Here’s How Beauty Is For The Privileged
Beauty culture is really sweeping social media much more than it ever has before. With the rise of influencer marketing, beauty has become much more than a trending topic. Hair, makeup, skin care, and even cosmetic procedures are just a few topics under the beauty umbrella that the average person has grown to nearly obsess over since the skyrocketing popularity of “beauty gurus” on platforms such as YouTube and Instagram.
As I sit back and observe, I can’t help but notice not only the normalization of consumerism, but the pressures to the people internalizing most of this lacks the means to keep up. When we really examine the costs of beauty, it becomes apparent that the indulgence in beauty culture is truly reserved for those who come from some degree of affluence or genetic luck. Here’s how beauty is for the privileged:
Keeping Up Appearances Is Expensive!
Well, obviously, right? Have you ever notice how quickly it gets expensive keeping up your appearance? No matter if you’re on a budget or have got money to blow, beauty products and treatments can add up to an offensive total in spending. It all adds up, and very quickly. Getting your hair done, your nails done, constantly adding to your makeup collection or paying someone else to “beat your face” for you, and keeping your outfits on trend takes up two things: time and money. We all know time is one of the most valuable things above money, and sometimes most people have neither to dedicate to their love of staying pretty. More people are starting to learn how to do their own hair, makeup, and nails, but again, it’s still taking up some of their time and money. You’ve got to be in a pretty privileged position to be able to keep your hair and nails done well and your makeup looking good, because whether you’re frugal or generous with your spending, it takes money. Makeup expires and runs out. Your hair and nails has to get redone at some point. You get bored with your shoes and clothes. It takes a constant investment that doesn’t give you much ROI back other than temporary satisfaction. And let’s be real: sometimes, even a $10 lipstick can be considered expensive to someone.
You Kind of Already Have To Be Conventionally Attractive
Privilege doesn’t always have to be about money.
Let’s be real: it is very rare that a person that’s praised for being beautiful on Instagram has any flaws. Even those so called “no makeup” pictures show off folks with airbrushed, perfect skin (most likely due to filters), clearly made up eyebrows, and a flawless complexion free of scars or hyper pigmentation. This can damage your self esteem if you’re particularly insecure about anything regarding your body. Maybe you suffer from cystic acne or damage from previous acne or burns. Maybe you could even have a serious disease or deformity that prevents you from appearing like a “normal” person. It’s doesn’t even have to be so extreme: your nose could just be a little big, you could have gap teeth, your skin could be dark, your lips could be considered too big or small for everyone else’s standards. From our basic features to things as far as our weight, skin color, and hair texture, these things could possibly make it that much harder to be accepted or taken seriously in a beauty driven industry or just simply being given a chance. Thankfully this new age of influencer marketing is letting the people, including those that are marginalized, the power to influence and make positive changes in our beauty standards. Still, we still have got quite a long way to go.
Makeup Can Cost A Lot!
Us women can drool for hours over our favorite beauty gurus massive collections of pretty packaged cosmetics, piles after pile, drawer after drawer. Apparently if you’ve got a room full of makeup, you’re winning at life. While it’s great to have a passion and be invested in your interests, the keeping up with the Jones’ syndrome seems to setting in for many. It’s gone as far as random people stealing other people’s pictures of their makeup collections and posting them as if it’s their own, simply to impress their followers. New and upcoming beauty bloggers feel discouraged because they can’t afford the high end beauty brands everyone’s talking about and showing off. Or maybe they love makeup but just can’t afford spending hundreds of dollars on Sephora hauls every week, or month, or ever. We’ve got to admit that these people with large social media followings that have tons of makeup also have quite a bit of money to spend on it. Sure, they all may not be “rich” but they’ve certainly got enough disposable income to feed their makeup addiction. Sadly most people have the concern of putting most of their leftover money towards simply feeding themselves and their families.
You’re Going To Need Plastic Surgery at Some Point
It seems that you’re never fully accepted unless you get some form of cosmetic procedure done. There’s more and more pressure and glorification nowadays to get cosmetic procedures and surgeries, and it’s costing people thousands of dollars. Celebrities and models on Instagram get exposed all the time for their airbrushed and “improved” bodies and the fact that they push it on their followers that they too can achieve their body through gimmicks like waist trainers and detox teas, when we all know that’s not how they got their results. And the only reason they’re pushing those products to their audience is to make a profit. It’s not only deceptive but pushes the idea that spending your money on these expensive trends makes you acceptable by society’s current standards, and that you too will achieve the success they have once you get a doctor to “fix” your imperfections, making you look more like the popular crew. Majority of the people in the world have no choice but to risk being shamed and shunned simply for having the body that they do naturally because let’s face it: everyone doesn’t have tens of thousands of dollars dedicated for a complete makeover that they’ll probably hate within the next five years.
With all these things in place, it’s probably given you new perspective on the impact that beauty culture has always had not only on social media but society in general. It’s pretty obvious that you’ve got to be pretty lucky and blessed with quite a few things to keep up and indulge in the high demands of beauty culture and being considered “beautiful.” Looks like beauty comes not from within, but rather socioeconomic status.