Daily prompt: Embracing the multiple options for treating your hairy legs

DAILY PROMPT
Surface

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.

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14 Responses to Daily prompt: Embracing the multiple options for treating your hairy legs

  1. AprilEsutton says:

    I did ask my dermatologist what works. Soap and water, and sunscreen (or a hat). Done! Drop the mic.

  2. teaismyjam says:

    Extremely true, we go on splurges to buy such creams and things like that, just to be accepted by society.

  3. Some of us have very dry skin. If we don’t take care of it, it begins to look and feel like leather. Not the expensive kind. Have I mentioned the itching? Or the rash? You’re making a lot of assumptions based on stereotypes and generalizations there.

    • Embeecee says:

      I suffer from rosacea. So yeah, there are good reasons to pay for expensive creams and lotions. But when one does it because they want to look 20 their entire lives? That’s something different altogether. I feel more sorry for those type of people than I admire them.

    • Absolutely! Spewing generalisations like a runaway fountain. We have to take care of our skin as we take care of our other body parts. It’s our largest organ after all. One of my grandsons has had eczema since birth, one of my daughters has psoriasis, both need constant ongoing care.
      What I can’t accept is the multi-billion dollar industry fostering and preying on our (inevitable) insecurities and turning image into an obsession fed by a constant parade of ‘breakthrough’ treatments of dubious merit and quasi-scientific ingredients, all promising (subliminally if not overtly) what they can’t deliver: physical beauty and self-esteem.
      Pity no one pays as much attention to our mental wellbeing.

  4. Embeecee says:

    I whole-heartedly agree with YOU Helen. Too much time and money is spent on looking ‘young.’ What’s so good about being young? Most of us are grateful we survived our youth without being killed. I first noticed this trend toward narcissism in the early 1980s when it first became ‘chic’ to have the whitest teeth on the planet. Until THEN apparently normal tooth color was okay. Weird (to me). And I’m blessed I suppose, not to have hairy legs that required a lot of maintenance. I discovered the ‘wax’ for other hairy bits that in America are considered gross on females of a certain age. I pay someone to do that and I’m freed from the obligation. >whew< I'm 56 and I'm mistaken more often than not as my nieces & nephews GRANDMOTHER (thereby being my brother's MOM, not their sister). And I don't give two cents about it either. I won't spend $20+ on crap that dries up too soon, makes my face greasy, and doesn't make me personally look any younger than I did two weeks ago (in which time the magic potion is supposed to strip away all those years for me). Celebrate the journey and that includes wrinkles and spots and looking your damn age. Well IMHO. Great post!! 🙂

    • Thank you! It annoys me first because it’s seems to me a sorry comment on society’s values (if we’re allowed to mention values without being sniggered at) that appearance is so important it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, and secondly because most of the industry is a cynical con-job and a beat-up (imo).
      As for getting old – what a relief! I’m sometimes tempted to say to the young narcissists eyeing me sideways in the surf, ‘Believe it or not, you’ll be old one day if you’re lucky, and you’ll realise all that primping and prancing didn’t change a thing. And if you’re still enjoying the surf like me at 73, you’ll also realise I did pretty well, wrinkles and all!) But i don’t. They wouldn’t believe me.
      I still shave my hairy legs, and I don’t need a pretty pink multi-bladed razor to do it!

  5. Noah Weiss says:

    Amen. I’m in a different demographic (male, ages 25-35), but I see no reason for women to go all-out with cosmetic make-up. One who is comfortable with herself, as is, is more attractive to me than someone who puts on a facade.

    However, it is true that some people need these products for medicinal purposes.

  6. FabulaSaulė says:

    I didn’t get a job once because of my hairy legs 😀 I am young but I do not know the names of most of products in beauty section. I simply have my opinion about appearance and beauty. Great post!

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