Beauty and Power

Are you like me, that you do not understand the insane beauty standards placed on women? Do you get annoyed when you dress up, and someone (or everyone) tells you that you should continue to put that much effort into your looks because you look so beautiful? (well yea, if I spent 40 USD on a make up product, it better make me look beautiful!) Do you hate wearing dresses and heels and the thought of putting on make up everyday frustrates you for some reason?

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I am truly against society telling me how I should look. I have nothing against girls that spend time and money on making themselves look beautiful, I have a problem once is becomes an expectation that every woman should spend that much time and money to look beautiful. I have even MORE of a problem when it is suggested that a woman will only gain respect, power, love etc etc. if she does spend time and money into looking her very best, because a big part of me just believes that it should not matter.

I also think it’s ridiculous when a guy says “girls don’t fart or go to the bathroom”, yea and the tooth fairy brings you your christmas presents. I feel sometimes like women are not allowed to be people. I think we should all talk about our poop and farts openly: we will learn more about what is regular and irregular, we will eliminate shame from something that is COMPLETELY NATURAL, we will reduce the number of obnoxious people that say “oh my god, that is so groooooosssss”, and did I mention that it is completely natural?!!

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But I am not here to talk about farts and poop, I will leave that for another post.

I was watching the HBO documentary, Bright Lights, about Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds (may the both rest in peace and what wonderful, truly wonderful, women they both were). The classic american beauty, Debbie Reynolds, at one point said “Beauty is power”, and something in my brain just clicked. I took a break from my typical stubborn thought process and asked myself: “Do they maybe have a point? Would I be taken more seriously and be better understood if people were more distracted by how good I look, instead of how tired I looked naturally? Will people on some level think that I am more worth listening to if I look good? Does beauty play that much of a role on how people view you?”

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I cannot tell you the amount of times that my mum, dad, peers, other Egyptian women, friends, have pointed out that I should put more effort into the way I look, because when I do I look soooo good. I just thought that they had fallen in the capitalistic trap of believing that we need things that we don’t really need and I was standing against that. I am woman – hear me roar!!!!!

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Except…..no one is hearing me roar. But people were willing to listen to Debbie Reynolds, and that was at a time that we now consider to be “backgrounds”

I do not consider myself unattractive (I also understand that I am not the typical beauty), which is also why I don’t think I need make up, but I do also acknowledge that make up does make you look beautiful, because that is the purpose of it after all. And if you buy the right colours for your skin and know the techniques, then you can make anyone beautiful, in the mainstream way. But I was focusing on fighting status quo and not thinking of the impacts that making yourself more beautiful (in the mainstream way) can have on one’s life. And maybe if I put more effort into my looks, people will listen more to what I have to say, and my fight against status quo would be more effective. Does that even make sense? That to fight status quo, I have to give into it a bit. What. The. Fu**!

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I wanted to see if there was a study done to test this, or if someone else had noticed this (and I am sure I am not the first) and what they had to say about it. I came across this study posted on Psychology Today about The Power of Beauty. I started to read it, and saw that handsome men are more likely to earn 5% more than their counterparts and beautiful women are likely to earn 4% more. AND PRETTY PEOPLE GET MORE ATTENTION FROM TEACHERS.…excuse me, but what the actual fuck! And I can’t say that I haven’t noticed that..but what the actual fuck!!! I love kids a lot, so it saddens me when we bring our limiting concepts into the wondrous  and innocent world of children. Also, who are the “counterparts” and at what point is someone considered handsome or beautiful in a scientific study.

Of course I don’t think these teachers and managers do it on purpose, it could be that they feel more calm looking at a beautiful face for whatever reason. But what angers me is that it says beauty is of more worth than its “counterpart”. And then it leaves me questioning, what about the “counterparts”...especially if those counterparts are deserving of that extra 4 or 5% because they are better employees or are just more qualified.

I like the idea that beauty comes from within, and absolutely when you feel good, you look good with or without make up, and it shines through. I think beauty in its true form should be celebrated, but so should hard work, compassion, empathy, kindness, respect and being a team player, and if you are beautiful and handsome and those things, then great – do you boo! But I don’t think beauty alone should be rewarded. We have evolved a lot over the years, but when it comes to how we perceive, have we evolved at all? I mean look at what we see on TV! All respect to the Kardashians, they are entrepreneurs, but would they have the platform that they have if it weren’t for their beauty. They have done many wonderful things, and are a wonderful family and wonderful individuals, but that’s not what people think about when they think about the Kardashians. Or how about the Real Housewives franchise, people want to watch the lives of rich, beautiful people.

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I think why people might treat beautiful people differently is largely to do with the images we see in media and how women are still portrayed. I wonder if Alicia Keys started her career with her “no make up campaign” would she still be as respected as an artist as she is now. Would her career have started off as successfully as it did. I definitely think that her no make up campaign help her gain more respect now, but would she even have the platform to do that if she started out wearing make up?

FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS TOPIC IN THE COMMENT SECTION AND HELP ME CLARIFY MY OWN! 

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