How much time,energy & money are spent in the pursuit of beauty?

bellism

In this interview Alexis Jones (starring in the Vagina Monologues of Even Ensler) talks about the huge distraction that the pursuit of beauty represents for most girls and women.

It is an undeniable fact of our society, a logic consequence of the process of socialisation which most girls will go through from the day they born until they are grown women. The message is unmistakably clear, loud and coming from every direction: family, friends, teachers and the media in the form of movies, music, adverts, games and so on.

A girl learn from the very start in her life what is the most valuable and appreciated thing about herself and, as Alexis points out, the constant preoccupation with one’s own look takes away SOOO much energy, time and money 🙁

What could be accomplished by these same women and girls if they were set free from that worry? Let’s just consider for a minute how much time and energy they could dedicate to other aspects of their life, how their personality, confidence and skills could develop without this constant draining.

The main challenge for a better, happier society is to stop taking for granted this fact as if it was a natural, irreversible reality. We need to remind these girls that there is a process of gender socialisation which is totally constructed, artificial and imposed by an oppressive ideology. Human beings love to look at beautiful things, this is undeniable: but how we define beauty is another matter. Girls need to see how the idea of beauty itself has been manipulated by media and advertising: they need to see the historical, sociological and psychological implications of a system that is NOT designed to make them happy, but miserable, frustrated and insecure.

This is why we need more and more activist like Alexis. We need more roles models talking to girls from a very young age… in schools, youth and community centres, associations, even nurseries!

If we can succeed in making girls understand the artificiality, the construction, the oppressive design behind the “beauty trap”, then they will be free to ultimately step into a new consciousness, with the power, the skills and the confidence to really live their life as a fully deserving human beings rather than beautiful, animated dolls. 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0NigNt7SD0&feature=share

8 thoughts on “How much time,energy & money are spent in the pursuit of beauty?

  1. Wonderful post. It really is shocking just how much I’ve spent over the last 1 – 2 years to achieve some type of beauty that I (honestly) will never attain. When you sit back and think about it, it’s also eye-opening to examine my motivations for why I want to achieve a certain look in the first place…!

    • Hi Jo Anna, I am glad that you realise this much earlier than me in life. I have spent 20 years of my life in pointless worrying about pointless things! It’s nice to wake up and move on. There is so much unlearning to do, we have been brainwashed into beauty from the day we’ve born!

  2. Women spend so much time and money on beauty and the manufacturers know it. I just had to stop in at Sephora for my wife and even I fell in love with the store! It was lit nicely, the products were staged appealingly and the overall mood made me want to spend money. $200 later, I had my wife’s makeup and some extras that the associate sold me that I still don’t know what they do. 🙂

  3. I am happy to people like you guys taking a stand on this beauty thing, it has gone too far, our girls slap too much makeup at the age of thirteen years old and I am just thinking what is going on! Beauty is within, you can’t buy it, you born with it! Self love again is the issue, comparing ourselves to the next person and celebrities…what a waste of energy and time, is this the life purpose we want our kids to have? ;( I wish I could donate more but for now I will give what I can and best of luck with things, I really hope your project will be funded in some way or another you should be able to raise what you need as it looks like a fantastic and much needed initiative 😉

  4. “Human beings love to look at beautiful things, this is undeniable: but how we define beauty is another matter.”

    Grrr! This is so true! Why is it that when my wife puts on a nice dress and make up her friends will comment on how “beautiful” she looks, yet those same friends are disgusted by the fact that she will relax, unclad on a beach?

    It is as if they value being fake more than being real.

  5. I met a man a year ago that was exclusively interested in me. I would prepare for our dates for an hour to two and even when done would find something wrong with my appearance. I would sit on public transportation looking at myself in the reflection of the window fidgeting with my hair and changing my makeup. Finally when I got there he would have the brightest smile and was so happy just to be around me. I was incredibly uncomfortable with my appearance and he loved, even with my faults, everything about the way I and I could not accept it.

    In hindsight, I spent more time loathing over my appearance than embracing the qualities that I had. I lost out on relationships and opportunities because I was not secure in my own skin. As Andrew pointed out, I too, had friends who would “like” and comment on my “beautiful” pictures but roast me on my “average” looks where I was most comfortable.

    • Jessica it is the same situation with me. Spending the hours to get ready for a date and always finding something wrong with my appearance. I was never comfortable in my own skin and because of that I would not allow myself to really accept any type of relationship.

      Even to this day I am still single but I am comfortable in my skin now. I am single because I am just too tired to go out on dates now! LOL 🙂

  6. I have to thank my mother for infusing the right thoughts and concerns in my head, starting when I was about 8. While other mothers did their best to cake their daughters in makeup, find the best hairdo or the fanciest clothes, my mother taught me to be myself and enjoy my childhood without wasting time in getting ready for birthday parties.
    Don’t get me wrong, I don’t wonder around the town in rags looking like a genuine cat lady but I don’t waste time with my beauty routine. I can apply mascara and maybe foundation in less than 5 minutes, brush my hair and I’m out the door so I’m not spending hours getting ready. 😉

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