All posts tagged: beauty

Do You Love the Skin You’re In?

Did you see the unretouched photo of actress Jamie Lee Curtis in 2002?  It was taken when she was 43 years old. Jamie insisted the photographer, Andrew Eccles,  shoot her with no makeup, no manicure, no hair styling – wearing only an exercise bra and underwear. She did not want the photo altered in any way. She said this was her contribution to stopping the Hollywood Myth of what women are supposed to look like. Of course, it isn’t just Hollywood that contributes to the myth. There is a Beauty Industry  with products and advertising to tell us how to make our hair, skin, teeth and clothes conform to some standard of beauty;  a Weight Loss Industry that tells us we are too fat; a Cosmetic Surgery Industry to turn back the hands of time, and an Exercise Industry that is often advertised as a way to improve our looks. How big is the  ‘Myth of Perfection’ Industry? The Global Beauty Market (hair care, skin care, cosmetics, fragrances) is expected to reach $265 billion in …

The Quippery

Distorted Perceptions of Beauty

At age 20, we worry about what others think of us. At age 40, we don’t care what they think of us. At age 60, we discover they haven’t been thinking of us at all. – Ann Landers (1918-2002) – Why do you think women worry about how they look? Do women tend to judge other women by how they look? Are women bombarded by companies who want them to think that they don’t measure up? Do women judge themselves by what is negative, not what is positive? Do women pressure other women to conform to an idealized image of what is beautiful? Do women equate aging to loss of beauty? Do women believe beauty gives them a competitive edge in all facets of their lives? Do women fear that men won’t like/love them if they are not beautiful? Do women believe that beauty is of more value than intelligence? Are women surrounded by media role models who are air brushed, photo shopped beauties? An example of an Air Brushed and Photo Shopped Model: Here …

egg

Simply Eggcellent – Don’t be a Stupid Girl

I Believe Women will achieve the Equality they deserve when they can defy all the industries that make them feel unworthy. I Believe Women will achieve the Happiness they deserve when they quit worrying about their age, and how they look. I Believe the Media does a better job at Instilling Fear in people than it does in empowering them. Many women, I’ve discovered, don’t share my beliefs. They are willing to support the industries that tell them they are not good enough – not pretty enough, not thin enough, not sexy enough. Fortunately, there are women who do share a few of my beliefs and one of these is the writer of the blog Hippie Cahier.  She recently wrote an ‘eggcellent post’ “I don’t wanna be a stupid girl”. Also, be very sure to watch the video by P!nk called Stupid Girls.   Another blogger who writes about women, both historically and in the present, is Barb at Before Morning Breaks. In this post she tells of a new fashion hell: Before Morning Breaks Considers …

wordle fat synonyms

The 1 Weird Old Tip Scam

Nothing irritates me more than a certain ad on webpages. You know the one – a belly that inflates and deflates. “Cut down a bit of your belly everyday by following this 1 weird old tip.” I have ignored the ad until today. Today I wanted to find out just how weird this tip could be. Would it be as simple as My Strawberry Diet (which was not really so much a diet as a matter of eating a bunch of strawberries and working hard all week.) So I clicked the picture. This led me into the world of those who would like me to believe that the answer to the obesity epidemic is the African Mango Diet. If you had clicked the ad, you would likely have been led to a different weird old tip because the same ad is linked to any number of other small diet-product sellers. (If you are interested in how these diet scams work and what the Federal Trade Commission is doing about it, there are a few stories …

A 3 Dressed Up As a 9

I don’t think people should be judged by their looks, do you? There is a catchy song by Trooper that confirms the stereotype that men are only interested in women’s looks, and that women will do what it takes to meet a man’s expectations: You looked a whole lot better to me From twenty feet away You’re just a 3 dressed up as a 9 …. – Trooper – The Fashion and Beauty Industry have certainly capitalized on the desire of women to be younger, thinner, firmer, smoother…. and if the product can’t actually do what it claims, then the Advertising Industry will find a graphic artist who will make sure that expectations and reality appear to be one and the same. (If you Google ‘Airbrushing Celebrity Before and After’ you’ll see  some excellent examples.) Let me demonstrate how simple it is to alter a photo to make a model ‘more beautiful’. In the photo above, Sondra the Snow Goddess is modelling the latest in scarf wear. Here is Sondra after a session in Photoshop. …

dog scales

A Skinny-Obsessed World – Is ‘Fat’ Really the Worst Thing We Can Be?

