the beauty machine, monte carlo by helmut newton
I’m at the laundromat, flipping through “health” magazine. After 70 pages of articles about how to lose weight, what to eat to lose weight, how to exercise to lose weight and some celebrity sharing her beauty tips, one of which she says “it feels like your skin’s burning…but then you feel beautiful.” I reach an article titled “Finally find body peace”. Right. Then back to how to work out (to lose weight & tone to perfection, despite having achieved “body peace”). And more skin care. And more what to eat/ how to exercise.
Please just call this magazine “how to look like the idealized female stereotype through obsessive compulsive behavior masked as “healthy lifestyle”. Please. Because that’s what it is.
If women care about their health perhaps stop smearing toxic cancer causing laden cremes and serums herself not your skin. Exercising relentlessly & joylessly. Eating too little. Injecting botulism into your face.
Try eating well. Moving your body. Using stuff in your skin and hair that wouldn’t harm you to eat. Get sleep. Find joy when and where you can. Think about letting what you feel like be more important as what you look like. Or at least as equal.
I may be a walking disaster when it comes to a love life but I’m grateful that I’m not death marching on the beauty machine treadmill that these magazines promote. I just can’t. I look like what I look like. I take care of myself the best I can. I can’t be bothered to get fucking eyelash extensions. Make up makes me feel like a clown.
Navigating my depression takes a lot of energy. I sometimes don’t feel up to showering. I do it. But no way am I going to be applying self tanner. Or taking more than 3 steps on my hair.
We as women would do well to just reject the female ideal stereotype all together. Maybe if we all just say “fuck it” we can have a world where we look like we look and that’s just st a fraction of what the world sees and values about us.
You know, like how it is for men.