feminist ramblings about beauty products #1

This is a blog about beauty. It’s also a manifesto against the fetishization of beauty products.

I enjoy beauty. I enjoy getting ready in the morning, and sharing my finds and reviews with others online. The beauty community is supportive, female (not exclusively, but the majority are) and has thus become an empowering space for women. That’s probably why beauty blogs and vlogs are so incredibly popular.

Alongside this, though, we’ve seen a rise in the fetishization of beauty and beauty products. In my opinion, it’s getting out of control. People ‘airbrush’ their lives and instagram their pictures to create a sense of themselves online as living the ‘perfect’ life. Reading beauty blogs can, at times, feel more like an escape from than an extension of reality. Which would be fine, if we acknowledged it as such- just a bit of fun. But more and more of us are taking it uber seriously, to the point where I have actually felt anxious because I don’t have, say, the amazing blusher everyone is raving about (as if that’s going to change my life!). I have a friend who admitted she was obsessed about one particular product to the point where she couldn’t sleep and had to go buy it online. Is that healthy?

People, we have to stop! I want this beauty blog to be different. Dare I say, sensible? So here is my manifesto.

  • No annoying or indecipherable jargony acronyms. The first one I heard as a regular in the beauty community was “HG” which stands for “Holy Grail.” As in, “this blusher is my holy grail.” Folks, isn’t this just a bit over the top? It sounds innocuous enough, but I truly believe that this kind of language just perpetuates a certain kind of semi-religious intensity about beauty products that distorts their real-world value. I love enthusiasm in all its forms- it’s kind of inspiring. I just don’t like raves about a product to the point where the person feels like they NEED it.
  • No overly-stagey pictures of the downward-angle-with-Starbucks-cup variety.
  • No reviews of stuff that only supermodels can pull off- i.e. blue lipstick.
  • No pages and pages of swatches, thoughts on packaging, or other minutiae. I will just review the product, and tell you plainly what you need to know.
  • I hope to build a sense of community here, where people can be supportive of real issues that women face today, particularly with regard to beauty and body image.
  • Beauty products should celebrate, pamper, and honor our selves AS WE ARE. I don’t believe products/blogs etc. should be tapping into our aspirational selves, which is what they often do. Do we really believe that buying that a certain hyped up product will change us, or bring us closer to a certain self-image we’re trying to achieve? Deep down, we all know the answer…
  • Beauty should be fun and playful. We know something is wrong when we feel anxiety, worry, guilt or envy around beauty and beauty products.
  • Beauty should be healthy. This is why I got into eco-beauty in the first place (read my ‘why’ page to learn more).

I could go on. I have more to say. But I’d love to hear more from YOU in the comments. It’s a pretty controversial issue, and I’m sure there will be those who agree and those who disagree.

I don’t claim to be some big difference-maker, but having said that: please vote with your mouse and follow milk & honey!

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3 Comments

    1. I tried vegan once, and couldn’t hack it! Labeling myself a ‘feminist’ is something I grew into as I became, ahem, ‘older and wiser.’ I didn’t really understand what feminism meant I was young; it had that taint of radicalism about it that put me off. Now, I embrace the label wholeheartedly!

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