Paige, at ‘Mastering the Art of Life’ recently wrote a post called ‘My Life as a Number’. She talks frankly about women’s obsession with their weight and dress size, and how those two numbers, if they don’t fall within the criteria dictated by society, can overshadow all the other characteristics that truly describe a person. Paige ends her piece with a quote by J.K. Rowling from the J.K. Rowling Official Site. In a post called ‘For Girls Only, Probably’  J.K. says in part: “Is ‘fat’ really the worst thing a human being can be? Is ‘fat’ worse than ‘vindictive’, ‘jealous’, ‘shallow’, ‘vain’, ‘boring’ or ‘cruel’? Not to me.” “I’ve got two daughters who will have to make their way in this skinny-obsessed world, and it worries me, because I don’t want them to be empty-headed, self-obsessed, emaciated clones; I’d rather they were independent, interesting, idealistic, kind, opinionated, original, funny – a thousand things, before ‘thin’. And frankly, I’d rather they didn’t give a gust of stinking chihuahua flatulence whether the woman standing next to them …

Do You Like You? Being Comfortable in Your Skin

‘Try’ by Colbie Caillat : “It’s this song I’ve had in my head my entire life about personal insecurities, imperfections, self-confidence issue. I thought I was the only person who felt that way and now I release this song that so many people around the world are relating too, so many different age ranges, men and women.” Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction. – Kevyn Aucoin – If you have been reading my blog for a while, you probably realize I am not a big fan of the Beauty Industry. It is not that I am against many of the products. I’m just against the entire multi-billion dollar machine that tells women they aren’t good enough unless they use these products. I’m against women being told they must color their hair or hide their …

Mother Nature’s Bark Defies the Beauty Industry!

Can you imagine what the world would look like if Mother Nature listened to the human Beauty Industry? This wonderful gnarled old willow would have had a facelift or two. The bark would have been plumped and smoothed by moisturizers and botox. This plump old Aspen would have been on a diet for, well probably all of its adult life. But Mother Nature is much wiser than any human. She knows that beauty is everywhere and it is ageless. It makes me wish I was a tree. If I was, I’d be old enough to be the lumpy, bumpy, wrinkly, crinkly Queen of the Forest! And I would be tall, too… 

chicken dressed up

How to Run in Stilettos – But Why Would You?

The truth is, you can’t run in Stilettos, or most High Heels for that matter. At least the average woman can’t. But that doesn’t stop some women from trying. There are many Stiletto Races staged around the world to raise money for charity, or to promote a product. One of the most recent ones was held in the Philippines. “Michelle Fernandez-Castillo, Maybelline New York Philippines’ senior brand manager, said they decided to bring the race to the country to help empower Filipinas. “The stiletto is the first thing that comes to a woman’s mind whenever she needs something to feel good and look good. Through this race, we hope to show the world how powerful women are,” she declared. Yes, I can certainly see how the women of the Philippines will feel much better about themselves when they put on their stilettos. And they will definitely feel very powerful when they can run in them… Either that, or Maybelline is just using a clever marketing ploy to sell the Filipinas the same boatloads of beauty …

What Dressing Like a Slut Says

On January 24, 2011, Constable Michael Sanguinetti and another officer from Toronto’s 31 Division came to a York University Safety Forum at the Osgoode Hall Law School. While presumably listing ways to avoid sexual assault  Sanguinetti  said, “You know, I think we’re beating around the bush here. I’ve been told I’m not supposed to say this, however, women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.” It was a choice of words he came to regret. It outraged many people including one MACLEANS commentator  who said, “A woman has the right to dress as she wishes. It is never okay for someone to take away her ability to feel safe in her own body simply because society deems her dresses provocative. A woman has the right to to say ‘no’ and have her decision be respected.” Toronto Police spokeswoman Meaghan Gray responded on behalf of the Police by saying that cautioning women on their state of dress is not part of any police training. “They are taught that nothing a woman does …

men in suits

The Glass Ceiling is Made of Cloth

Perhaps the most over used and under explained phrase of modern times is “The Glass Ceiling“. I don’t know how many times I have read it or heard it since the phrase came into being in about 1986. Frankly, I’m tired of it. If women haven’t managed to break through that ceiling in 25 years, then it is because it is made out of something other than glass. Personally, I think it is made out of Cloth, or some substance like that. It is acknowledged that men still hold the majority of senior management positions in most of the workplace. Have you ever noticed how they are dressed? A pair of pants with the correct break maybe, a shirt with long or short sleeves, a pair of low heeled shoes, perhaps a jacket, perhaps a tie. That is pretty much it. Various types of cloth, to be sure, but lots of cloth. I can’t say for sure what women in the workplace wear. Less cloth, more bare body, probably. Less comfortable shoes… When I was …

wordle fat synonyms

Fat Facts – An Obesity Epidemic or a Beauty Bias?

