Thursday, February 28, 2013

Serious beauty mistakes

Don't ask how I ended up here -- morning browsing Internet K-hole is always the answer -- but there is something about beauty tip advice sites that draws me like a moth to the flame. I'm not particularly interested in the tips themselves, having maintained a satisfying a mascara-blush-lipstick routine since high school, but numbered lists about how to make your face look more anything-y always harbor the potential for outrage. As a veteran hate-reader, I can't look away.

The tips-list that came up this morning, Seven Beauty Mistakes That Make You Look Old, took a step outside of the usual "too much concealer, hair too flat!" line of advice, however, sneakily inserting this gem right in the middle of the list:
In our busy and hectic lives, people build up a great deal of stress throughout the week. It’s a serious beauty mistake to have lots of stress on your shoulders and not do anything about it. Skin suffers when the body and mind are under stress, and no amount of beauty tips or make-up can undo the damage caused by stress. Find a healthy way to reduce stress and keep yourself looking as beautiful as you can.
Stress! A serious beauty mistake. In a contemporary situation where the global economy is floundering, student debt is soaring, and sexism and racism are alive and well, the most important thing to know about stress is that it your skin will look a little worse for the wear. Par for the course for women's beauty advice, which is --as far as I can tell -- essentially about masking the physical manifestations of living under late capitalism. At this point, "keep yourself looking beautiful" is less girlish advice on how to look youthful, and more a coercive injunction to think about what might happen if you don't. If that's not stress-inducing, I don't know what is.

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