Beauty Products: A woman’s guide to the worst womanhood things.
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she’s told that she’s been most likely wearing the wrong size bra. This actually happens many times, in magazine and podcast and girlfriend form, each time met with, “Oh, I keep hearing that; I wonder what I really am?” Until finally, one day, she pops in to a specialty bra shop while waiting for a friend (who’s late as usual) and finds herself getting sized.
She’ll buy the bra, after swearing that she’ll live off of lentil soup for the next two weeks.
The woman feels great in the new bra, at least for the first week she has it. Then she kind of forgets about it and goes back to wearing unsupportive bralette thingys because they’re easier to wash. What does last is the sage wisdom passed down from one commission-driven shopgirl to one under-employed depressive.
Her eyebrows look fuller, her lashes longer. She’s about 3 percent more attractive than she normally is, at least by coastal standards.
The notion of the investment in self, however superficial, becomes a sneaky little mantra, an all-applicable justification. It’s an easy swallow, especially for any woman who spent summer mornings in the mid to late ’90s watching makeover shows. Highlights and flattering florals seem to really turn a life around.
So, the woman gets into manicures and blow outs. For four hours every week, she’s totally out of commission. Three hours spent waiting for her nails to dry and one hour spent staring at her reflection in the mirror, in an unflattering black cape, wondering when her neck got so damn thick.
These things do make her feel good, at least for the first couple of days. There are less hair-related meltdowns, and having red fingertips makes her finally feel aligned with her early concept of sexy. She’s a real lady, she’s Melanie Griffith in Milk Money, she’s Jamie Lee Curtis in True Lies. No longer does she resemble a large toddler when she’s wearing a romper!
Of course, the nails chip. The hair curls and frizzes. The lashes and brows fade. With each trip back to the salons, she becomes acutely aware of the time (and money) she’s wasting. While she spends five hours getting balayage, her boyfriend manages to plant a garden, build a website, and train a dragon.
She resents this. She’s totally over it. All of it.
She stops applying heat to her hair. Her eyebrows fade to a dull blonde. Her nails are bitten and bare. She embraces her thin upper lip and retrains her mind to make her *excited* about aging.
Of course, just as the Byrds taught us,
To everything (turn, turn, turn)
There is a season (turn, turn, turn)
And a time to every purpose, under heaven
There comes a time in every woman’s life when she begins to consider the one thing she swore she’d never do, never in her life ever, because doing so would be so incredibly counterintuitive to everything she supposedly ever stood for—but whatever, technology has really improved!!!!