Let’s talk wings in the fire.
This weekend is my (beautiful) niece’s birthday, she’ll be four. So, on a lovely Friday afternoon, I decided to tote myself to the mall to find a present for her. Most people think this is a normal task, however, shopping visits are extreme, that is, to me. Take anything you want, but shopping is not ‘just shopping’ for this girl. It’s not all about the buying or ‘giving in’ to marketing schemes (that I for one, know exist in extremes). It’s an experience as any other activity should be. It’s being a judge in a world full of dreamy stores, lined with vibrant colors and wishful thinking. Perhaps if you truly think about it, it’s a world where everything is possible. There was a comment by a woman in ‘The September Issue’ documentary, who said Anna Wintour was the most powerful woman in America. It might not be so far-fetched.
You can be an idealist, realist, socialist, dictator, communist, naturalist, narcissist, healer, dreamer, protagonist, antagonist-there is room for it all- but only a tiny box that can fit everyone. The beauty and fashion industry is the most diplomatically, un-diplomatic, place there is. Sometimes I wonder if secretly they, indeed, do hold all the worldly power. It’s actually quite an interesting subject if you reach beyond what it seems to most people.
Here is where today’s Skin Trip comes about. If you’re one to say fashion and beauty have no power, perhaps you’ve overlooked MAC’s new line. As I was walking past Nordstrom’s neatly lined pathway of make-up artists, all painting gorgeous hues of candy-coated madness on their subjects, I thought their Fall 2012 Campaign was very…Feministic? Or was it? I applauded such an action, or, un-action. It’s called ‘Office Hours’ with some of the prettiest pinks I have ever seen in a make-up line. There is a vivid 50’s to 60’s inspired photograph of a woman trying to aid her nail polish in drying, while handling an office phone call. I can’t decide if it was her office, or just a office. Her makeup is, of course, done to perfection and looks so neat and blissful, cool and calm, I almost wanted to be her.
The presentation-statement of the line goes like this; “She’s a glamorous go-getter with nothing temp about her! Full-time, overtime-her makeup, like her day, goes on and on.”
So what does that mean for me? Do I want to look effortless, perfect, and pink? Do I want to be so cool and calm and collected, that I can handle my big-name job, while still applying a coat of nail polish? While wearing fish nets? Because we’re women, and we’re sexy, and we can do it all, no-fuss. We can be all these things and not be analyzed by your stereotypical mess, you judgmental society. I think looking glamorous is completely acceptable wherever, whenever, and I would fall in love with the idea of this campaign, if that is what they are trying to say here. However, I can’t help not play devil’s advocate; Or, does she just not have a lot going on. Does she have a secretary job? Which would make all the sense in the world, given the era-look they are going for. Are we neat and effortless and blase- because that’s what women are supposed to look like, and act like, everyday at work? Is that what ‘women-at-work’…look like? I mean, aren’t we trying to steer clear of what women were going through during this time, don’t we want better jobs and equal pay?
Perhaps we can say it’s just a makeup line campaign, with no real significance behind it at all. Perhaps I beg to differ, perhaps I don’t. I do know, on the other hand, that a company so geared towards, us, women…should want to have our best interests at heart. In all the senses of that statement, including how we are represented in society with such a mass, looked-over and up to, makeup line.
Yet, that’s also where I become a dictator in the sense that MAC makeup is very (veryyy) synthetic, and I don’t recommend ever using any of their products on a daily basis. I will never tell a woman it’s a good skin care decision to put such heavy, toxic, ingredients on their faces, even if there is that flawless illusion that MAC pulls off themselves, so very effortlessly.
I’m still in-limbo as to what MAC was trying to say. To speak for myself, I’m mostly a dreamer, an equal-ist, and idealist to extremes. I love nothing more than the idea of beauty and fashion at its’ rawest, and in that matter, I suppose the Libra in me will constantly go back and forth on my scales of weighing.
So my dears, a lot of my original purpose of this post was to create the understanding of how the modern beauty industry is very hard to say “no” to. As I was walking by yesterday, it’s not like any of MAC’s makeup artists were some slasher-film-like villains, unable to spare any victims. They were actually very eccentric, eye-drawing, and appealing- the beauty of the beauty industry (no pun-intended.) It’s just not many people are aware of the dangers of modern cosmetics and the real consequences using products such as these can have on their well-being. There is a certain ‘Gandhi-approach’ that still has to be ever present to express these concerns. I like to think of myself as playing the part of the journalist, a watchdog presence, over the attention we give to such company’s everyday. I think my own approach in trying to make people aware of today’s beauty industry, is the realization sometimes you have to let your guard down a little. I have my wing in the fire a lot of time- I love beauty and fashion too much not to embrace a lot of the chaos and corruption that goes on behind closed doors. It’s more about knowing what doors that should stay closed.
I’ll leave you, my loves, with this; What do you think? Does any of this have any significance? Has a younger generation lost touch with feminism? Are we the new kind of ‘feminist’? Is the fashion and beauty industry a underground, world-power?
xoxo til’ again.