Friday, October 17, 2008

Something Smells Rotten on the Emperor's New Clothes

As much as I adore fashion, I am by no means unaware of the yawning gulf that exists between the glossy pages of most women's magazines and the way in which really real women actually live out their lives.

But it's not the clothing that makes me angry. After all, even the most outre outfit can be deconstructed down to a manageable level in terms of both wearability and price. That's why God invented consignment shops, eBay, Zappos, and Banana Republic.

I'm also not talking makeup. There hasn't been a culture in existence since the Big Bang that hasn't in some way decorated their faces to heighten or broadcast their sexuality, power, or social status.

And I'm down with that. After all, one of the half dozen things the coming Fascist Regime is going to have to pry from my cold dead hands is my ever present tube of Mac Lip Glass in Fluster Rose.

No. My beef is with the ridiculous amount of shit shoveled in our faces by the segment of the $20 billion a year cosmetics industry specifically geared towards keeping us youthful. It simply amazes me that women living in the 21st century remain stuck in the dark ages when it comes to believing the hype surrounding the ability of facial serums – many of them priced into the stratosphere – to turn back the tide of aging. Without going all Chemistry 101 on y'all, let's just say that there's not much difference between what's packed into a $130 jar of La Mer and a tube of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly.

Then again, I guess it's easier to slather on a potion and cross your fingers than it is to do what it actually takes to remain wrinkle free, which is:

A. Stay out of the sun forever and ever, amen.

B. Don't use your facial muscles. That means, no smiling, frowning, yawning, or making kissy-kissy noises at infants and puppies.

(This Catholic monk, who has never seen the light of day or whistled Dixie, is fifty million years old!)


C. Eat.

Oh, and maybe, just maybe, smell. Because, according to a U.S.-based fragrance company by the name of Harvey Prince, all you have to do to appear younger is spritz yourself with a hearty dose of their new perfume, Ageless Fantasy ($120!!!!), which, says the company's prodigious amount of "research" and "clinical trials," will make those of us who wear this frag appear up to ten years younger by the opposite sex!


As if, when it comes to male/female relationships, we're not all already deluded enough.


VintagePurseGal said...

Great topic! This has been a bad year for me, facially-speaking, and I have been bemoaning my inability to hang on to my youth. I have suddenly crossed some sort of not-so-imaginary line and become seriously middle-aged--even though, actuarial chart-wise, I probably did that seven years ago. I am trying so hard to go gracefully into that good night, but I'm a big, whiny, wrinkly 45-year-old baby.

Thank you for the slap of reality.

Now, then, do I look fat in this skirt?

Jenny said...

oh jeez, Wendy took the words right out of my mouth .... just last week I was found wandering the aisles of an upscale retailer looking for the next fountain of youth in a bottle for only $150.00!! It's crazy.

I buy pure 100% shea butter (7 bucks) at my health food store and it's better than anything I've found.

I think they're selling fear. And they're right.

(Wendy, you look fabulous in that skirt.)

moi said...

Wendy: Oh, no, I refuse to go gracefully or quietly into that good night. But I do intend to go with stuff that actually WORKS. And I'm betting on increasingly affordable and progressive surgical options :o).

AB: Think about other, more effective options on which to spend $150. Like a couple of great Malbecs in which to drown our sorrows. I call it the Charles Bukowski approach to aging: don't sober up long enough to realize it's happening! Hic.

Doris Rose said...

ahh yes,Life. When I was young-the answer was Noxzema (1st ingredient is glycerin), a popular moisturizer was glycerin and rosewater, the big whoop-ti-do was Oil Of Olay.
Seem to work well, moderately priced. The last recommendation I got was from the dermatologist and was Aquaphor and it is very good... out here in the prairie.

sparringK9 said...

