There’s no doubt about it, I’m a disgrace to womankind.
If it weren’t for the fact that I’m old enough to be mostly invisible, I’d be drummed out of the sisterhood as a grim warning to others.
I do not use Product.
I don’t anoint, adorn, restore or rejuvenate the 1.72 square metres of my body’s surface with anything but soap and water (and sorbolene occasionally). I do not use perfumed oils or soothing unguents to give my skin that supple, youthful glow, and nor do I massage hyaluronic acid into my wrinkles with the tips of my beautifully manicured fingers. (Did you know hyaluronic acid is extracted from cockscombs? Not exactly the facial texture I’d be aiming for.)
I’m a disgrace.
Except that I don’t see it that way. The disgrace to me is that women (and more recently men) have been inveigled, conned, browbeaten and shamed into spending billions every year on ‘beauty products’ – stuff of dubious benefit that they must slather on the surfaces of their bodies in the hope of meeting some nebulous standard of…what? Beauty? Sexiness? Perpetual youth? Or perhaps dedicated consumerism.
In most supermarkets, there’s a whole aisle devoted to the cosmetic care of our external selves – dozens of different products, for example, designed to remove the hair from your legs. An entire section of magic creams for the face and more magic creams to remove the first lot. And don’t even think of going to bed without a faceful of this expensive gunk guaranteed to bring Prince Charming to your door – but hopefully not before you’ve had time to wash it off using our scientifically-designed facial gel containing all these things you’ve never heard of that may or may not be a fancy name for water.
Says a lot about us, doesn’t it, this obsession with buffing and polishing our outsides. I guess I’m just too old to have cottoned onto the fact that that’s all that matters.