Men are commonly blamed by women for forcing them to endure beauty regimes at their expense for men’s benefit. This is nonsense. Women choose their beauty routines of their own accord regardless of the opinions of their male partners (or men in general). Women use symbols of ‘beauty’ to compete with other women for social status.
It is heartening to read the occasional recognition of the reality of this from women. When talking about women’s use of botox in ‘Beauty cuts more than skin deep‘, ethicist Leslie Cannold states:
Radical feminists – and their Christian pseudo-feminist cousins – blame men. As one angry young woman put it in response to a piece I wrote on the issue several years ago: ”Women get plastic surgery, as well as spend endless time and money on all of the other beauty practices listed, because men require us to … Men invent new and higher standards of beauty for us to live up to because they need new and different ways of knowing that we’re still playing the game.”
My experience is that the shaming and silencing around Botox has nothing to do with men and everything to do with other women.
In ‘Why are we so repulsed by how these women look?‘, Wendy Squires examines the bogan beauty aesthetic of the women in the tv show The Shire. She quotes psychologist Meredith Fuller:
Talk to men and they usually say they don’t like that huge made-up look or fake breasts. I think these girls are just delighting in looking how they want. They’re saying ‘it’s my body, my money and my choice’. This sense of liberation can challenge those of us who don’t share it or feel they can achieve the same in their own lives.
Precisely. The artificial beauty aesthetic has nothing to do with women pandering to men’s desires and everything to do with their own values.