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
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.
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
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...
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".