Or, everyone looks like a Stepford wife!
Get me a saucer of milk, this ones gonna be catty! Reeeoooowww!
Browsing social media lately has been more of a horror movie than watching the Saw franchise on repeat. I’ve noticed an alarming trend of arched af ombre eyebrows with edges so sharp they could slice cheese, more eyelash extensions than a Maybelline mascara commercial with eyelashes by Adobe Photoshop rather than their own product, puffy cheekbones possibly full of their own butt fat, flat, airbrushed complexions, teeth whiter than a whiteout, scalpel thin noses and inside out lips.
What happened to freckles? Middle tooth gaps? Naturally enhancing make-up? Small real boobs and bums? Why is every man and his dog getting plastic surgery? Speaking with a student of mine about this trend, she told me three years ago when she was in high school, all her friends had lip injections at 15! You weren’t one of the cool kids unless you had hair extensions and all over body laser hair removal!
I remember when I was at school I was lucky to have a good skin day or a vaguely matching foundation, let alone monthly microdermabrasion and Restylane injections. Hair extensions at that time looked horrendous and for some unknown reason, no hairdresser knew how to blend the natural hair via layers or match colour.
In my humble opinion, multiple surgeries does not a model make, and it does appear, in many cases, that is the aim. Many of the top modelling agencies in Australia wouldn’t touch anyone who looked so obviously artificial.
Besides physical surgeries and enhancements, cosmetics have also seen a massive boon. We have certainly come a long way with beauty products in their formulations, technology and price in the last almost hundred years since mascaras were first invented. Even the past 30 years we have seen huge improvements. But this trend of putting every beauty product you own on your face at once is disturbing. There is so many clone stamping make-up designs out there, I’m surprised a full face stencil a full face-transfer hasn’t been invented yet. Wouldn’t that be a disaster? Imagine if you put in on a little tilted and spent the entire day look perplexed!
The cosmetic companies must be loving it! Imagine the make-up the Kardashians must go through. A friend of mine in the industry met Miss KK while she was on a TV show for an interview, she reported that every inch of her exposed skin was covered in make-up: arms, legs, chest etc. With the addition of Mecca and Sephora now in every shopping centre, business is booming. Some of my students have a better make-up kits than I have after 23 years of being a make-up artist. And they are always broke, living on two minute noodles cos they really needed that Huda eyeshadow pallet with the clown colours.
On the topic of heightened consumerism, I’ve read a popular beauty blog where the sheer volume of products this one blogger used could fill a Sephora! She listed six different cleansers, four toners, multiple moisturisers, serums and treatments and many of this laundry list was heaped on her skin morning and night. It’s great for product sales and affiliate marketing revenue, but not good for the bank balance or her poor skin. She could have achieved better results with less, more functional products and less expense if she knew better. She was touting this information like an expert, yet she had no qualifications in anything beauty related.
Oh and while I’m on a roll (of committing career suicide), every second person I meet calls themselves a make-up artist. Ehh. Let me say this once and for all. You are not a make-up artist if you do not earn your living from doing make-up on others. It’s tantamount to changing your tyre and calling yourself a mechanic.
I digress. Back to the clones.
I get it. Once upon a time I was high maintenance. I would fake tan weekly and never left the house without my make-up and hair done. I was a chameleon at changing my look. Sometimes drastically. From brunette to blonde to redhead and back again. Self promotion, seeking love and acceptance. Discovering who I was.
However, I do think social media is directly to blame for this absence of individualism. There are certain tropes western society sees as ‘ideal’ for women: big lips, big eyes, curvy, yet slim body, long flowing hair, perfectly shaped and white teeth, flawless bronzed skin, high cheekbones, perfectly balanced eyebrows and delicate thin or petite noses. The struggle for physical self perfection can be addictive and expensive. It can be a never ending cycle where the goalposts keep moving. And they do keep moving. As yet, we have not discovered how to turn off the ageing gene.
Personally, I would like to see us going back to the natural. A little enhancement is good for the ego and displays a professional image to the world. Too much enhancement appears vain and self involved. False, if you will.
Individualism is beautiful. Truth is beautiful. Balance in life is everything.
What are your thoughts? Am I being a big ol mean meanie? How do you think the next trend in beauty will swing: uber-natural or more exaggerated? Let me know in those comments below!