Yesterday was my birthday and I had to celebrate it here with my mother in Hawaii, where I am now (more at this time).
To be present, I decided to share with you today a chapter deleted from my book!
Women's beauty standards are extremely sophisticated, nuanced and subjective, but women who occupy the highest levels of "heat" live with high privileges – high forms of attention, acceptance, belonging, income, kindness, access. status partners, access to opportunities, and more.
What's interesting to me about women's fervor is that while there are certainly women who are considered "natural beauties," there is an enormous amount of female beauty, not natural, being earned, created and purchased.
This show covers everything from makeup to high heels to shaping, waxing eye cream, pedicure to implants. This means that women are under tremendous pressure to learn how to “improve” their natural beauty, to spend their time, money and energy working on their self-improvement, which actually means working to improve their beauty.
This pressure changes according to what women are doing around you as it relates to competition and status. There is always a hidden risk of being left behind or left out.
If all the women around you get their nails done and their hair blown out in NYC, the pressure to do the same is much greater. If all the women around you are wearing Denver matches and no makeup, the emphasis may be completely on the bare-faced effortless look.
It's all about playing your local market and keeping up with the competition – unless of course you spend a lot of time on social media. Then the "local market" changes, and you may feel pressured to maintain standards that are much higher than your naked neighbors.
This desire for better human status through human beauty and desire has been fruitfully used.
So many billions of dollars worth of industries have, over the past fifty years, taken advantage of and deliberately created insecurity and self-hatred to sell medicine to us. They remind us time and again that the heat bar has been raised, that we need to buy more and work harder to meet this new standard. They also reinforce the idea that we must at least look like we are doing our best to climb the social mobility ladder, otherwise we are just lazy and do not deserve the good things anyway.
Sleep when eye makeup is on? Unforgivable. Don't have a seven-step skin care program? There is no willpower. Can't keep to the diet? You obviously do not care if you are successful in life.
A woman who is naturally not considered beautiful or beautiful can create a beauty image by putting enough money, time, effort and skill into her hair, makeup and clothing, thereby gaining access to the special treatment that is usually attractive to women.
In general, men earn their high status through financial success, but they also have standards of beauty. Although they have fewer opportunities to earn or fake access to the highest levels of this hierarchy through products and clothing, they can work as highly muscular, strong, powerful and masculine as they want to be at the top.
It may seem uncomfortable looking at it in a hierarchy, but it is.
The closer a person reaches a culturally accepted beauty ideal for their sex, the more they are perceived to be sympathetic, powerful and worthy of attention, belonging, respect, strength, kindness and happiness. The farther away a person is from this ideal (either naturally or due to their decision to introduce themselves), the less sympathetic, powerful and worthy they will be perceived.
The truth of the matter is that we have all caused beauty to be biased and mistaken for it things that we find attractive are better, so that the people at the top of this hierarchy live in a completely different world from the lower ones.
Personally, I can prove that I am treated very differently when I go out for dolls all over the world compared to gym clothes and no makeup. People are significantly friendlier when I am dressed in feminine beauty, when my hair is long and I have makeup on my face. People of all genders smile at me, keep the doors open, compliment me and chat, and generally make me feel loved, received and belonged. None of these things happen when my hair is buzzing or I'm dressed like a boy. It's as if I suddenly become invisible, even though I'm still exactly the same natural pride and still the same person.
This beauty bias is well documented.
Strangers smile more at "beautiful" babies. Teachers often call for smarter children and give them better grades. People are willing to give more benefits to people they find attractive, from keeping the door open to getting a job.
The pleasure we get when we look at people we find attractive makes us unconsciously perceive them in many ways, such as looking at them as being leaner, more helpful, and generally better at what they do. They are hired for jobs that are customer-related (think servers, hostesses, customer service) and make significantly more money than people who are considered unattractive.
Remember how important it is for our mental and physical health to feel covered and seen, received and valued? Television, movies, marketing or the culture of "ugly people" all have zero representation. Almost never do we see the hair on the feet or the underarms, the mustache or the side burns, acne, scars, bloated belly, crooked / yellow tooth, ugly chest, or bags in front of women in public. We almost never see a woman anywhere near her natural state because the cultural narrative is such that "no one wants to see it".
Beauty standards and ideals disproportionately affect women, because while men can certainly feel the pressure to be sexy, it is assumed that a woman's value is based more on her appearance than on her. This is partly due to the sexist ideas that women generally have less to offer and the structural inequalities created by the patriarchy.
Remember that women were only recently allowed to work, play sports, or participate in government, because up to a century ago, women were still thought to be too smart and fragile and emotional to do anything other than cook, clean, and raise children. The social power of a woman had to come directly from the fact that she was desirable enough to be caught and cared for by a successful man, for there was no other way.
Fortunately, although women have, over the past fifty years, passed away from direct financial dependence, we are still not identified and valued as men in terms of other qualities, skills and gifts, and are still more identified and valued by our appearance. No wonder we see that our appearance is crucial to our quality of life.
It is worth noting that this type of oppression of people at the bottom of this particular hierarchy is sometimes called "lookism", which means that people unconsciously discriminate, marginalize, underestimate, ignore and ignore people who are unattractive to them. This oppression is quite as true (and completely related) to racism, sexism, ageism, functionalism and homophobia.
Therefore, it is important to recognize that people who feel uncertain about their appearance deal with much of the reality of this hierarchy. It often happens that a person craves visibility, respect, belonging, and a sense of appreciation. They look around to see that people who are considered to be at the forefront of attractiveness have what they want, so they try to change their appearance by dieting, exercising, makeup, feminine or masculine, or otherwise getting closer to the beauty ideals. suitable for them.
Sometimes it works and they feel confident because they get more attention, like when someone gets a haircut or loses weight and everyone compliments him, even though that confidence tends to be fleeting.
Sometimes it does not work or is unsustainable, which can lead to resentment, shame, guilt and hatred of one's appearance, as well as obsession and anxiety, body tracking and insecurity. Such behaviors and fixations may be considered unnecessary and superficial for someone outside, but in practice it represents a desire for better social status, access to the privileges granted to those at the top of the hierarchy, and a desire to be visible when we do our best to climb the social mobility ladder.
So much love,
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