Wednesday, June 1, 2011

It Pays to Be a Woman

The other day, I needed some make-up, so I went to a local department store to buy what I needed. I was shocked at how high the price was! Twice as what it was the last time I bought it!  Then it got me thinking. We women pay a LOT of money to look our best. Here is what I came up with (men…pay attention here!):

When it comes to our faces… First we need a toner to make sure that our face really is clean. Then we need a face lotion to smooth over our face and neck. Of course, we have to use a day cream and a night cream.  My question is, do these lotions know when it's day and night?  But that won’t do for the eyes, so we need an eye cream. Of course, these lotions and creams must be anti-wrinkle, anti-aging, and have an SPF to keep us safe from the sun. To add color to our faces, we need a foundation to smooth out the blotches and uneven areas.  Add to this, the cover-up make-up to cover up any blotches or scars.

We also need to be able to take off the make-up so we have eye make-up remover and regular make-up removers. And who can forget the night creams and eye creams to work on our faces while we are sleeping, again all to remove wrinkles and keep us from aging! (Ha! Like THAT’s going to happen!)

We move on to more color. A good blush can make our faces look slimmer and our cheekbones more pronounced. If we need it, we can use several colors to achieve the perfect cheeks. Then comes the eye color. There are hundreds of colors so that you can shape your eyes to almost any shape you desire. If we need to make our eyes stand out a little more, we can add eyeliner, or even fake eye lashes. We also brush on mascara, but it can’t be any ordinary mascara; it’s the ‘extend the lashes five to seven times the length’ mascara.

After we have all that applied, there is face powder to set everything else in place that we have already put on. We also have to have a compact that we carry with us so that we can keep the shine off our faces and do those little touch-ups.

This is just the face. Now on to the hair. If you go down the isles of any store, you will see rows and rows of shampoos, conditioners, gels, mousses, spritzes, sprays, volume lifters, and the list goes on. If our hair isn’t the color we want, there are hundreds of hair dye products to choose from. If we dye our hair, we have to have the special products to use on colored treated hair.

Then there are the body lotions with anti-aging, anti-wrinkling, and fragrances to keep the rest of our skin smooth and silky. Don’t forget just the right deodorant, too! And deodorant for places you never thought you would have deodorant for! Must smell good in ALL places!

What woman doesn’t shave her legs? (Okay, you can always tell the extent of my social life by how long the hair is on my legs, but we won’t go there. Grin.) There are all kinds of razors to choose from in a variety of colors. Add to that the shaving gels to keep us from nicking ourselves, as well as keeping our legs silky and smooth.  And I'd like to know who on earth came up with waxing!!!  That's like yanking every nose hair out of your nostrils!

Of course, we also need to keep our nails looking good. There are creams and lotions for the nails, the nail primer, nail color, topcoat, files, buffers, fake nails, and now little stickers to put on the nails. And then you need to be able to take all this off, so there are nail polish removers. Once that’s done, we need hand lotions to keep our hands looking young and smooth.

Who can leave out the perfumes? We love our perfumes. I have a dresser top full of perfumes of all shapes, sizes, and smells. We women MUST smell good!

Now we have our make-up, hair, and bodies done, and we’re smelling good, so now on to the underwear. We have push up bras, bras with padding, gel, bubbles of water to pump up our size, lace, and under wire. Our bras are just as pretty as our outer clothes with lace, patterns, and they come in all shapes and sizes. AND we must keep our fat in place, so we have girdles, Spanx, Dr. 90210, and other torture items that we squeeze and stuff ourselves into. Who cares that we can’t breathe! We look an eighth of an inch thinner! (I admit it. I wore one a few weeks ago. I literally had to squeeze my body into it, and now I can’t find my bellybutton. I think it’s now on my back hip.)

We then have the outer clothes that we wear, and what a variety we have to choose from! Of course, most of the sizes nowadays will only fit a Barbie doll, but how we try to squeeze into them! Or we buy the lesser sizes because we are determined that ONE DAY we WILL fit into them. (Goodness knows I have a half a closet of those types of clothes!)

And who can forget the shoes? The pointier the toes, and the taller the heals, the better we’re told our legs and feet look! Women are out there walking on stilts JUST to make our legs look a little slimmer!

Of course, we need to accessorize! Earrings, rings, watches, bracelets, necklaces, toe rings, ankle bracelets, hair ornaments, hair ties, hair bows…

Men! Do you not know what we go through to look good and how much money we spend?!?!


Now on to the men…. If you go down any isle of any department store, the sections for just men are few and far between. There’s a small selection of razors usually in just a couple of colors, as well as some electric shavers. A selection of shaving creams and aftershaves. Do you ever see the creams and lotions with the anti-aging, anti-wrinkling- and SPF in them for men? I think not! (At least I haven’t, or maybe I haven’t looked recently.)

Are shampoos and conditioners marketed towards men? Men will choose from a selection of shampoos, and possibly conditioners, but what man will walk out with a hot pink bottle with lovely fragrance?

There is a selection of deodorants with some manly fragrances, but not as many as there are for women. And again, you won’t see the flowery, brightly colored, perfumed deodorants. How many commercials do you see men wearing short sleeves dancing with their arms up in the air showing off their armpits? (Personally, I would like to just have armpits again. I know they’re in there somewhere!)
Men might use some body lotion if they have dry skin, but it’s not pushed on them like it is for women.

Ever see men wear girdles? Men have jockey shorts and boxer shorts. (I will wear an under wire bra when men start wearing under wire in their jockeys!) Do men’s underwear come with padding, gels, water balloons, or push-ups? I think not. (Okay, maybe they exist somewhere. It wouldn’t surprise me anyway. I’m still waiting for Hannah Montana men’s underwear. It’s in everything else!)

And clothes? Men just put something on to get out the door. For work, most wear suits and a tie. They may be able to play a little with colorful and cute (okay, manly) ties, but suits are usually dark. How many outfits do you think a man tries on before going out, wondering if what they are wearing makes them look fat?

Do they paint their toes? Wear toe rings? Yes, I realize that some men do now wear jewelry, but not like we women!

Men will wear cologne, and who doesn’t love a nice smelling man, but you don’t usually see the large selection as in women’s fragrances.

Other than that, men do not have nearly the upkeep we women have!

Women, and especially young women and young girls, feel the pressure to do all this to look good. How often can we women just walk out the door without our make-up or having our hair looking just right? It took me years before I could go anywhere without make-up. Okay, so just a few years ago, but I had to literally force myself to do so.

Personally, I’m tired of the hype. I’m tired of women having to look a certain way to feel loved and accepted.  I’m tired of the moneymakers making us feel worthless if we don’t buy their products! I say let’s strike the beauty and fashion industries! Okay, okay, I know that’s not going to happen. But let’s start looking at this for what it really is. The industries are there to make money. They don’t really care about us. They know they have us from the word ‘anti-aging!’

What can we do? Let’s work at loving and accepting ourselves as we are, and not be brainwashed into thinking we’re anything less than magnificent if we don’t conform to those ideals that don’t serve our highest good. We are magnificent! We are fabulous! And we are awesome just the way we are! (Please tell that to me the next time I go out without make-up, no bra with my cupcakes down below my belly, and in rags. Grin.)

We go, women!