries a regular segment on these "little darlings". I find these video clips so disturbing and can only imagine the pediphiles drooling in the audiences of these "beauty" contests, which ironically exhibit the ugliest attributes of humanity. Thank you for your "on target" assessment, Kathy. The mothers and their offspring make me love and appreciate the pure beauty of animals all the more!

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