God. how old is rachel zoe? cause, like, i watched her bravo show and her vocabulary is, like, bananas! not smoking is critical as well and too much alcohol makes a lady ugly. i love the regenerist line from olay its great. under 30. im sure a.b. looks great because of the humidity. im sure in the american southwest a face takes cream like a long drink of water.

well i still take sun for my bones sake. i think a little color is good so that is a trade off however my face wears sunscreen.

i think the word is "tragic." to sacrifice the beauties of the now because you are mourning what has been lost.

i want to look good but look good as what i am. nothing hurts like seeing someone overmade up and dressed too young. sad.

a few halloweens ago somebody asked why i dressed as the high plains drifter instead of a slut.(grrrherhaha - oh halloween used to be the excuse to tramp out one night) and i said something to the effect of " i dont have an obligation to appear sexually viable to yall anymore" grrrrrrrherhahaha!



trout had a bad accident last night weve had a terrible night. she nearly cut off an entire toe - severed an artery and tendons. now she is stitched and bundled up and very depressed. she peed all over herself and then got more dressed. so here we are - the big dog, me and trout with two hens all inside because its raining. i hope our marriage survives. the cabin is small.

moi said...

Doris: Just about anything that contains a barrier ingredient to retain moisture and a humectant to attract it will do just fine.

K9: One: I needs me my daily dose of sun, too, and while I slather on more SPF 30 on a daily basis than an Aussie surfer in a year, I know that it will most likely eventually catch up with me. And I'm okay with that. Two: High Plains Drifter? That's off the chain, dawg! So cool! Three: OMG on Trout! Email forthcoming . . .

moi said...

P.S. Rachel Zoe is . . . drum roll please . . . only 38! Kids, that's your skin on drugs, Camel Lights, and Starbucks' Grande Double Decaff Mochachinos, right there.

VintagePurseGal said...

Holy shizz. I thought that was Rachel Zoe, but wasn't sure because she doesn't look that old on TV. Ack, in that pic she looks like the "before" version of one those magical skin cure ads.

sparringK9 said...

38! dear God.

Bretthead said...

Instead of actual products, I use pop culture trends to stay young. For example, I am 41. Which is the new 31. Therefore, I am good.

moi said...

Wendy: Did you see the episode where her "older" sister came to visit? And sis looked, oh, about ten years younger? Uh-huh.

K9: "What Rachel Zoe needs now more than ever is more of a brain and less of a collection of vintage Chanel bangles. Thank you, Jesus. Amen."

WTWA: AND you're screamingly funny. Humor is youthifying, you know.

Jenny said...

38?? I feel oddly better. However, I used to be a tanning queen, but luckily I moved back to the PNW... still my sister's skin is better for not doing and she's 3 years older than I am.

Moi knows I'm saving for my eye lift. I won't do the brow-thing and lose my face or botox and lose... my mind... but the eye thing? Oh yeah, it's gonna happen.

Big Shamu said...

HOly snikies, I thought that Rachel Zoe pict was one of those before shots they use for botox pop ups.

I'm with K9. No smoking, no drinking, and only doctor proscribed drugs. And I gotta tell ya, a life without makeup really helps too.
I've never been one to worry about looks but what really grinds my goat about getting old is my eyesight. I friggin' need that more than a crow's foot here or there.

Oh no K9, is this going to seriously affect Trout's tree climbing ability? Poor dog, the Wicked Tribe sends sympathy cards and well wishes for a speedy recovery.

moi said...

A.B.: When I think of the tanning contests I used to have in high school with my friends . . .

Shamu: Dahlink, I am so WITH you on the eyesight thing! WTF? It seems to grow exponentially worse by the second. So, okay, I got the cheaters. NOW I'm squinting at the television?

Jenny said...

I know, me too.

Baby oil.

That's all I'm gonna say.


Big Shamu said...

