budgeting for your body
Today is Wednesday, October 19, which makes it both the 2011 Love Your Body Day Blog Carnival and the day after Goldman’s quarterly earnings—sorry, losses—were released, casting doubt on Wall Street’s solidity and NY’s economy.
As I contemplate bodies and the possibility of a double dip, I’m reminded of a post I wrote when we were just coming out of recession, for a different forum. In it, I cited a NYT article that profiled a woman who’d returned to beauty school and was confident she’d find work because “people have a tendency to figure out a way to do our beauty products.” In other words, demand for primping and plucking and nipping doesn’t wane. It’s a truism that’s been time tested.
From a 1958 Time article:
No Recession. The beauty industry fears no recession, for a woman will give up food before her pursuit of beauty—and often because of it…. Beauty aids, once considered a luxury, are now a necessity—especially to the 20 million women who have jobs…. “A woman who doesn’t wear lipstick,” says Max Factor, president of one of the top five U.S. cosmetics firms, “feels undressed in public. Unless she works on a farm.”
And a different, more modern take from the Guardian:
The link between make-up and recession is not new. When an executive at Estée Lauder noted that sales of expensive lipsticks soared in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks, he dubbed it the Lipstick Index, an alternative economic indicator which sees make-up sales rise in a downturn…. [L'Oreal] said women told them they would give up a lot before they sacrificed products in their beauty regime: “They told us: ‘I will buy a cheap shower gel for my family but I will not give up my Kerastase shampoo, I will hide it in the bathroom cabinet…’”
That devotion doesn’t typically reflect love for one’s body. It’s more often aspirational: making rough skin smooth, curly hair straight (and straight hair curly), eyelashes thicker, and body hair thinner. In fact, we women, and more and more men, have a tendency to treat our bodies as if they were call girls, getting them to look the part for work functions and nights on the town while overlooking the full lives they lead the rest of the time, the digesting and regulating and running and fending off germs.
As grey hairs start sprouting up around my temples, though—and particularly today, since Wednesday, October 19 also happens to be my birthday—I’ve been rethinking, and re-budgeting, that relationship. Sure, I still buy eyeliner and heels that are too high to be healthy. But I also direct funds toward nutritious food and gulp down essential oils. And I’m not alone. Many of my thirty-something girlfriends are right there with me, splurging on vegetable juice and running shoes. Somewhere along the way, we’ve learned to treat our bodies less as accessories and more as valued partners—ones that we want to be active and healthy, no matter what they look like, for many birthdays to come. And that, I imagine, must be a reflection of love, or something closer to it.
(Photo by J Dub)
Filed under: beauty and bodies, health, love | 2 Comments