Get a perfectly manicured upper hand on beauty rituals

When it comes to style and gender, being a woman is far superior but with all the beautification options at our disposal, it can be as exhausting as it is liberating.

I’m talking about the exclusively feminine art of masking imperfections and amplifying assets, and boy, can it be a chore.

I spend a lot of time in the bathroom, and it’s harder work than you think. For a lot of people, men particularly, the shower is warm and soothing place where one can relax as the hot water washes over sore muscles and tired eyes. It’s a place from which you emerge refreshed and invigorated to begin the day.

For me, it’s like a fire drill wrapped up in an aerobics class, and it’s merely step one in a daily marathon of beautification maneuvers. After an exhausting 25 minutes of cleansing, exfoliating, detangling, conditioning, and an unreasonable amount of shaving, the real work begins: makeup and hair. Sigh. There’s tweezing, toning, concealing, zit zapping, completion smoothing, eye enhancing, fine line reducing, cheekbone illuminating, lip plumping, blow drying, straightening, and styling… all BEFORE a full day of actual work at the office.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Because of science, naturally.

At its most primal root, our beauty rituals are the way we present proof of our health and fertility to prospective mates, and it never ends. For a woman, imperfections and signs of aging are indicators that either her “productive” time is up, or that her genetics are not ideal for procreation.

So in order to ensure the human race doesn’t go extinct, our highly evolved species created the beauty industry. You’re welcome.

Logically, I know that longer lashes and artfully sculpted brows have literally nothing to do with the actual state of my health, so why do I continue to participate in the endless prison that is my beauty ritual?

Because deep down, going makeup-free just isn’t my style. Despite the inconvenience and excessive time it takes, I prefer a smooth and even complexion, lined eyes and a glossy lip over the alternative.

Makeup is part of who I am.

Through the power of makeup, a woman can transform her style from effortlessly radiant and pure, to sultry and commanding without saying a word. I can’t think of a single necktie or cuff link with that kind of influence.

So instead of feeling like we’re slaves to beauty, perhaps we should view it as the ultimate upper hand ... a delicate, perfectly polished upper hand, of course.

Miranda Ashman is aesthetically obsessed with a passion for all things chic and striking. The Grand Valley native, copywriter and marketing mistress is always on the lookout for the provocative and profound. Watch for her column the first Thursday of the month, and drop her a line at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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