For some odd reason, this week when my husband brought in the mail there were two very surprising oddities included in our usual mosh. Along with our Time Magazine, bills, Urban Oufitters and Free People catalogs and spam were two issues of Allure magazine addressed to me. Not only have I never subscribed to Allure but I’ve never even read it. Any magazine targeting one racial standard yet calling itself the “Beauty Expert” is something I absolutely prefer to judge by it’s cover. Since my husband immediately started tagging the cover of the January issue, I only had the remaining February issue to analyze. I looked at the highlighted topics on the cover. “Powerful Hair Straighteners – Long Lasting Results as Home”, “Seduction Starts Now – Bedroom Hair, Glowing Skin”, “Get the Sexiest Eyes EVER – The Best New Mascaras & Extensions” and the quote underneath this month’s cover model “Zooey Deschanel – Hollywood’s Cutest Weirdo”.
It doesn’t take a magnifying glass to see that the overall message is that absolutely nothing you do and nothing you are is good enough. You’re not sexy enough to your man, your hair isn’t straight enough and even a beautiful, talented actress who chooses not to conform to typical Hollywood standards is deemed as a “cute weirdo”. Being that the target audience for a magazine like this is women between the ages of 18 and 34 years old, also the largest market of consumers in the country – it’s not at all a stretch to say that this magazine is one big commercial and it’s selling away the soul of every woman who buys into the hype.
It’s sad that there is no financial profit in empowering women – otherwise that would be the target goal of every major magazine and cosmetic company on the face of the planet. For instance the truth really is that confidence – not HAIR is what’s sexiest to men in the bedroom…even if they don’t realize it themselves. And that there is nothing sexy about having a porcupine hovering over your eyelids – I see women with lash extensions and I literally have to keep from laughing. Most people will tell you that the most beautiful woman is one who embraces her unique natural gifts, takes care of herself and walks with confidence – and there are NO products in the market that can do that better than you can yourself.
I’ve begun to look at these things a bit differently over the years. While once they were simply innocent side-effects of a backwards society now they are possible predators to my own little unborn consumer. Will he or she be bombarded with these insane standards, left to feel inadequate and small? At some point, the reality is YES they will…most likely sometime in Jr. High or High School. But I hope that my husband and I can combat those monsters with truth – the truth that what is inside of you and outside of you is there for a reason. That embracing your thin eyelashes, or kinky hair only makes you more beautiful – and that the naysayers are generally just people were are too afraid to love themselves as is. Eventually, when the critics die down and we each take to our own stages – having more to say than “Ditto” is what matters the most.