Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thought experiment - the disappearance of 'beauty' products

I was riding the Metro to work this morning and saw...
  • a young woman with quite the spray-on tan
  • two middle-aged women, one blonde and one brunette
  • an older woman with gray hair swept into an updo
This got me thinking - what would we look like without the semi-permanent or permanent body alterations? Or if suddenly everyone woke up the next morning and the spray tans and bronzer and hair dye and hair removal and cosmetic surgery evaporated from your body, and you just went about your days with sunblock and a smile?

Would we just be 'uglier' or would we adapt and say this is what people look like? Would it somehow become more okay for women to age?

Is this a silly question? The cynic in me says little would change, and the 'beauty' industry would continue to find ways to devalue my intellect and appearance. Those of us who are non-white and/or fat and/or disabled would continue to be invisible in mass media.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think! Bonus points if you leave a comment answering my questions with a question.

Photo: thinkpanama on Flickr

1 comment:

freefaerie said...

I don't know if it would happen overnight, but I do believe that if people had the chance to be themselves, without the modifications, and had the chance to see everyone else just as they really were, it would become normal to be natural.

That's why I think it is so important for people now, to be natural, even though it's condiered abnormal. The more our children see that women have hairy legs, and bare skin (no makeup) and grey hair... the more they will accept it as the way a human being looks, instead of believing they have to primp and preen and plucki and powder to be beautiful. The human body is beautiful. I think it's a crime to bring our children up believing they are not good enough just as they are.