Today I got my eyebrows waxed, because they were getting a bit caterpillar-ish and I felt I needed a little pick me up (and since eyebrow waxing is under 10 bucks, it’s a cheaper pick me up than a shopping spree or pedicure). Usually every time I get my eyebrows waxed I feel great about myself because hey, I’ve now got two eyebrows…not just one. So why do I look so unimpressed today?
I went to the same place I always go for my eyebrows, a place in the mall with a decent price for eyebrow waxing. Everything else is out of the water expensive, but I normally just go in and get my eyebrows done and then I’m good to go. Anyways, today I had the store owner, Sissy, who has worked at that little store in the mall for years now. Kate usually goes to her. The entire 15 minutes that she worked on my “insanely thick eyebrows” (as she referred to them) she pointed out the millions of things wrong with me that she could totally fix for me. My dry, “flaky” skin (which isn’t flaky at all, I wear powder cover-up instead of liquid and powder coverup looks like that thanks), my “thick and bushy” eyebrows. It seemed to be a never ending list.
As I sat there, listening to her list off all the things wrong with me, I felt bad for every single female out there. We’re under such pressure to look a certain way and be a certain way, and it doesn’t ever stop. Even those of us who know that Sissy was just trying to get me to spend over a hundred bucks on facial care, well to be frank…we’re still guilty of spending time analyzing our faces in the mirror, making sure we look good before we go anywhere.
And don’t say you never do…because I know you do. I would be lying if I said I never gave a rats ass what I looked like, because I do. I don’t like leaving the house without looking clean, neat and respectable. I don’t like having blotchy skin. I don’t like having dry skin, and I don’t like having skin that’s too oily. I hate it when my hair looks messy, I like it to look neat and clean and well taken care of. I hate it when my clothes look scrubby.
Part of this is because I know people judge you on your appearance, so obviously I want to make a good impression…no matter where I am going. I don’t want someone thinking I’m poor, or lazy…so I avoid wearing scrubby clothes and I do things with my hair and makeup because I truly do care about my appearance.
It still makes me sad – the way many women think – the way we’re taught to think, all thanks to the media. The pressure we feel to look good and the disappointment and insecurity we feel when we think we haven’t reached that goal. The questions we ask ourselves daily; am I too fat? Does this outfit make me look good? Should I colour my hair? Should I wax my eyebrows? Do I need to diet? These silly lists seem to go on forever and ever.
It’s complicated because when we do these things like colour our hair or wax our eyebrows, it makes us feel better. Yet we really shouldn’t feed into this whole outlook of what a woman should look like. I would never get plastic surgery or anything like that, but I would diet…in a way, I often wonder how that’s any different from plastic surgery. It’s still trying to change your body shape and fit into the media’s definition of “beautiful”.
Honestly? I’m kind of glad that we’re having a boy. I wouldn’t know what to say to my daughter if she asked me why I was colouring my hair or waxing my eyebrows, because I wouldn’t want her to feel like she has to change herself to fit in. I wouldn’t want the media affecting her self esteem like it has mine – and several other women I know. Yes, I’m smarter than to think that a size 0 is perfect, but I still feel the pressure of having to look a certain way to be accepted and considered “beautiful”.
Now I’m not saying that men don’t feel the pressure of media telling them to be and act a certain way, but luckily a lot of them are able to shrug it off and be happy with themselves. I know few women who can honestly say they don’t care what they look like.
So what are your opinions on this matter? What would you tell your daughter (or son for that matter) if they asked you why you were always worried about your weight, or waxing your eyebrows?
For the record, I love this video. I think that if more parents focused on educating the importance of inner beauty with their children, our society would be more accepting of different body types. Our children would feel less pressure to look and be a certain way.
By the way, I came home tonight and discovered that I’ve been nominated for a Bloggie in Best Teen Weblogcategory! Even just getting nominated is super awesome, and thanks to all of you who nominated me. I’m not going to whore myself out for votes, but I will ask you to vote because you’ll find some super awesome blogs that you’ve never heard of before (unless you are a whore in the blogosphere and SOMEHOW have the time to read a billion blogs a day *cough*Avitable*cough*, heh).