This has nothing to do with anything…

Yesterday I had to buy a new tube of mascara. As often happens, I got a little lost in the make-up aisle. It’s less that I want everything as I’m constantly amazed at what’s available. Fake lashes, fake nails, eye shadows and lipsticks in enough shades to paint a rainbow, lip plumper…

The first time I saw this, I had to stop and stare. Lip plumper, really? I suppose my own lips could use some plumping, but I’m kind of wary. How does this magical product make my lips bigger? I’ve thought on it (without doing even five seconds of research) and instead of coming up with a solution, I started thinking about what else could be plumped up. Let’s say I kiss my daughter’s forehead. Is she going to get a lip-shaped puffy area on her skin? What’s in that stuff? How long is it “active?” I don’t know–not sure I want to. But I digress…

As I’m deciding between dark brown and medium brown mascara, I caught sight of a very weird looking bottle of foundation. Right on the front, it promised to tighten my skin, hide any wrinkles, and leave me with a smooth, flawless finish. I was actually intrigued and found myself lifting the bottle to seriously consider this twelve dollar purchase (and if you knew how cheap I was, you’d be impressed). Then I did the next most ignorant thing possible and looked for the model promoting it.

Yes, I know they’re all air brushed and they–like me–have pores, but I was in the mood to be suckered and I was hoping to see a grinning Ellen DeGeneres or a lovely Andie MacDowell sporting noticeably reduced fine lines. Instead, I got a thirteen year old actress.

Okay, she wasn’t thirteen. She wasn’t an actress, either. She was famous, though, and I’m honestly not sure if she can legally vote. THIS is who they use to sell wrinkle cream? For real?

Actually, no. She was promoting the neighboring anti-zit foundation. Still, as I checked out her plastic skin (I don’t care how young you are, no one’s skin is that perfect) I started thinking about how beauty is marketed. We’re given the most gorgeous spokeswomen (who are then photoshopped) to demonstrate the marvel of whatever product is being pushed. Do any of us really think a twelve dollar bottle of cream is going to turn us into Eva Longoria? Why do we want that, anyway?

I read this article (sorry, I don’t remember when or where) that said an experiment was done in a remote community to introduce women to commercialization–TV, magazine ads, etc. They said that, surprisingly, there were no issues of violence or questionable morals, etc. The only major change that occurred was that an overwhelming majority of these women developed self-esteem issues.

Okay, I butchered the details here pretty bad, but the message is the same. And that makes me sad…

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