BEAUTY AND THE FLEECED
As long as women keep falling for these beauty myths, says Eilis O’Hanlon, they’ll keep on being exploited
Aleaflet drops through the door from a local clinic offering something called micropigmentation. I’d have presumed it was a kind of EU grant to encourage farmers to breed tiny pigs, if it hadn’t been for the woman on the front, staring out seductively from under long eyelashes and perfectly sculpted eyebrows.
Turns out that micropigmentation is a treatment whereby your facial features can be permanently or semi-permanently enhanced as a result of the insertion of hypoallergenic mineral pigments under the skin.
Which sounds really horrific, when you think about it. Basically, the message seems to be: your face isn’t good enough, girls, so just let your local Dr Frankenstein get to work on it. And the sooner, the better.
For a moment, I wonder if I’ve been specially selected. Maybe they’ve drawn up a shortlist of women who they’ve judged to be in need of urgent cosmetic intervention — but no, that can’t be right, because the leaflet insists that this treatment is for both men and women.
Ah. That must be why there are only pictures of women on the leaflet. And why I’ve never met a man willing to splash out 200 quid on getting — and I quote — “soft, full lips with a contrasting lip line”.
I don’t think men in Ireland even know what a contrasting lip line is, and I mean that as a compliment. Irish men have many faults, but caring about whether their lips are properly puckered isn’t one of them.
Once again I’m forced to ask what’s wrong with women that makes so many of them — OK, so many of us, if I must include myself in their ranks — fall for this sort of stuff, or lie awake at night worrying about ‘panda eyes’. Because that’s another problem the micropigmentationers say they’ll solve.
Since when did women looking like pandas suddenly become an urgent issue? I’ve never seen a woman who looks like a panda. All the women I’ve ever met have, without exception, definitely looked human. It’s outrageous that women can be so easily tricked into thinking that there’s something wrong with the way they look and that they should splash out on treatments to fix a problem that isn’t there in the first place. This nonsense just increases their insecurities.
It’s very annoying. Yes, it’s ultimately that person’s own fault for falling for it, but plenty of time and effort goes into making them feel this way.
The leaflet even says that having these treatments will save women time. How on earth can it save time, when it just encourages women to spend more time obsessing about their appearance?
Once you’ve got women hooked, then you have them for life. Before you know it, they’ll be having fillers and Botox and God knows what else, making their faces so stiff that they can’t even move in the middle of a Force 10 gale.
Botox has to be the strangest beauty treatment ever. Who decided that looking young meant having a forehead so shiny that the light bouncing off it could dazzle oncoming cars? No one is fooled, ladies. Literally no one. It’s easier to spot a woman who’s been using Botox than it is to spot the elephant at a dogs’ home.
I don’t think I’m that bothered about my appearance. I’ll slap on a bit of make-up if I’m going somewhere special, and I do have some face creams and whatnot in my cupboard that are an utter mystery to men, but increasingly even that seems like too much effort. It’s expensive, too.
It could be worse, I suppose. A few years ago, the so-called geisha facial was all the rage. This is a treatment formed from the poop of nightingales. No, really. Then there was Thai face slapping, which does exactly what it says on the tin. Basically, you pay someone, preferably from Thailand, to slap your wrinkles away. I’m thinking of setting up my own business, where, for a small fee, I slap any woman who’s stupid enough to sign up for these ridiculous treatments. It probably wouldn’t bring them to their senses, but the sense of satisfaction for me would more than make up for it.
‘Since when did women looking like pandas suddenly become an urgent issue?’