Friday, November 16, 2007

The Beauty Myth

If you are a non-survivor and find yourself feeling unable to relate to "people like that" with "issues like those" , please read the following article. We are all affected by society and culture, whether we are abused or not by a person, we are all abused to some degree by the crippling and downright sadistic expectations of our media. Even slender girls struggle with not feeling "good enough" or "skinny enough", I personally am just now making major breakthroughs in my own quest for body-peace, and I am tall and slender.I was raised to feel that if I am not "svelte" or "vogue-y" enough, I am a freak. Yes, this from the same family that brought you a big ole heaping of incest, rape, verbal and physical abuse, addiction, and more narcissism than you can shake a stick at. I was even criticized when pregnant for gaining my first 10 pounds! "Oh my God, Sarah, that's A LOT, oh Lord..." From the age of 7, my grandmother, my father's mother, would stand next to me while I dressed and comment on how when She was my age, her tummy was so flat it curved IN, it was actually CONCAVE, not just flat. And her hamstrings were so well defined. And she would dress me in her clothes and she and my grandfather would critique me in them. Grandfather would say,"Well, the figure ain't as good..." I was 7 when this began and 11 when he made that particular comment. As you can see, I can not imagine where my insecurities around my body came from. Not a clue.
...Now, I am not saying you have to be a raging feminist in order to address the implications that our anorexic chic culture has on you, I'm just sayin', take notice, take notes, think about it. That's all.
(Said with a Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada inflection)
With Love, SES

The Beauty Myth
By Catherine Redfern

Are we exploited by the cosmetics industry?

"Wearing makeup is an apology for our actual faces" - Cynthia Heimel

"Every woman knows that, regardless of all her other achievements, she is a failure if she is not beautiful... The UK beauty industry takes £8.9 billion a year out of women's pockets. Magazines financed by the beauty industry teach little girls that they need make-up and train them to use it, so establishing their lifelong reliance on beauty products." - Germaine Greer, The Whole Woman

"Because I'm worth it." - L'Oreal slogan

"You will soon be able to take a pill and, in 20 to 25 minutes, a non-synthetic substance will colour your lips. Five years from now, you will be able to put a drop in your eyes to change their colour." - Dominique Moncourtois, International Creative Director, Chanel

"We are in the midst of a violent backlash against feminism that uses images of female beauty as a political weapon against women's advancement: the beauty myth... As women released themselves from the feminine mystique of domesticity, the beauty myth took over its lost ground, expanding as it wanted to carry on its work of social control... The beauty myth tell a story: the quality called 'beauty' objectively and universally exists. Women must want to embody it and men must want to posses women who embody it... None of this is true." - Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

"Resolution Number 1: 'I won't leave the house without make-up'" - From a 'resolutions' article in Superdrug's 'Spirit' magazine Februaury 2001

"We're all brought up on fabulously glamorous Vogue models, and we don't realise that they don't look like that in real life. It is just that the photographers are terribly clever. Women are constantly presented with a false image of beauty that nobody can attain, not even the most beautiful, unless you've got an entourage of make-up, wardrobe and hair backing you up... I really resent the pressure put on women to alter ourselves... Either people like me or they don't. And if they don't becuase of how I look, then they're shallow twats." - Amanda Donohoe, Independent on Sunday, 4 March 2001

"It's what makes you a woman." - Paloma Picasso, Fashion Designer

"Lipstick is something that makes you feel good about yourself." - Naomi Campbell, Model

"It's a source of female power." - Barbara Daly, Make-Up Artist

"All in answer to the question 'Why do women wear lipstick?'," in NOVA June 2000.

"As women strive to break free of constricting stereotypes of who they are and what they want, idealized feminine beauty must be identified as part of that challenge. It is not merely a decrorative diversion. The sense of self resides within the body." - Rita Freedman, Beauty Bound

"Maybe she's born with it. Maybe it's Maybelline." - Maybelline slogan

"The average woman eats between four and ten pounds of lipstick in her lifetime." - From postcard by Stella Marrs

"Unlike our feminist foremothers, who claimed that makeup was the opiate of the misses, we're positively prochoice when it comes to matters of feminine display. We're well aware, thank you very much, of the beauty myth that's working to keep women obscene and not heard, but we just don't think that transvestites should have all the fun. In our fuck-me dresses and don't-fuck-with-me shoes, we're ready to come out of the closet as the absolutely fabulous females we know we are. We love our lipstick, have a passion for polish, and basically, adore this armor we that we call 'fashion.' To us, it's fun, it's feminine, and, in the particular way we flaunt it, it's definately feminist." - Debbie Stoller, The BUST Guide to the New Girl Order

"Empowering. Illuminate your own beauty from within, through the power of Advanced Luminous Technology." - Shiseido makeup advert

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