Oh my gosh you guys just triggered a memory.
Was working as a young theatre techie during college at an outdoor state park (outdoor summer musical theatre, one word, bats) and there was a pool that was supposedly off limits to us but some kindly theatre patrons kept sneaking us in on our days off. There was one regular of the pool who we nicknamed the Baked Potato Lady. Her age was unknown, she always laid out in the sun on this foil blanket and she was brown and shriveled like a baked potato that had been in the oven too long. We swore she slathered herself with butter instead of Coppertone.
Imagine Mary's friend in the movie "There's Something About Mary". Except older and meaner.

czar said...

who the hell is rachel zoe?

i wonder about avoiding facial contortions. i read one time that men don't wrinkle as much as women because they've spent their whole lives scrunching their faces (exercising facial muscles?) in order to shave.

as much as i hate to say it, a little extra weight (which is to say, probably a healthy weight) seems to me to keep aging women looking more youthful. among people my wife's age (54) and a little older, the ones who look younger are the ones who aren't so thin. (and trust me, I am fully in favor of thin.) one of my wife's closest friends eats no red meat, runs/exercises daily, leads a pretty healthy lifestyle . . . and looks literally fifteen years older than mi esposa. and she's not the only one.

Pam said...

God bless Czar for his comments! I have to agree also with not shelling out the big bucks on facial products. Oil of Olay face wash for me and, if I can find it, the St. Ive's with something youthful I can't think of the name right now.... But I can never find that dang St. Ives stuff. Must have quit making it. #1 for more youthful skin -- no smoking.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Well I'd quite like my eyebags 'done' I must admit Moi.

But they are eyebags that no cream could cure anyway (and I have only once wasted so much much as £50 on a jar of miracle face cream to realise this) And that £50 jar of cream was the worst cream I've ever used despite all the glossy ads. It didn't even absorb into the skin properly!

You are right that not only are these products mostly much of a muchness, but women should object to being lied to like this. Not that I have ever bought those female-abusing publications known as 'women's magazines' though I sometimes seem them in my Hairdressers waiting room.

h said...

Proverbs 11: 22

A woman who is beautiful but lacks discretion is like a gold ring in a pig's snout.

Proverbs 31; 25-30

She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs with no fear of the future. When she speaks, her words are wise, and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions. She carefully watches all that goes on in her household and does not have to bear the consequences of laziness.

Her children stand and bless her. Her husband praises her: "There are many virtuous women in the world, but you surpass them all!".

Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised. Reward her for all she has done. Let her deeds publicly declare her praise.

h said...

Lest you think that there's something "modern" about today's females being taught to glorify artifice and today's sexualization of children, let's look back at the pagans of Canaan, shall we? People the Lord detested and wanted driven out of the Holy Land.

The female children of the elite learned NOTHING that could be called productive. They were encouraged to become obsessed with make-up, fashion, and artifice. They grew and elaborately decorated 8 inch long finger-nails specifically to send the cultural message that "My daughter does no work". It wouldn't be unusual for them to spend 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the evening putting on the trappings of external beauty. In percentage terms, they paid FAR MORE for beauty products than Moi's aforementioned 150 dollar tube of LeMer. The Canaanites would definately approve of the way Paris Hilton's "Parents" raised her and the values she was taught.
At the elite level, the Canaanites were an entire society of Paris Hiltons.

There was no middle-class, of course. The female children of the poor who had the facial characteristics favored by the culture were taken from their parents or sold by them. Raised in harems, they too were taught to become obsessed with make-up, hair-styles and artifice. But a cheaper gaudier version. Can you spell Britney Spears? Can Britney spell Britney Spears? The Canaanite Women, whether Paris or Britney in family background, certainly could not. None were taught to read or anything productive.

The lucky Britneys became unpaid prostitutes for the rich. The unlucky ones became Shrine Prositutes.

If there was something NEW and MODERN and REVOLUTIONARY happening in Canaan, it wasn't among the pagans. It was among those who followed the Lord and his instructions. Instructions that made the revolutionary point that kindness and a loving heart are beautiful. Instructions that led to the modern notion that Females should be educated and trained to do something productive. Instructions that introduced a new idea that said obsession with artifice was not a virtue at all.

Jenny said...

To Troll - you have no idea how much fun it is to find a new mascara do you?

moi said...

