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Aghhhhh!

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Let me begin with a quote- “The price of beauty is pain”- author…unknown yet widespread. This is ridiculous! I remember hearing these words spoken amongst the adult women when I was a child. My first experience with this was while preparing for the homecoming dance. My mom was teaching me how to shave my armpits and I was terrified of that little four-blade razor. Why now? What if it cuts me? My mother’s words were, “The price of beauty is pain but I promise this won’t hurt”. We giggled and I’m sure she laughed knowing it wouldn’t hurt but I laughed out of sheer nervousness. Although my mother was right about not hurting me, I still thought about that phrase throughout my life. I wondered why does there have to be a price for beauty? I thought beauty was a given to everyone and if not so, why does the price have to be PAIN?
As time went on, I noticed that, although I was taught that everyone is beautiful, there were rules to this being a possibility and even certain rituals. This confused me. First, I wondered, “I must not be beautiful if I have to do things that hurt to get me there” and “if everyone is beautiful, why do we go through so much to fit in with…..well, with whom?”. Talk about confused! 
In case you are just as confused as I was, here are some examples of what I’m speaking of. These examples demonstrate how women, more than men, are socialized to do gender in a society where PAIN is the prerequisite for Beauty and also where natural beauty is non-existent. I say this because if a woman doesn’t fit the social standard of what is considered to be beautiful, she’s ignored or frowned upon. Another way to consider the quote in question is to think of how beauty is overrated and the way that media and society treat those who make the cut as well as for those who don’t. Many “beautiful women (based on societal standards-white/fair skinned, thin) who are represented as unintelligent, man-hungry, submissive and lacking in leadership ability are butchered through media along with rituals of shaving, waxing, over exercising, wearing high-heeled shoes that damage their feet, plastic surgery and much more. And it’s all for what?…To “make the cut” and be defined as beautiful by someone else’s standards.
I personally find a problem with all this when I think of our nation’s children. It’s easy to find the beauty within our children and give them a platform or foundation of what beauty is. The hard part is making sure they cherish this beauty in themselves as they enter a world which contradicts what, I believe most parents tell their children and this is “you are beautiful as you are”. There’s nothing wrong with wearing make-up for fun, wearing heels because one likes them or exercising for the benefit of good health. Hey, do what you want but do it because it’s fun or good for you, not to fit in with an impossible image that places everyone in one box.

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2 Comments

  1. sparkst2013 says:

    I agree with you. I often found myself saying the phrase Pain is Beauty or it hurts to be beautiful when i’m spending time at a beauty salon or nail shop and I also hear other women saying it.

  2. hshuayto says:

    I am sure many girls as well as myself can all relate to this blog. I still her the phrase no pain no gain up until today. This is very sad that we as women have to go thru such pains or do certain things just to be beautiful in the eyes of certain people. Lucky me as i was growing up was raised to appreciate myself for who i am and that if one doesn’t like me for what they see in front of them and would like me to change a thing about me just to be beautiful to their own standards then i knew that they were not people that i needed to be with. All girls should like by the phrase What you see is what you get and if your not satisfied then there are plenty of fish in the sea. I don’t believe that a girl should have to suffer the feeling of pain that they wouldn’t like to jus satisfy someone who isn’t worth the pain. The next time some asks you to change something about yourself or go through some kind of pain to get beautified look at them and ask them to try it first and see their reaction.

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