"There is no such thing as natural beauty," Truvy from Steel Magnolias. Maybe she's born with it, maybe it's Maybeline. Will eliminate the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Will make your lips plumper or your lashes longer. Beauty is certainly in the eye of the beholder. Unfortunately advertisers and society may beg to differ. My friend recently told me after seeing Bobby Brown of Bobby Brown cosmetics speak, she stated that there is no cure for aging nor is there a product that will make you younger. So no matter what the packaging says, regardless if your regime involves diamond face lotion or simply sunblock, there is not fountain of youth. Times have changed where older generations are no longer revered to only be replaced by toothpick thin teenage models.
Most people do something to potentially make themselves look younger. Whether it’s applying make-up or working out, society no longer accepts the concept of aging gracefully. Beauty is capital. And like Bourdieu’s theories of capital, he failed to recognize how far goods looks can take you in this life. Take for example the concept of mail order brides or Kardashians.
With under eye creams, wrinkle removers, face lifts, Botox, exfoliators, liposuction, face peels, lash extensions, lip plumper and so much more people will never know your age. While many may say age is just a number but in reality it depend on how you feel. While some are content with what's given them, others feel the pressure to preserve and change.
First it may start off as a simple choice in face lotion or anti-wrinkle serum. Then there's make-up, under the eye cream, poor shrinker, skin firmer, exfoliators, followed by lip plumper and eye lash grower. While these products rely heavily on chemicals, it isn't until you undergo an actual chemical peel you truly commit. It is odd that you look younger after you singe off the upper level of your epidermis. Although a little touch and go for the first, as a result you've never looked younger with a bright red seemingly sunburned face.
Now if you really can't stand the way you look there's plastic surgery. Take for example the entire Jackson family, where apparently nobody in the family liked their nose and enrolled in having the same doctor redesign it. The consequences of hopping on the rhinoplasty bandwagon too early is ending up with one hell of mess. Unfortunately no amount of surgery or money could rectify Michael's nose. While it’s easy to judge when you have a decent nose and confidence, but if you've inherited an overly endowed honker society makes it that much more difficult to accept what God’s given you.
The same can be said for height and weight, basically every body part. More and more people are taking plastic surgery to the next level having their stomachs stapled, getting breast and penile implants, followed by limb lengthening. Sure some are less intrusive, they still however take lives take for example Kanye West's mother. All for vanity's sake, both breast and penile implants succumb to society's whoas. In China a man sued his wife for misleading him by birthing ugly children and withholding her $100,000 worth of plastic surgery. Most shockingly he won. Even though most of these surgeries are elective they seem rather torture some. Limb lengthening consists of broken bones and growing 3-4 inches of bone in between the fracture with a horrid metal contraption. It is amazing what lengthens we'll go to to for beauty. While bothersome, it is a natural human instinct to respond to beauty and although sad but true survival of the fittest whether self-inflicted surgery or sheer genetics will prevail.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.