Saturday, April 24, 2010

I'm Ready For My Close-Up

I went to the mall today in what seem like decades. Between work, sleep, friends, and more work, the mall is not really on the top of my to-do list. But I love to shop. I blame my mother. Weekends was either cooking or shopping or both, on good days. My sister and I would spent hours at the mall with our mom, window shopping and bargain hunting. My mother never, ever, (even today) let us spend too much on one thing. Clearance was our mecca and we walked straight to it.

This afternoon Julia and I conquer my quest for a dress for the many upcoming graduations I will be attending. I found the dress, but honestly that’s of no importance considering what I saw. I saw beauty and it was UGLY.

Macy’s, and I’m really not sure why, but Macy’s was putting on an event? Now I end that with a question mark because from here on out this is only speculation…and horrifying observations.

So it was a line of glamour stations down two halls sandwiched between the women’s section and make-up (where else?) and hairspray was like a fog machine: thick and definitely unhealthy. There's twice that I had to walked through these halls and once where I stood and watched. Watched with appalling fascination.

Just walking through it I was able to divert my eyes and my sister's and leave without much damage. However Julia had a Macy's gift card and she wanted to look around. At this point, I tried very, very hard to remember the manners my mother and father taught me and not stare, or say anything if I don't have anything nice to say.

I had no manners.

I stared and I thought of some not-so nice things. But trust me, you would too. I'm not interested in preaching you my feminist agenda (at this time) but I have to say that this display of beautifying was not by any means, beautiful. There were eyeliner pencils thrown back and forth. Brushes for layer after layer of powders being applied. Lipstick shined and spit on numerous lips, big and small. And the hair. OhLord, the hair. Curled and hairsprayed, curled and hairsprayed, tease, tease, tease, and finally pin. Spray (one for extra measure).

Then the costumes came in. Or more so, half costumes. Women and girls, and even grandmas! were draped in silks and shear fabrics to give the illusion of evening gown. My personal favorite was a purple silk fedora paired with a silk fabric draped around like a shawl. Silk fedora: genius.

I watched while pretending to browse through clearance blouses. The photographers capturing each ladies' moment to shine. I'm sure the soft blurry hue effect will be clicked and added to each final photo. It will be framed and put aside next to the nightstand, on the husband side. A small remind that you got something good, and that, I get.

I don't get the process or choice to voluntarily push yourself through a assembly line of seemingly innocent but torturous beauty enhancements but I get why: it's dress up. Even as adults, years later from our first encounter with "dress up," we still crave to play. Put on those high heels, smack on red lipstick, and pouff out Chanel No. 5: a photo shoot is a bonus we get as adults.

But to all the husbands, boyfriends, and soon-to-be boyfriends and husbands out there, tell your lady she's pretty every once in a while (or better yet, every day). It's a hard, starving world out there for us ladies and we try our best to see the light, but when others see it too it just gets that much brighter.

Now I'll stop here before I allow myself to get any cheesier on you. In the end, beauty, please, should not be pain.


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