Beauty technology

My wife was kick-ass remarkable in every way, and she was beautiful, but she was not 'conventionally beautiful' by the world's standards. She always, always felt uncomfortable and insecure about her appearance, but she rarely wore makeup. She knew that no product purchased could make her look like the women in cosmetics ads.

She resisted beauty programming, but she wasn't immune to it. She told me that simply seeing an ad with some beautiful woman selling beauty saddened her, and angered her, and hurt her.

Of course, it wasn't just her — I've heard and read the same complaints from many women, written more eloquently than anything an old man like me can type.

It's a near-universal struggle for women to accept bodily 'flaws' that aren't really flaws — a nose judged 'too big', eyebrows 'too bushy', a mole, a scar, an extra few pounds, whatever. It's always something, and also something else, but for only $29.99, here's a product that promises to help. If it doesn't help, there are thousands of other products to purchase.

Always the unspoken message shouts, If a woman's face and body isn't perfect, then it isn't good enough — so buy something to fix yourself. Well, my wife was unfixed and didn't buy it, and that's one of the many things I loved about her.

This morning, L'Oréal shouted at me, "We design beauty technology that makes life easier." For the ad I've vandalized below, they rented a beautiful woman's face to sell their "beauty technology" to women who don't and won't look like the advertised image.

What would "make life easier," L'Oréal, is if the makeup industry was about 1% as huge as it is, and didn't always promote perfection, trying to make every woman feel 'not good enough'.

I'm a man, so I can't really understand any of this, and maybe I'm not supposed to notice or care, but on behalf of my wife I want to say: Screw everything about all of this. 




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  1. Not a big Ben Folds Five fan, but I do like this one called Theme from "Dr. Pyser"



    1. Well, first, I'm always intrigued by anyone whose name is a sentence. My favorite was a reporter for a TV station in Kansas City when we lived there — Heather Staggers.

      Theme from Dr Pyser is very catchy and playlist-worthy. When the ba-ba-ba singing started I was afraid there were going to be lyrics. So many good instrumental songs are ruined when somebody sings.

      Google tells me there's no show or movie called "Dr. Pyser", so the title is a bit of a joke. I bet this guy likes it.

    2. Which is why I'm not a particular fan of the trio. They're always a little smarter than their audience. That's troublesome for dumb people like me. But this particular song is pretty damn catchy and hard to categorize, which generally strikes me as a good thing. If something has beauty it doesn't need a category.

      Man gave names to all the animals.


    3. Wait, the Ben Folds Five is a trio? I kinda love that...

  2. It's even a little weirder than that. There's no "the" preceding the band's name, and the listener/viewer is left to conjecture what the hell "Ben Folds Five" means. The piano player's name is, in fact, Ben Folds. Beyond that, whether he is using has last name as a verb, whatever happened to the other two guys, and what the hell you call the music they play are all questions that are left blowin' in the wind. For 25 years I have bounced back and forth between thinking they were very clever and thinking they were entirely too clever. They keep taking decades off, so there's a lot of time to think.


    1. So their name is a decades-old inside joke I'm just getting today. That's my normal speed...


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