The concept of beauty.
Aside of obvious biological cues of attractiveness like symmetry, clear skin and good waist to hip ratio, beauty has always been defined for women by men. Just like most things throughout history.
"We must shift America from a needs, to a desires culture," wrote Paul Mazur of Lehman Brothers. "People must be trained to desire, to want new things even before the old had been entirely consumed. We must shape a new mentality in America. Man's desires must overshadow his needs."
Advertisers figured out and exploited sexuality, its lack and the obsessive ways to need it to be good enough. Men needed fancy cars to have sex appeal, women needed to never age.
In consumer culture a single concept of beauty is a fleeting one just as beauty itself.
There are always new things to buy and do to keep up with what it means to obtain beauty of the Moment.
This makes perfect sense. If beauty was defined once and for all, consumptionism would become obsolete.
But, since beauty is a currency one can exploit for a few decades, it is one of the most important investments we are told [sold] to concentrate on.
A cash cow for those that sell the idea. And a powerful stance since they have access to our brain, influencing our desires, self-confidence and narcissistic tendencies to be known and seen.
In terms of investments, we are a sole share holder of our own beauty. Imagine if we stopped watching the market for what’s hot and held on to our savings, so to speak. What would happen to the market? What would remain of it? And more importantly, what would remain of our own beauty? And our self confidence?
As the saying goes, ugly can be beautiful, pretty never will. If we believe that being interesting is a “thing”, which holds more value than cultural definition of beauty, it makes being truly beautiful much more attainable.
Clever, erudite, charming, witty, dynamic, charismatic. So many other things define a character and attract the right people into our lives by a much less superficial way than beauty alone does. Those characteristics are also bottomless, unlike the impermanence of physical beauty that’s defined by cultural norms and consumerism.
We are all out of luck as we live in a world that doesn’t really allow women to age. (And now men, too.)
As you woke up this morning and decided to have eggs for breakfast you can decide your own personal menu of beauty. Is it your sense of humor and knowledge of world history and your silver locks? Is it your buzzed head with statement brows and an ability to persuade? Your glowing espresso skin and your poetry? Whatever it is, own it all by yourself. Skip your makeup on purpose. Leave your third day blowout tousled and unbrushed. Don’t wear something unless you are comfortable and want to live in the outfit. Or do whatever you want (without anyone telling you how to be different, including me).
No one else should get to sell you messages to motivate you to support the perpetual vicious cycle of not being enough.
Scroll inside, be kind and tune out for a bit. Own yourself and your beauty even just for a moment