You notice that there appears to be a campaign against women thinking for themselves. Women are targeted so overtly to conform to a standard. Note how many programmes are on television advising people how to get dates or 'dump the frump' and everyone is put through a make-over mill and comes out looking like Stepford Wife clones. No emphasis on individuality. You will conform or be condemned. Some presenters even try to conjure up the most vile description of the 'before' victims and gush and praise their handiwork after viewing the 'after' make-over.
I have created an environment where I don't care about how I look. Of course, I have my favourite items, feel more comfortable in this item of clothing than that - but quite honestly, I would rather read a good book, blog, go for a long walk, talk to friends and family, help a neighbours child to read, meditate, potter in the garden pulling out roots - filling my nails with dirt and doing a thousand other things than spend too much time and money worrying and considering how I look. What is the point? If someone doesn't like me as I am then I choose not to make that my problem. Why would I want to look younger? When did this youth-obsession seep into our cultures?
I see the so called 'stars' who have teeth straightened, rhinoplasty, breast augmentation, face lifts, brow lifts, liposuction and many other 'enhancing treatments' - and they have access to the best photographers, make-up artists, designers and such. They receive free items from producers of high-end products and act as walking advertisements. Being photographed by the tipped off paparazzi, magazines, newspapers at glossy functions helps to feed inadequacy and fattens the bank balances of the haves.
Why do we place so much emphasis on how we look? Who does it benefit? I don't think it benefits me. Clothes are to keep me warm or to cover certain parts that will prevent me from being arrested!
No, I am not interested in paying to have my eyebrows plucked, artificial nails applied every two weeks, my legs waxed, traipsing the shops each weekend maxing out my credit card, perusing the magazines for the latest trends or anything like that.
I'm not interested in being sheep and following the crowd because that is a sure sign I am not living my life for me. This one life that could end at any moment. This one life where following my dreams means being myself.
So to all those women featured in Essence, I have a message for you: Sack the gods and reclaim your life - regardless of how you look.