A Beautiful Matrix: Beauty, Social Media, and the Hyperreal

As the term “snapchat dysmorphia” enters our collective vocabulary, I think it’s time we talked about the way we look and the way we pretend to look on social media. Perfection hasn’t gone out of style, it’s become the bare minimum. As reports of patients asking for cosmetic procedures to make them look like retouched selfies (their own or celebrities’) accumulate, it seems that the digital images we create and...

Looking for Pride in the Skincare Aisle: Being a LGBT Beauty Consumer

I’ve been wanting to write about this for such a long time, but I find myself unable to organize my thoughts. It’s like I can’t combine my experiences as an LGBT person with beauty – which I think might be what the problem is all about. Whenever I talk about LGBT issues it tends to be broader, more political and more than anything, impersonal. I don’t talk about my own...

The Haul: A Guilty Pleasure

I recently asked my instagram followers about what they thought of hauls (side note : I realize I have a tendency to ask other people’s opinions before expressing my own. I don’t know if this makes me wishy-washy or if it means I don’t want to try to sway anyone else before they answer. I’m bringing this up with my therapist.) and noticed a rather interesting divide – a lot...

Destroying Something Beautiful : Lipstick Smashes, Social Media and Conspicuous Consumption

Recently, I asked my instagram followers why videos or photos of destroyed makeup – like the videos where I smoosh lipstick with a palette knife – are so controversial. These images generally cause strong reactions – some people love it, and some people take it very personally. Editor Emily Dougherty, known for blending lipstick colours on instagram by chopping up bullets, even has a disclaimer that all lipstick mixes are...

Can We Fucking Eat In Peace

For a while something’s been… eating me, if you will. Excuse the pun, but seriously – is the beauty community – slash – industry not obsessed with diet? While pro-ana aesthetics are less overt these days, the wellness boom has taken its place to police women’s bodies. Nonsensical health fads like paleo, ketogenic, and alkaline diets are like sadistic traps laid out across the beauty business where, at any moment,...

Why Beauty?

In light of recent discussions about beauty, skincare, and its popularity, I thought it might be interesting to examine why it is that the beauty trend is so strong. For me, beauty was never an issue for me until I was around 18, and started wearing makeup and taking an interest in skincare. Sometimes I wish I’d gotten into skincare sooner so I’d have been able to combat my skin...

Is it a con?

By now we’ve all read that piece on “the skincare con” on The Outline. Thankfully, Racked has focused on debunking many of the false claims of the piece , like the idea that evolution has fine-tuned our bodies to perfection and thus we don’t need skincare. And I can agree – we don’t need skincare, but that doesn’t mean we can’t prefer it. As Racked pointed out, there’s plenty of scientific...

Makeup for girl-women.

Ok y’all, it’s that time again. I’m getting on the soapbox, yelling indignantly et cetera. But can we talk about how so much of beauty has this unpleasantly infantilizing tone? Looking at a lot of beauty ads, there are strange references to girlhood and childishness. The unicorn trend is, I’d say, the most obvious illustration of this – unicorns may just be the ultimate symbol of female virginity, innocence, purity...

The beautiful world of empowertising

When’s the last time you heard the term “empowering” in a context that wasn’t completely ridiculous? Empowerment has gone from being a feminist concern to an advertising buzzword used to sell anything and everything to women. I’ve seen sexy lingerie, menstrual products, snacks and pussy highlighter all being sold as “empowering”. Clearly, this word means nothing of value anymore – it’s window dressing for a “woke” female consumer. You can...

Men, beauty & homophobia

There’s a disturbing but unsurprising tendency among men – primarily straight, cisgender men – of extreme reactions to other men’s style choices. This is especially prevalent when men in one way or another uses feminine attributes in their self expression. I read an article in a major Swedish newspaper where a man was making a big deal about men who wear perfume, going so far as to compare their wearing...