In this Fashables post, the male author says that a skin care clerk at a major department store asked him “Do you need something to help with the dark circles under your eyes?”
The author asked his women readers if we were okay with this sort of question. I think we are. How many women dye their grey hair or try to prevent or conceal their wrinkles with cream? Age is a demon. We desperately try to escape from it.
I believe the aesthetics industry has cultivated a strategy to encourage women to buy products by defining natural qualities as ugly or unhealthy. We see it in commercials. Check out this Oil of Olay commercial in which the model encourages women to "stop the battle against aging."
Maybe this is radical, but I think the media has conditioned women to feel ugly or inadequate. Beauty is narrowly defined, but something women must have.
I'm sure there's more to it than that, but this Fashables post really got me thinking. The author seemed to understand that we women are okay with insults. We're okay with people treating us like we have imperfections that need to be improved. Most people don't seem to react negatively to commercials like the Oil of Olay one I just showed you.
I am not okay with it and not just because I find it very offensive and harmful to women's confidence; I find qualities that come with aging attractive. I look forward to getting wrinkles. They will show I've laughed a lot in my life. I already have about five grey hairs and I love them. I am not against women trying to hide the signs of aging; I just think we need to re-examine our perception about what is beautiful and healthy. I am not okay with the insults, with this idea that my skin needs a hero or a doctor.
I suppose this would be easier if age discrimination didn't exist or if traditional beauty didn't afford such great privilege.