Hi all. Sorry for the lack of posts recently. This PhD and all… The deadline is looming and well, I need to finish. But today I read an article that I simply couldn’t resist contributing my 2 cents to. The article posed the question: Why do some women give up on their looks? It particularly focused on “older” women – the population of women most easily and harshly critiqued for their appearance. I got sucked in to reading a number of the reader comments – particularly those focused on the differences between NZ and say the UK. A number of people were complaining that kiwis look sloppy and don’t take any care with their appearance. Others were arguing that it’s too expensive, and that kiwi women have different priorities.
Certainly there are a number of aesthetic differences between NZ and the US. Yes, there are not as many choices here in NZ. Yes, everything is insanely expensive. Yes, the older NZ women do often look ghastly (in my humble opinion). Yes, most of the college age girls I see around also look ghastly. Honestly. How do I even begin to describe the god-awful ugly dresses that permeate Dunedin fashion for the 18-25 year olds?
On a related note, I had one hell of a shock yesterday browsing etsy for headbands when the photos of the model were a girl with a ton of make-up on, fake tan and long blonde hair. What happened to the [well, at least perceived – but maybe this is just me] etsy stereotype of brunette glasses wearing knitting, crocheting, crafting and thrifting hipsters? Who was this blonde, fake-tanned so-cal girl and how dare she be on etsy?! It was a bit of a shock for me. Like – oh, is that how much make-up people are wearing these days?
I am coming from the alt-fashion perspective. I’ve never really had those mainstream good looks. I know D is my dream guy since he finds fake-tan abhorrent. I mean, even though I grew up in MN in the late 90s – the big blonde hair and fake tan was always the ‘ideal’. It’s the American ideal. Big fake blonde hair, big fake boobs and fake tan.
Gross (in my humble opinion). I guess I’m a fan of natural beauty.
I mean, I love fashion. I admit to being both vain and pretty obsessed with my appearance. I own a LOT of make-up (maybe I should be more specific – I own a lot of eye make up. However, a bottle of foundation lasts literally for years – eventually I replace it because it goes off, not because I’ve used it up. Most of my lipsticks/lip glosses have been free. I don’t remember the last time I actually bought one). But I just can’t cake it on every day (just seems a bit over the top for Uni). And yes, I take full advantage of the weekend to not only barely shower, but wear jeans and a t-shirt and sneakers and absolutely no make-up. I even regularly go to the supermarket after going to the gym – complete in my sweaty gym clothes.
So yes, I care about my appearance (very much so) but only to a point.
Do you find that you don’t put in as much effort now as you did when you were younger? Do you wish you could put in more effort? Why or why not? Are women who are not confining themselves to societal norms of attractiveness and femininity just being lazy, or making a statement that women shouldn’t have to look beautiful and/or sexy all of the time?