I have already entered the second half of my century and feel that I have done reasonably well in holding mind, body and soul together. I am keenly observing what beauty has become, being from a cultural background where women take great pride in their appearance. For me, it has always been about my independence, strength and individualism. Also looking natural and fresh. This has stayed with me through the years. Recently, my daughter gave me a makeover which took at least 90 minutes of priming, contouring, fixing, setting and then came the lashes which made me feel like I had spiders sitting on my eyes! I realise this is a regular routine for many women… every day…not just on special occasions. I am not so skilled or patient to apply myself to such art, so perhaps I am not able to see the value added of “beating my face” as I believe this routine is called.
I am all for sticking to the basics. It is important that I can really see who I am when I look in the mirror and others around me are able to see and relate to a person with confidence to project the true image of themselves. Therefore, I wonder as glued on hair, nails and lashes become a semi-permanent/permanent fixture, when do women really show and celebrate their naturalness. I wanted to blog on this because I see mothers putting weaves and wigs on their very young daughters training them for a life of fake beauty. I wonder when these young girls will find and express their beauty on their terms? Taking this fake route can result in a loss of naturalness, leading to dependency on fake additions and harm. For example, traction alopecia, where hair follicles are badly damaged over a long period resulting in permanent hair loss; decaying nail beds and no eye lashes are symptoms of this fake beauty culture.
Social media plays a great part in making women feel they must promote a certain image to be beautiful and acceptable in society. The authenticity and individualism of our beauty is taken over by the obsession to compare ourselves to others. The age of technological also means there will always be a new treatment and product that women feel pressured to try. I am shocked that women in their 20s are having fillers and Botox. The cosmetic surgery gap is closing as women are trying to live up to an unattainable standard of “perfection”.
I baulk at the number of videos on hair, nails and makeovers flooding social media, sucking in young female minds. When do women focus on their intellect; personality and self-esteem. As an older woman, I observe these critical qualities crashing in younger women. I really encourage my younger sisters to break away from this bondage for glued on stuff; this madness for “fakeness” and find beauty in their naturalness.