Disclaimer: This is not a bash on the beauty industry. Nor salons, spas, products, estheticians, hair stylists, nail technicians etc. I am a full supporter of friends and family and reputable places. I participate in many beauty regimes and I enjoy them. This is a satirical look at why women take the risks we do in order to be beautiful. Happy reading.
I got the idea for this post while dying my hair this past weekend. I was in the bathroom waiting for the timer and I got bored and read the warnings. Obviously, apply to body THEN read the warnings. “Do not keep extra product in bottle, will explode.”
What the WHAT?
It is no secret that most women enjoy the use of beauty products, accessories, procedures, appointments etc., all in the name of beauty.
The reason is simple: We like it because it makes us more confident. Because beauty is pain, amirite? Doing the ridiculous things we do makes us feel prettier, skinnier, shinier, more colorful and ultimately, happier.
Attention. Positive attention. It is a basic need for humans and almost a hunger pang for females if we go without. Attention from men, attention from women. Also, being the fairer of the sex, we rely heavily on aesthetics to get said attention. Attention can lead to love, career moves, social status etc. Therefore heavy reliance on your outside being to be pleasing to the eyes.
In an ideal world, “looks shouldn’t matter!” “It’s on the inside that counts!” “As long as you’re a good person!”
We don’t live in an ideal world. I can go on forever about this topic, but let’s cut the crap. There is a reason why the beauty products/services is a $159 Billion dollar industry. Sure, we can blame it on men who only like attractive women, blame it on the media putting pressure on women or even blame other women for feeling like we have to force ourselves to be young and beautiful forever. source
But in the end, we have all contributed to the beauty industry for our own reasons.
I will be the first to admit I am a sucker for good advertising. When Zooey Deschanel was the spokeswoman for Pantene Pro V, guess what I brand I bought as soon as I ran out? Cause I love Zooey.
Lana Del Rey got some sweet new manicure, guess what I did… I got me a stylish manicure. Cause I love me some crazy women.
I won’t leave out the fellas, but let’s be real…ya’ll don’t spend anywhere near the amount of time, money or energy that we do. Men’s beauty industry is only about a $1.5 Billion. Chump change by comparison.
So let’s just take a look at what women do to keep ourselves in a condition that is comfortable for ourselves…and the risks we take when doing so.
Risk: removal of skin, 1st and 2nd degree burns, infection, change in skin color, exposure to disease
This in particular is no fun. Brazilian wax? Are you joking? Any time you have to apply burning hot wax to my special place, I’m gonna go ahead and pass. We are to remove the hair that is natural to our bodies. It has been ingrained in my brain that hair other than what is on your head is ‘bad’. Why? Well, now that I have been conditioned over the years, not shaving my legs makes me “feel yucky”. My own brain, telling me my natural body is yucky…
Risk: baldness, blindness, burning, itching, chemical burns, scabs, formaldehyde poisoning, hot tool burns
Not only are most hair treatments run their risks, but they are also very expensive. If you color your hair and get a trim, the average cost in a city salon is $150-$200. That doesn’t even include products. $25 bottles of shampoo, $200 flat irons, $60 bottles of Moroccan oil. Scrunch gels, glue pastes, styling cream, hair spray, hair masks etc. Lather, rinse repeat every 8 weeks.
Anti-aging product industry is at a staggering $80 Billion. source That is just for product alone and does not include procedures. Botox injections are also used for under the arms, on the palms and on the bottom of the feet – to prevent “excessive sweating”. Something your body does to cool itself off and prevent death. We can now cram a foreign substance in there so our pits are spotless! Don’t even get me started on tanning.
Those are some of the bulks of the industry. It is not limited to this. There are nail salons, Spanx and other soul sucking underwear, painful shoes, spray tans, permanent make-up (tattoo), contacts, perfumes, body lotions, soaps, dental work (Veneers) and teeth whiteners etc… VAMPIRE Facials!?
Don’t forget about the ingestions! Pills for: weight loss, hair growth, shiny hair, longer nails, longer eyelashes, firmer skin, anti-cellulite, body odor, hormonal balance, anti-acne…
Good LORD, there is a lot of stuff we can do to ourselves. Women (and men, but let’s just keep it consistent) are happy with themselves based on a range of ‘beauty maintenance’. Some are happy with working out and eating right, no color changes or hair removal needed. Some enjoy facials, mani/pedi’s and highlights. Some like buttery brown tans, long nails, and porcelain white teeth.
The point is, we all take risks in the name of vanity. You know what’s even scarier, the FDA doesn’t even have to regulate cosmetic products before they hit the market. Source
FDA’s legal authority over cosmetics is different from other products regulated by the agency, such as drugs, biologics, and medical devices. Cosmetic products and ingredients are not subject to FDA premarket approval authority, with the exception of color additives. However, FDA may pursue enforcement action against violative products, or against firms or individuals who violate the law.
There are all sorts of exceptions for safety and there are amazing salons and beauty specialists that absolutely know what they’re doing. It’s important to seek them out and stay with them. Not every place is dirty and filthy, not every treatment will ruin your life, clearly. There is always risk to be had to be beautiful (by whatever standards you go by).
What we do to ourselves may vary in intensity. How comfortable we are within ourselves and what we need to do to our outsides to make our insides satisfied. Not everyone is in touch with inner beauty, especially those who are seeking it in someone else. But some people are. It’s that light, we all have it. Some are brighter than others. And it is so unfortunate we feel the need to cover that light in creams, color and toxins to make ourselves happy. Maybe we’ll all get tired of it some day? Maybe…
One thing’s for sure…being a woman is f***ing dangerous.