A.b: JOHNSON's Baby Oil. Shuddering right there with ya, girlfriend.

Shamu: Gah. Now I have that woman from Something About Mary in My Head and she won't leave!

Czar: Rachel Zoe is a Hollyweird stylist who is famous for dressing the famous and for supposedly propagating the über-skinny look a la Nicole Ritchie. A look, which you astutely point out, does no woman who goes kicking and screaming into middle age any favors.

Troll: "Can Britney spell Britney Spears?" ROTFL. I catch your drift, although I believe there is a big difference between artifice and the worship of such, and the desire to present oneself in an attractive and even artistic manner. If Godliness were equated with drabliness, we'd all be Amish, now wouldn't we. No offense to the Amish, mind you . . .

A.B.: Nor shoes.

moi said...

pamokc: Welcome to Moi's blob and thanks for your comment on smoking - spot on! I gave it up nine years ago and it was the best thing I've ever done. Except I DO plan to take it back up when I'm 80, because, well, who cares by then, right?

Poet: I believe the cosmetics industry lies to women, and we believe those lies, so that we don't tap into our real power. Imagine, now, what we could DO with all that money were we not to spend it on useless facial products? Oh, I dunno, rule the world?

sparringK9 said...

rachel zoes skin color matches my fur!

thanks ivanator for the well wishes. i am so bored and pitiful. i can run and walk just fine i dont understand why they confine me so! damn these weird abitrary rules!

h said...


I do understand who much "fun" it is too find new shrews and shred them into tiny pieces.

h said...

Change that "too" to to, Toto. And change "shrews" to "shoes".

It's hard to type with paws.

h said...

And "who" to how.

Private Nutz said...

Hey Fugi, you look like a dog that could be a lot of fun at the dog park.

moi said...

Aw, new doggie on Da Block – Fuji so pretty!

(I couldn't figure out how to make the Ivanator my temporary avatar. It's hard to be a techie when you have Moi's brain.)

Wicked Thistle said...

I used to care loudly about the changes that were happening to my face, but then I saw what was happening to my hands and got completely distracted and all OCD about that. Knowing what's coming with my neck makes me appreciate the fact that every day my skin is at the top if its game.

Also, I hear a liberal application of red wine through the mouth does wonders for the skin.

czar said...

Dadczar says that you can always tell a woman's age by looking at her hands. His sister, my dear aunt, turned younger men's heads well into her 70s (no lie), but her hands told the truth.

SarahDog said...

Dog Park??? Did someone say DOG PARK???

Jenny said...

so true about the hands. Sometimes I'll be driving and I'll catch sight of my hands and think "those look my Mom's hands"

moi said...

Wicked: I'm sure, just SURE that those sneaky French women know something about wine we don't. Also: Nora Ephron, I Feel Bad About My Neck

Czar: Women used to wear gloves. And hats. Like the Frenchies, they knew something we've forgotten.

SarahDog: See, that's the great thing about dogs. They only care what goes IN their faces.

A.B.: Yup. And I feel her expressions on my face, her words spill out of my mouth. How does that HAPPEN?

sparringK9 said...

this appears to be a molten hot thread. brings all the dogs out! i think we have a virtual dog park right here. grrerhahaha. i love seeing everyones dogs. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey guys! Trust me, Ageless Fantasy is indeed a wonderful creation. This is the fragrance that takes you back to some earlier, grapefruits and jashmine. It has nothing to do with thy facial muscle buddy, but of course may change the way you feel!

moi said...

Hmmm . . . whenever someone tells Moi a perfume will take me back to an "earlier time" I think more along the lines of 16th century France when no one bathed. Pray, tell, Moi: what "time" does "mango, grapefruits and jashmine (sic)" take YOU back to?

Anonymous said...

Hey Moi, for you past may be related to the time when no one bathed. But to some it's the sweet memories of youthful days. And AgelessFantasy is just one of those, who celebrate the joy of feeling younger.
Ya, I love the fragrance of tropical fruits and jashmine!