I’ve been reading, thinking, and writing about feminist issues long enough that I usually think nothing beauty-related can floor me anymore. But holy cats, two recent posts on the economics of beauty Sociological Images made my jaw drop, especially given the current economic doldrums.
First, check out this photo essay by Lauren Greenfield (of THIN and Girl Culture fame) about six NY women and what they spend on their monthly beauty regimen. I know we’ve talked about this before, but it amazes me the amount of money some women spend (and some people expect women to spend) to look like attractive but fairly “normal” women (“normal” as in “women who have jobs that do not involve being beautiful as an explicit part of the job description“). There is an actress profiled, so I wouldn’t count her in that category—but she spends way way less than the hedge-fund manager pictured just below her.
Second, Sociological Images points to a Newsweek feature on the economics of beauty throughout the lifetime of a “modern diva,” whatever that means. The feature seems to have disappeared from the Newsweek site, but you can still see the graphic at the SI post. As beloved Shapeling OTM says in the comments, By using the term “Diva,” the report places the blame firmly on the woman and fails to allow for a more meaningful analysis. Weird, too, that they conflate teens and twentysomethings; my body, appearance, and habits are wildly different as a 29-year-old from what they were as a 15-year-old.
Basically, both of these posts remind us that there are people out there who think we should (or perhaps, that we do) spend more money on cosmetics than I do on rent. What’s your take on these posts? What’s the most expensive part of your most expensive beauty routine? What’s the thriftiest? What would you be least willing to give up?