Words by Cara Watling
Every woman owns at least one item of make-up whether they are an everyday user or just like to play with it on special occasions. No one can deny that make-up has become a vital part of the daily routine for most women but over the last few years our morning rituals have stepped closer to drastic rather than the original subtlety we all aimed for. Contour, strobing and many other fascinations have spread across our generation thanks to reality TV stars and make-up artists’ rave reviews.
The main question to ask is why do we strive to be superficially ‘perfect’. This is especially thrown into perspective when these efforts take a turn towards the negative. These situations have become more and more frequent with examples such as the ‘Kylie Jenner lip challenge’ where people around the world damaged their lips aiming to mimic the stars cosmetically enhanced features.
The focus soon shifted to back, neck, cleavage and butt contour as an alternative to costly surgery. Although it is good that we are looking for alternatives I think many of us will agree that diet and fitness is the only real solution without potentially ending up on an episode of ‘botched’.
Some experts such as author Jean Kilbourne believe that the use of re-touched images in advertisements and magazines is causing us to have a warped concept of what is deemed normal. She said to Groundswell in 2015: “Ads sell more than products. They sell values, they sell images, they sell concepts of love and sexuality, of success, and perhaps most important, of normalcy. To a great extent, they tell us who we are and who we should be.”
This has always been a focus in the media with people now desperately trying to obtain unrealistic fitness goals in what we have now accepted as the ‘normal’ look such as the thigh-gap craze of 2015.
More and more magazines are refusing to retouch their images over the past few years and this can give us hope that eventually we will all go back to the Hollywood glamour of Marilyn Monroe where flaws were loved not emphasized and, more importantly, learn to embrace our flaws and not criticise once again.