The singer Lorde, known for her first hit, Royals, recently shared a photo of herself pre- and post- airbrushing to remove all imperfections. "i find this curious - two photos from today, one edited so my skin is perfect and one real. remember flaws are ok :-) " she commented. Earlier today I heard a radio announcer on 104.1 WMRQ complaining that Lorde's un-retouched photo showed of her "gross zits". I went to the station's Facebook page to leave a comment, but wall posts were disabled. However, I'm documenting my response here;
Listening to Holden's adolescent comments about Lorde's gestures supporting self-esteem challenged teens made me want to vomit. Looking at Lorde's allegedly disgusting picture, on the other hand, failed to invoke any gastric response. What is Holden's problem, anyway? Isn't this the same station that ran a campaign urging teens to just give someone a smile in the hallway, because they might be going through a rough time in life? Totally hypocritical... but anything to crack a joke to keep up the ratings, right?
Zits are gross. But guess what? We've all had them. And we all try to cover them up or hide them because they make us feel bad about ourselves. But that's ridiculous! Does the sensitivity of your skin have any reflection on your worth as a person?? I've said it before and I'm going to keep saying it; we're becoming more and more accustomed to seeing celebrities with pounds of makeup, plastic surgery, major dental re-hauls and who knows what else. Is that really the standard we want to hold each other, and ourselves to? Lemme tell you something Holden: that's not real. This weekend I saw a young woman at Lowe's with her boyfriend. Her face was flawless- but it wasn't the same color as the rest of her skin. That's how you can tell when someone is wearing a shitton of makeup, gentlemen. My boyfriend calls it bitchface. You don't need to do that, girls. The only kind of man you're going to get with that face is one that's only interested in what's in your pants.
When I was a teenager I thought that apathy was society's biggest problem. But nowadays it's developed into pure denial. No one wants to be the one to stand up to the cast of Jersey Shore or Miley Cyrus and say that this is just ridiculous, because then someone like Holden is going to accuse them of being jealous, or insecure because they're not as pretty as those bitches. So then we all keep quiet and eventually everyone starts pretending that living your life on a constant rampage of selfish indulgence is ok, and that it's actually DESIRABLE to be rich and famous enough to act that way.
Well, guess what. I think that's fucking lame. Being a diva and treating your friends and family poorly isn't cool, it just means that you're a bitch and odds are none of them actually like you. Spraying layers of skin-colored liquids on your face and taking pills to make your boobs bigger is only going to waste your time and money. It's only distracting everyone from who you are as a person, and do you really hate yourself THAT MUCH? Just get a hobby or something. And guys, you're no better. First, to all you gym rats out there. If you spend 75% of your free time at the gym to get jacked to pick up ladies, then what are you going to do if you actually meet someone? You're going to have to choose between spending time with them and becoming less jacked (which, from the pool you're drawing from, will probably leave them devastated) or you can spend three times the number of hours at the gym as you do with your girlfriend. (In reality it's probably not that much of an issue, because I doubt you have much personality left after exposing your brain to the stupefying effects of four hours of adrenaline and testosterone every day.)
Sorry for getting so worked up. I like to get dressed up, I like to look nice and wear makeup and be in shape. But I know that someday, all of that is going to fade away, or at least become more and more difficult to keep up. And my real merit, my uniqueness and the part that might have some chance to make an impact on this world, is inside. My brain, my soul, my personality- whatever you want to call it. That will be able to grow and change and improve until the day I die, and won't need any stretching or tinting or sucking to make it seem younger. And one more thing- if you aspire to outer beauty, you exist in that alone. However if you value and nurture the spirit as you travel through this life, if you let yourself grow, then maybe you can grow with someone else, and be able to evolve together.