September 23, 2013

The Foundations? of Beauty

Who needs the beauty treatment here?
Judging by the number of 'beauty' parlours up and down Maldon High Street and, no doubt, elsewhere in the land, it seems that beauty no longer comes from within; it can be laid on thickly and expensively with as much handiwork and labour as a plasterer working on the Sistine Chapel. Almost everything can be extended, coloured, bleached or hidden these days, and the person underneath concealed to the point of being unrecognisable.

All this beauty comes at a price - not only from the pocket. Skin problems, mouldy nails under the talons, loss of hair from bad colouring and bleaching fluids, sensitive and discoloured teeth, recoiling partners and passers-by, and mistaken identity.

When you can have your teeth whitened and your skin darkened as much as you like there has to come a point where one or the other may disappear completely. You may be easily seen at night when you grin but you're still only going to look as though you've been tangoed by day.

It seems that real beauty; compassion, kindness, calm, appeal, are not enough. In an attempt to appear beautiful, all I see is a hideous cloning of young girls on the High Street. We've all been through the adolescent years of individuality, which largely meant looking and acting the same, but we are now surrounded by a growing herd of taut skin, bleached hair, plastic talons and gastric bands of something Hammer House of Horror would have been proud.

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