|Gwen Stefani, late 90s|
I've been thinking lately about all the upkeep that is sold to us to be considered conventionally beautiful as a woman. Bikini waxes, gloss treatments, manicures, anti-aging treatments, etc. It's kind of exhausting just thinking about it, right? It's gotten me thinking that maybe the appeal of having an "unnatural" hair color is that you mentally put yourself outside of the rules of regular beauty. Maybe the message pink hair (or tattoos or piercings) sends is that you're not playing by the rules--so you can take your laser hair removal and shove it, okay? It's a liberating mindset.
You know those women's magazine articles that tell you the "top beauty don'ts" and stuff like that? As a younger woman, I remember reading on several occasions that it's an absolute crime to have a chipped manicure. I took it as gospel for a while, I suppose. But the day I realized that chipped nails aren't the end of the world, and can even look kind of cool (if you're into the whole grunge thing), it was kind of like a weight had been lifted.
The problem with this whole theory is that it's prone to backfire really, really quickly. Once you're considered an "alternative girl," you're sexualized in a whole new way. If you've ever had a dude on the street ask if you're a Suicide Girl, you know what I'm talking about. So while going rogue, beauty-wise, can be freeing--it definitely comes with its own set of issues. And it certainly doesn't make you oblivious or immune to regular beauty standards.
And even if you don't have pink hair or piercings, I think anyone reading this can relate in a way. Sewing your own clothes is the ultimate form of going rogue on the fashion and diet industries, I think. Making clothes to fit yourself (rather than making yourself fit clothes), is another way of going rogue. We can also stop being slaves to the trend-driven retail market and wear what we love--there are really no limits when you make it yourself.
Do you agree with all this? Do you see your sewing (or hair or whatever) as a form of rebellion against the status quo? Or is it naive to think that's even possible?