FAT. How can so small a word have such a bad reputation? The dictionary lists 42 synonyms, not a single one of them complimentary. What a bad rap for something we all have and need! There is only one body type that doesn’t appear to have much body fat, and that is the one coveted by Runway Models. These people are classified as Underweight, and have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18.5. If I was to be in that category, I would have to weigh something less than 99 pounds, a figure I haven’t seen on my scale since I was a youth. Statistics indicate that 1.8 percent of the adult American population is underweight. A Recent Joint Study by Stats Canada, Kaiser Permanente, Portland State U, Oregon Health U and McGill U, indicates that Underweight people have the highest risk of death of all the BMI categories. Eating disorders and digestive diseases are associated with this group of people. Next in line for risk are the Class III Obese people – …

arctic blonde

The Power of Grey Hair

A growing number of women are embracing the Power of Grey Hair. In an article titled The Silver Tsunami, the author suggests this about gray hair: “It allows the wearer, when walking into the room, to subliminally convey the notion: ‘You think growing older is a bad thing? Think again.’” The article goes on to discuss the fact that grey haired women are wearing radically younger hair styles: “In fact, it is wearing exactly those unexpected-after-40-or-50 cuts that make gray hair less of a symbol of aging and more one of confidence and power.” Catherine Cleary in an article in The Irish Times titled Grey Pride tells her story: “I stopped out of curiosity, boredom and a desire to be different, to resist what is expected of a woman turning the corner into 40.” Mia Gallagher believes our fear of mortality is behind the fear of ageing and treating ageing as a disease that can be cured with potions: “If ageing is a disease then life is a disease.” Ruth Sutherland in The Observer article To Dye or …

The Quippery

Women, Liberation, Freedom, Beauty – the Anti-Aging Scam

Steve Craig of the University of North Texas presented a paper in 1997 called Madison Avenue Vs the Feminine Mystique: How the Advertising Industry Responded to the Onset of the Modern Women’s Movement. The Abstract of this paper states: In her now-classic 1963 book, The Feminine Mystique, feminist author and activist Betty Friedan charged the advertising industry with perpetuating and exploiting the oppression of women through the use of negative stereotypes. Her book and its charges gave impetus to the growing women’s movement and led to an all-out campaign of political action against advertisers in 1970. Madison Avenue at first responded with protestations and denials, but the threat of product boycotts and pressure from many women within the industry itself led to at least superficial changes. Companies also realized that changing their approach made good business sense and began creating products and marketing strategies that exploited the idea of the “new woman.” This “New Woman”, though liberated from many of the inequalities of past generations, now faced a beauty industry that led them to believe that …

women grey hair hairstylist

Go Grey, Girl – Be an Arctic Ice Blonde!

Hair colour (or color) is a confusing and controversial topic, especially if the hair colour is grey (or gray!) To start with, great swaths of the population spell the essential words differently! Although it is quite acceptable to spell grey – gray,  and colour – color, having grey hair is quite another matter. Of course, the individual hairs aren’t actually grey either. They are either some shade of white, or the original hair colour. The grey colour is an effect achieved by the mingling of the white and dark strands. Sheer trickery. A quick search for the precise term “grey hair” brings up many, many pages. A search for “gray hair” is the same. I spent a morning previewing a very small sampling of these pages and came to the conclusion that women, and the fashion industry, have more or less declared war on grey hair. I decided to revisit the Gray Land of Grey Hair after a few years of colourful experiments in the hands of my well meaning, and much younger, hair dresser. …

Norway – Climbing Preikestolen in Comfortable Shoes

A few years ago we  hiked to the top of Preikestolen in Norway. Preikestolen is a steep cliff that rises 604 metres (1982 feet) above Lysefjorden, opposite the Kjerag plateau. It has an almost flat top of approximately 25 by 25 metres (82 by 82 feet), and is a very popular hiking destination. We were advised to wear good walking shoes because of the terrain. The hike up was steep and challenging, but the view from the top of the cliff was breathtaking. We stopped at the summit long enough to catch our breath, admire the view, and have lunch. As we sat munching sandwiches, an elderly Norwegian woman arrived. She wore a simple cotton dress, knee high hose, and comfortable older-fashion sandals. She looked like she had just stepped out the back door to put wash on the line.  I was amazed that she could clamber over the rocks and boulders in a dress and sandals, but she did, and apparently in relative ease. I was impressed! More people arrived onto the plateau at the summit, and …