Why do I want to hate L’Oreal
It all began in grade eight
In my eighth grade class, the truth about “lookism” was irrefutable and immutable. Everyone knew Connie and Sylvia were pretty; Mary and Phyllis had fine attributes but pulchritude was not one of them. If you said otherwise that would mean you were blind or didn’t know what you were seeing. Connie and Sylvia eventually became attractive women who wore makeup, while I clung to the eighth-grade ideal that the untouched face is perfect. If I said that was not so, it meant I was a clueless dunderhead easily tricked by paint and eyeliner. We’re supposed to know what’s fake and what’s not. We guys are supposed to be governed by logic and recognize facts. And yet there’s that multi-billion-dollar cosmetics industry that serves an everyday need and purpose. What’s the problem here? Why do men have an uneasy feeling about cosmetics?
Is it Mother Nature or Lipstick on Collar
Do we hang on to the illusion of unadorned perfection while Mother Nature plays tricks on us? Or maybe we have a childish ideal that the beautiful Connie and Sylvia should never require makeup? Maybe it’s because we enjoy poking fun at women with lipstick laboring in front of the vanity mirror when we’re trying to get to someplace on time? Or possibly guys hate the cosmetics industry for the time they were caught with a telltale smudge on the collar.
Whatever the explanation, whatever the generation, the issue will continue. My nineteen-year-old granddaughter says “OK Boomer, get over it. We girls are mostly making up for the approval of other women.”
But what does she know? She’s still a kid, not long out of the eighth grade herself. When she grows up she’ll run with a mature crowd of grownups. For example, she may get to know my ninety-six-year-old aunt Frances who would spend an hour at the mirror with lipstick and stuff. But Frances would only do so on the one day a month when her Adonis-like trust officer was expected to visit. She couldn’t trick Adonis with war paint, but I always marveled at her industry and endeavor.
What is there to conclude other than the $27.2 billion L’Oreal and $11 billion Estee Lauder are here to stay? Connie and my eighth-grade class are long gone. My little boy delusions won’t bring them back.