The Impressionist painter Renoir once said, “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.” Ahhh the French. I’ll bet Marie Antoinette echoed those exact sentiments while she was strapped into her corset every morning.
Throughout the history of women in every culture there seems to be a common theme: the painful lengths that we will go to for the sake of being beautiful. The Chinese bound their feet to make them smaller. Ethiopian women pierce their lips and implant metal objects inside their mouths to change the shapes of their faces. Brazilians wax, well… everything. And at least a million Americans have their plastic surgeons on their Christmas lists.
Granted that all of those examples can be chalked up to extremism, but in an age where diet pills, hair extensions, facial peels (not to mention Botox), and lip gloss that purposely stings your lips to make them more Angelina Jolie-esque are the norm, it is hard to imagine a time when we can evolve beyond this beauty obsession.
My friend, a loyal fake and baker once told me, “I don’t care if I’m a shriveled up old prune when I’m fifty, at least I look hot now.” But it goes even further than that; our fashion choices these days are a little cause for concern as well. In London women are wearing their shoes so tall and their high-waisted jeans so tight they can hardly walk. They even have a cute little name for it over there: DFS (Debilitating Fashion Syndrome).
Obviously, being thought of as beautiful or fashionable is a great feeling, possibly an addicting one. But as I sit and count the blister scars on my feet (one for every pair of high-heeled stiletto pumps that I own), I still have to wonder, is it worth it?
Let Us Know: What is the craziest thing you have ever done for fashion?