I’ll admit right now, I’m guilty of it, too. Being hyper-critical of myself and others’ appearance. And “they” know it. They are the purveyors of anti-wrinkle creams, age-reducing serums, lip butter, dark spot removers, etc., and the Madison Avenue hacks who, quite successfully, convince you that you can only obtain beauty using their products. It’s literally skin deep.
Pay attention to commercials. I mean, REALLY pay attention. No wonder our daughters are growing up believing in an impossible standard of beauty. I just saw a commercial that showed a woman’s face, with flawless skin, and four little arrows pointing to different parts of the face. Each area referenced a “flaw” that this product could correct. Dark spots, acne, wrinkles, and some other “problem”, I don’t remember what. See, I was too busy fuming that this commercial, one among hundreds, if not thousands, was telling these women that they had to correct any minuscule imperfection. Does anyone ever tell men this crap? I understand, they get the “stop your balding” commercials, and the occasional “male enhancement” spots, but, at least in the case of the latter, they are spun in a “get your mojo on”, sexy, come hither kinda way. They don’t make a man feel bad about his “shortcomings”, but instead entice with the notion of “sex as good as you had it in your 20’s”.
Women, on the other hand, are told they need to be thin, have no wrinkles, no pimples, no moles, no “dark spots”, super white teeth, and super strong, lustrous hair. Oh, and lush, thick lashes. If you don’t have them, you can use this stuff that will make your lashes thicker…and may change the color of your eyes! How bad does a product have to be to CHANGE THE COLOR OF YOUR EYES! And can we talk about the embarrassing feminine hygiene product commercials? Vaginal cleansers, tampons, birth control pills, etc. The BEST is that charming commercial, I think for a razor, that shows women walking past untrimmed vegetation. Once they walk past the shrubs, the bushes become “trim”, so to speak. Whiskey tango foxtrot!!!! And just in case you had forgotten the rest of your responsibilities (in addition to being flawless physically), there’s tons and tons of commercials to remind you that to get your house REALLY clean, use _______. If a man is ever shown using one of these products, he’s usually depicted as incompetent. I realize they are trying to compliment women, but it really insults both genders. To depict men as clueless when it comes to taking care of the house makes them seem like children and their wives seem like their mothers. Every mother on non “reality” tv is supermom. She balances physical perfection with being a loving mom, wife, housekeeper, cook, and killer career woman. It’s exhausting just thinking about it.
Now, I’ll admit, I’ve fallen for a few pitches, as evidenced by the half-used bottles and jars of creams, lotions, and serums scattered about my home. Oh, and, on that note, what the hell is a serum? I mean, I know what it is, but doesn’t it seem like they are just attempting to make what is essentially a pointless clear lotion seem more clinical? Don’t you imagine some exec at Revlon professing, “Heh, what if we called it a SERUM? Then people will think it’s medicinal and buy it by the truckloads!!!!”
I’m tired of looking in the mirror and seeing every “flaw” that the makers of Oil of Olay want me to see. I get that our bodies change as we get older, but at what cost, in dollars and “sense”, do we try to fight the aging process? I am perfect in zero ways and trying very hard to live with that.