With the rapid rise of social media influencers a few years back, as well as liberal-minded people demanding body positivity from the media, corporations have adapted to the new way of things very successfully. The beauty industry doesn’t differ from any other capitalistically driven business; the ultimate goal is to generate profit. And this has been achieved through well thought out marketing strategies playing out everyones fantasies.
Before the times of Instagram and YouTube advertising, companies would play off women’s insecurities in order to rise sales. The public would be told that their hair or skin colour wasn’t beautiful, body hair and other “imperfections” were an eyesore. And after announcing these illogical demands of what an ideal body image would look like, a quick fix or procedure was immediately offered for prices low and high. Eventually, many women got tired of being shunned for their natural look, and thus the demand for a more positive representation grew.
The ultimate goal of feminism is to define, establish, and achieve political, economic, personal, and social equality of sexes [Wikipedia]. And faster than ever, all across the globe (although more so in Western culture) women start preaching body positivity.The fat acceptance movement calls for approval of people of all sizes and body types, as well as stretch marks and cellulite. So Dove creates an advertising campaign for Real Beauty and sales jump from $2.5 billion to $4 billion [ssuprssa.org].
And so makeup culture, seemingly empowering, has been turned into a toxic, booming industry. We are told that putting makeup on is an act of feminism, yet pre-teens and teenagers are, paradoxically, forced into new forms of insecurities. I’ve noticed this especially in America, where a full face of makeup has become an expectation of women in order for them to be accepted as beautiful. We are only going back in time and creating new problems out of old ones. It seems that we can’t really escape this problem, however, we can try to lessen the damage. Yes, makeup is fun and a great way of allowing more people to express themselves artistically, yet at the same time I believe we should be cautious and not let it cause more harm than good.
With this article, I offer no new information, but rather an invitation to take everything you see with a grain of salt and not buy into advertisers trying to sell you something that, realistically, has no importance or use in your life. I see no act of feminism or destruction of toxic patriarchal values by purchasing tons of beauty products and selling into the industry’s deceiving marketing campaigns.