Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A New Beauty Dialogue

Is it just me or is society far more open towards womens’ grooming habits than it once was? I was watching an episode of I Love Lucy and couldn’t help but notice the huge taboo surrounding Lucy and Ethel’s hair color—do they dye or don’t they?

There is such a stark contrast between this type of secrecy and our modern attitude. We discuss everything ranging from Highlights to Breast Augmentation, often entering into the gray area of too much information. Do you think the honest attitude is a sign that the general public has become more open? Could it be a consequence of women’s increased role as working members of society and the resultant boost in buying power—are we more viable consumers now that we have an income of our own?

Or perhaps it is far more sinister, like cosmetic companies exploiting insecurities to create a greater need for products by constantly advertising, thereby raising our social awareness of the necessity of grooming? I certainly have my opinion but I’d love to hear yours! What do you make of willingness to discuss grooming habits that were once only whispered amongst girlfriends?

Image Credit: TVLand.com


steph_mark said...

i vaguely remember seeing an episode where lucy had a bunch of liquid henna hidden in the closet so that ricky wouldn't find it.

A Gal On A Budget said...

Really?! I don't remember that one but I do remember the episode where Ricky's friends visit and ask about Lucy's hair color, to which he retorts "Henna Rinse."

Fabuless Beauty said...

Sorry your Rite Aid didn't have any of the cream paints. Rite Aid's product selection vary by location. I went to two different Rite Aids...and then had none! They must've cleared out their HIP paints, because on their display case...they didn't have them in stock.

Anastasia said...

I think one of the key attitudes that has changed is towards virgin women. It used to be that women could only be teachers if they were unmarried (and thus virgins) hence why they were called "Miss". No sex before marriage is a traditional ideal and all men wanted to marry a virgin, now the stigma seems to have swapped sides.

Nowadays if you're a girl who's over 19 and still a virgin, there's most definitely something wrong with you. Most men, who now look for detached sex rather than marriage, would prefer a more experienced girl so they don't have to deal with any mess, be it physical or emotional.

I think because of this shift, the old fashioned view of women as virginal Madonnas who were naturally beautiful, natural and untouched, has changed. Men now want women who preen and take care of their appearance, it's the awkward shy girls who don't wear make-up to school who are the outcasts.

While there are still a lot of fellas who like a girl who wears no make-up and doesn't do her hair, I believe the majority has shifted the other way, particularly with female icons in the beauty and fashion industry.

Now, instead of looking down on people who "needed" work done, we idolise the people who can afford it.

A Gal On A Budget said...

Anastasia: I really like your assessment of the trend! I never approached it that way and you really got me thinking, thanks! It could very well be that a change in the Virgin/Whore complex has shifted attitudes about appearance as well.

Fabuless: My RiteAid does seem to have the paints, just not on clearance. I, too, find it frustrating that the stock is so varied from one location to the next.

T.R. said...

I think Anastasia has a good point. I also believe, that we as woman are also de-mystifying our beauty rituals. Maybe it just got too hard to pretend that all this "beauty" was au natural. LOL

I also agree with you Gal...cosmetic companies and plastic surgeons began in the 70's and on through the 90's bombarding us with what they wanted us to go out and buy from them. And how do you do it ... well first you make the "beautiful people" insecure and then the masses follow.

I too live in LA and I gotta tell ya WOW I can't believe how much woman in this town are made to feel directly or indirectly the need to preen. I mean I'm from the east coast and I never felt the need to preen the way I do here. I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing b/c I feel a woman (and man) should always want to be his or her best. But I do question the obessession with "perfection" as oppossed to loving what you have and making the best of that. And not appreciating real beauty in all it's splender shapes, sizes, colors, cup sizes, and all.

I think it's all a part of our growing obsession with the rich and famous and not appreciating our own lives. We've been made to think "regular" is actually "irregular".