For the record, I know that the above is an F. Scott Fitzgerald reference; unfortunately, not being as literary as I would like to be, I haven’t read the book yet. So no, I don’t really get the significance of it as it was originally used. Sorry.
What I do get, however, is its relevance to the post I am writing now.
I remember once reading something on the internet – one girl saying about another, “The fact that Jane Doe has never waxed her eyebrows and they still look perfect <<<>>>>> #jealous” (this was on Twitter).
And of course that made me think, as do many other things, but this one made me think about the ridiculously long, complicated and deviant beauty routine that much of society, including other women, expects women to follow.
There is so much we’re supposed to be doing. Waxing this, waxing that, shaving everything else, bleaching our upper lips, “getting our hair done,” putting on three inches of makeup, painting various prefixes of the word “nail,” obsessing about clothes and everything that goes into them, and using fourteen different products just to do our hair in the morning, let alone the part where we all seem to need sixteen different soaps just in one shower. It’s kind of ridiculous.
Now granted, I’m a minimalist and hate being over-obsessive about my looks, and also granted, I’ve taken that to an extreme in the past and done little more than brush my hair every day, but I still think the whole thing is a little ridiculous, and I hate feeling like I’m going to crack under the societal pressure to wax my whatever-it-is-this-time.
I don’t think half that stuff is necessary.
Some of it is fun, yeah. But I doubt it all needs to be done all the time. Why do we do it anyway?
Often the answer is guys. Sure, yeah, okay, a lot of women do it to impress men. But men don’t care about all that!
I once read some article or other where this hilarious young guy was talking about the difference in guy/girl grooming routines. He wrote a paragraph about how mystified he was by his wife’s eyelash separator (that is a thing, right?), and then said [I’m paraphrasing], “Nowhere in the history of ever has any guy looked at a girl and said, ‘She’s kinda cute, but have you seen her eyelashes? She really needs to separate those.'”
And in the case that you’re a girl doing all this stuff to impress another girl, it’s still kind of silly.
I’ve talked before on this blog about how much I enjoy Charlie McDonnell and I really do. He has a video called “Understanding Teenage Boys” which is totally not serious and very very funny, and at the end, as he is still pretending to be an important and knowledgeable professor on teenage boys, he says, “And of course, the ultimate question about teenage boys – how do you get them to like you?”
“And,” he goes on, “the answer is, of course, you don’t.”
Cue me, nodding excitedly at you as you continue to listen.
“The best teenage boys are going to like you for who you are,” he says in a hackneyed but very true statement.
And that applies to people of all ages and genders that you might be trying to attract romantically. I’ve heard that ready, happy smiles are one of the best things you can wear; I’ve also heard that a sense of humor is one of the best things you can bring to the table, and that if you’re alive and glad to be and enjoying as much of it as you can, there will always be someone who thinks that the way you approach it is utterly fascinating.
And I think you can do that without waxing anything out of all conscience. I think you can captivate someone even with imperfections rattling along behind you like a trail of tin cans on honeymooners’ cars.
For the record, I have never waxed my eyebrows. And they don’t look perfect. And I don’t care.