The beauty industry really has sold us a bill of goods, hasn't it? Huge companies, bright shiny departments at the front of the stores in the mall. Ads everywhere you look. Models. Fashion. Even body art is commercialized now. Can one even get a subtle piercing or highlight their hair just for their own pleasure, without people assuming it's in response to pressure from society, manufacturers, advertisers, retailers, and peers?
Worst of all, the rapid rise of both advertising and commercial "personal care" products has convinced most of us that we aren't good enough, ever, and they can help. Which they can't. We already are good enough. But if we reveal that we think so, we're arrogant or conceited or even bitchy. It turns my stomach.
I used to dye my hair to keep it closer to its natural color. Most people I know do that. I quit years ago, partly because of the expense and partly because my wonderful husband prefers natural over enhanced every time. So I'm that mousy pre-gray color everyone tries to avoid, and I'm perfectly happy with it. I don't wear makeup anymore, nor to I polish my nails or use perfume. I think I'm saving a fortune.
When did we all decide this stuff was necessary? Only about 10% of the world population has any attachment to the cosmetics industry, and we would scream and squawk if any of our preferred products were to disappear from the shelves of our preferred stores in our preferred shopping centers to buy with our preferred credit cards. If that's not a sense of entitlement, I don't know what is.
Imagine if everyone in the developed world took $10 of their cosmetics budget and bought food for a hungry neighbor. Hunger has no place in America, yet it prevails, while lipstick and mascara sales skyrocket. Our ability to adapt to affluence is so much stronger than our ability to broaden our compassion. This state of affairs makes my soul ache. I may begin to despise the beauty industry.