Two Spots on Beauty – Up and Down

I’d never heard the term “extreme grooming” before I listened to this piece, but I see its evidence everywhere. Extreme groomers are defoliated (and often hairless), manicured, made up to the nines, dressed fashionably and present impeccably. Australian broadcaster Tracey Spicer gave up the extreme grooming pursuit because of the money she spent (over $500 per month) and what she felt was its deceit. A really interesting add to the piece was Kim Milan’s take on class, gender and race in how women are expected to look like these days. Some women delight in “dolling up; others must or else they won’t have a chance. How women decide they want to look should be up to them, but most often it’s not, says Milan.  masks

It was Even Cowgirls Get the Blues heroine Sissy Hankshaw who sprung to mind, thumbs and all, as I read Monday’s post from Dr. Jennifer Gunter. In A Vagina Should Smell Like a Vagina, not a Peach, Dr. G reports on a new company that promises to manufacture individualized probiotics so women can have healthier vaginas and smell like fruit. Hmph.

It may be based in a probiotic, but it’s yet another feminine hygiene product that’s against femininity, as they mostly are. In Cowgirls, Sissy hawks feminine hygiene products developed by the Countess, who thinks the smell of women is disgusting. Gunter’s got a great take on scent, science and shaming in her post.

Both pieces are worth a conversation with the kids in our lives about imagery and presentation expected of females. I know this could be squirmy territory for some, as sex education can be, but the messaging they get is relentless. I was at the doctor the other day and picked up a fashion magazine in the waiting room. It’s been a while since I looked at one, and I was struck by how fake and formed the models looked- not human at all. But we see this stuff in some form every day. I remember when buses looked like buses, not billboards. Our kids see all this stuff and absorb it. Asking them about their impressions can help them analyze how they’re being influenced.

I love it when my daughter rolls her eyes and says “Yes mother, I know” when I bring up this topic, because we can joke about it and actually have a conversation. If she wants to be an extreme groomer, fair enough, I just want her to have some oomph behind the choices she’s making. For The Boy, I want him to see that females come in all shapes, forms and faces- and all are worthy women.


Janet  |  @janet_madsen