The Cost of Beauty Standards

My eyelashes and eyebrows are something I've always been insecure about. I've always had eyelashes so short that it appears I have none at all. And my eyebrows have always been thin. When I was in school, my brows were so long that people starting making fun of them. So I plucked and I plucked away at them until there was next-to-nothing left. Now they're even thinner, and haven't grown in years.

"Char, why are you telling us about your brows and lashes?" you may be wondering. Well, recently, in my last attempt in a long line of eyelash-related drama, I tried to dye my eyelashes, and it sent me on a thought spiral.

We are so desperate to get the "perfect" look that all the Instagram models and celebrities have that we're willing to spend huge sums of money. Brows and lashes growing kits, fake lashes, eyelash extensions, mircoblading. Just googling growing serum sent a frenzy of adverts on my social media, telling me to try out their special, amazing serum for ONLY £110!!

And we're all guilty of fooling for it. Out comes the debit cards, off goes our savings, as we splash out, hoping that this will make everything better. But it doesn't. Then comes the frustration when things don't go your way, when it doesn't look as good as someone else's lashes.

The worst thing is, YOU give yourself hell for it not going right, whatever that may be. You feel like you can't be pretty without long lashes or thick brows. You think you can't be happy unless you're skinny, so you starve yourself for days, weeks, months on end.

It feels like we're living in a dystopian future, like an episode of Black Mirror or something. Influencers and pyramid schemes force products down your throats. "BUY this slimming tea," "Try this new mascara FOR FREE ifyoucreateafacebookeventandadvertisethehelloutofthecompanysothey'llpaymethenyoumaypossiblygetsomemoneyofftheproductbutprobablynot."

But none of this matters. Life is very short, I could die in 60 years, I could die tomorrow, I could die in a few hours. Either way, when I'm 80 years old, I'm not going to be looking back thinking "damn, I wish I had long eyelashes."

Do I want to keep giving my money to evil corporations that profit from people's insecurities? Who continue to contribute to the death of our planet? Or do I want to make fun, happy memories with the people I love?

As I wipe off the dye from my lashes, my heart drops as I realise that I've spent £10 that I couldn't really spare for my lashes to look exactly the same. That I was pulled into all the scheming because I'm not happy with the way I look. It was nothing but a waste of my time and money.

So, yes, that's why I'm talking to you about my eyelashes and eyebrows. Because I've realised that I could spend the rest of my life wishing they were like the celebrities, or... I could just not. Everyone is different and that's what makes them beautiful. I could become another clone, or I could just stop worrying and enjoy my life.

The choice is ours.


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