the price of beauty

an average woman spends $15,000 on makeup in her lifetime. a boob job is upwards of $3000, pushup bras $50, short dresses next to nothing. an average woman will spend $47,000 on up-keeping blond hair in her lifetime. eyelash extensions are upwards of $200 per visit, all manner of hair products $15 a pop, a dark tan is thrown in for good measure.

an average woman feels the crushing price of beauty. an average woman can’t weigh the costs when the world tells her all that money spent and she still isn’t enough. all fluttery-eyed, bare-legged, heart-telling-your-mind that now you’ll fit the mold. mold, like wax. mold, like you can’t ever just be yourself because it takes hours to get ready to be her.

you can tell me how you love makeup, hair, accessorizing. me, too, sisters. but you know what i don’t love? i don’t love the way this culture and media has told us we have to be blonde to be bombshells, we have to look sexy to be secure, we have to be made up at all times or by god, the men won’t like us. and i know what you’ll say “that isn’t true…” but who gets all the attention? if you put me in a lineup with all the girls doing what the culture says, they’d win every time. i’m alright with that most of the time. i don’t want to be doe-eyed and pretend to be dumb to win over a lover. i don’t want to have to bare half my body in pictures to get a boy (which he is, by the way). i don’t want to give up my body with my soul lost somewhere between the swipe right and one night stand. i don’t really want what this world offers because it’s empty but i find myself craving the byproduct.

attention.

you know who has the most followers on instagram? you know who gets talked to at bars, at church even? it’s usually not the quiet ones, in legitimate conversations, in real clothes. it’s the ones screaming with their bodies or words “there’s potential for you here” and i’m tired of trying to scream that. and as a result, i lose out. but i lose out on temporary, fleeting, empty things. i lose out on juvenile boys and a couple of instagram likes and a whole lotta heartache. you know what i get in its place? respect and a sense of confidence that doesn’t come from wondering whether he liked me for my boobs or brain and a freedom to ignore society’s rules on who gets to be beautiful and instead get to be myself. what a gift!

so all you ladies who fit the mold and all of those who don’t — you’re beautiful. without all that (imagine a big mama waving her hand atcha outfitted, makeupped self). you don’t need shallow men and mirrors and filters to tell you that. you let your intelligence, your gusto for life, your ability to make people laugh be what speaks of your beauty. the hair, the makeup, the lashes just accentuate the substantive things. telling the story that is already there.

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