Victime de la mode...

6:55 PM est son nom de code! (Fashion Victim...So, is her code name), this was a song written and sang by a french rap artist in the early 90's, his name was Mc Solaar, and this song has suddenly pooped back to the surface of my memory seeing these cosmetic commercial on TV.

The song is about a girl who desperately want to loose weight at any cost to meet the standard edicted by the fashion back in the days, namely the era of the runway living deads that was the 90's.
While it might be all about weight loss in the song, I can't help but thing that the same could apply to the entire "beauty" industry.
If I judge what I see on TV we are nothing without all those magic potions coming out of tubes anyway.
Diet wise the era of carb nazi or even food holocaust that the early 90's were all about (a girl should learn to live on diet coke and lettuce to look good in designer jeans) is out. Now you need to eat healthy, fiber is in trans fat and sugar is out (though I'm ready to bet that half the people around here has no idea what trans fat is anyway). Brown is in, when it comes to food that is because for the skin it is a whole different issue.
In India brown skin is very very much OUT, and while the European gal start worrying about the chalk shade of her legs when she is about ready to don a Spring dress and will invest in all kind of self tanning cream that inevitably will lead to a carroty orange disaster or a blotchy look condemning her to wear the pants she so want to do without a bit longer. The Indian lady will avoid the harsh April sun at all cost, slathering sun screen and fairness cream instead.
Ah! The fairness fetish that goes around here! A few years back all we had to endure on TV was the unimaginative versions of the Fair & Lovely ads which all had for message that if you are dark skinned you are worthless and never will go anywhere in life, but that a rosy skin will bring you fame and fortune. If you don't believe me on this one, I'm sure there must a be a few of these commercials on youTube, not that I checked. All in all Fair & Lovely aimed at totally zapping a girl's self esteem to make big bucks out of their misery.
Fortunately (for the lack of appropriate word) feminism is rising, now fairness ads need to be less discriminative, but a girl still need to be fair to be pretty, so you have more brands on the market stomping their way in with inventive ads, all full of digitally lightened actresses and models telling you why their brand is the best, and you have the proofs too, from the girl that walks directly into a sticky tape that will show that you have fairness saboteurs to wash away daily, to the cream that comes with a shade meter, or the one that has pearl extract in to give you the glow of a pearl. If creams are not your things, you can have bleach, there are some oxygen rich bleach, herbal bleach...and if bleaching is not your things you have dermatologists advertising in papers, magazine and yes on TV that promise laser treatment to depigment your skin.
And once you got that fair face, horror how horror the cosmetic brigade is pointing to you that many areas of your body are darker than you face, fret not you can get a fairness body lotion that comes with a handy dual shade meter on which you can set the initial shade of your face as well as the rest of your body, so you can compare and see your progress...We are saved I'm telling you!
Then of course still in the face department you can't let wrinkles have you right? There is a brand that promise to excite you hubby back in just 7 days. Don't weep just shell the dough I say.

Now that the skin is taken care of (roughly that is) time to move to the hair. You have the anti-dandruff shampoos that help you score a Zero on the biggest screen in the world (because yes we are all going to step on a stage in front of thousands and have a camera pointed at our scalp to see if the gus in the last row can see a few flakes). Then there is that other anti-dandruff shampoo that say all other shampoos are harsh, and has a witty cotton ball test to prove it.
If dandruff aren't your problem, you surely have a hair fall problem, chillax, the solution comes in the form of an enhances coconut oil, or a popular shampoo brand that went together with an obscure dermatologist specialised in hair fall in New York to give you the best for your hair, not convinced? No problem there is another brand that promise your money back if you hair keep falling (notice that the label say that it's hair fall from breakage that is covered), another proves their worth with a comb test. And you are sure to find a commercial for about any hair problem somewhere if hair fall isn't what is dooming you to be a renegade of the fashion world.
The sarcastic me wondered what you are supposed to do if you have more than one hair problem, are you supposed to mix it all and slather your chemical cocktail daily on your head, or go to a strict rota that says one type of shampoo for 3 days another for the next 4 days, a dash of shampoo number 3 and an ooze of shampoo number 4? Silly me, I should have known they would come to our rescue right? Watch Aishwarya Rai saving the world from hair damage with a revolutionary shampoo that treat 5 problems all in one shot, seeing is believing apparently, I wonder how she is saving the world just clicking on a few icons on a fancy 3D screen but then what do I know? And apparently we are worth it...Amen!

Once the idiot box finished telling you what you need to know about beauty canons and how to live up to them, you can continue your beauty education opening any woman's magazine. Here you learn that face cream and shampoo is not all you need to look stunning, no you need to add a couple of mascara, kajal, eye liner, foundation, 3 gazillion eye shadow shades, a face powder, a bronzer (to give you back the glow your fairness laser treatment took away...duh!), a few zit cream, a day cream, a night cream, a emergency refreshing cream, a make up removal cream, a toner, a face scrub, a face mask, a hair mask, a conditioner, a leave in conditioner, a hair serum, a few trillions bottle of nail polish and assorted removers, hair dye, hair rollers, hair straightening device, designer ear buds, perfume, foot scrub, foot cream, foot deodorant, lip gloss, lipstick, teeth whitener.
You then learn what essentials you need in your purse at all time (in order to give you a scoliosis), what you should not live without in your bathroom or what should be taken on that romantic getaway with your sweetheart (you don't want to freak him out spending 5 hours in the bathroom slathering all type of products on now would you?). Yes beauty lessons are essential and need to be drilled into your head issue after issues of Femina or Cosmopolitan, the more big brands lashed at you the better. And then what?

Well Congrats, you spend half a lakh rupees on all the essentials you apparently should not live without, they take half the space in your apartment, and now you are left with the daunting task of waking up 3 hours earlier than usual to wash, scrub, moisturise, dab, pat, bleach tease, pull, scrunch, gargle, spit, pout, slather, rinse and repeat. And then count another good two hours at night to wash, remove, rinse, spit, rub, srcub, polish, moisturise, massage, scratch, and poke before you can snooze only to repeat it all the next morning.
But all this is of course so worth it, because you now adhere to the beautiful standards the fashion industry wants you to follow, that means a world of opportunities that was apparently closed otherwise is now open to you right?

Somewhere in that French song Mc Solaar said "Elle perd de l'oseille au lieu de perdre du poid" (She is loosing dough instead of loosing weight). And so is the life of a fashion victim I say.


  1. limon5:51 AM

    "mirror, mirror on the wall. who is the fairest of them all" - right? lmao! i love your cynicism, sarcasm and warped sense of humor.

    what you said is true. all the commercialism on beauty products, how every women should be a size "Zero" with flawless skin, and how everyone's being victimized by it. not to say that one shouldn't take care of themselves, not at all. yes, one should be aware of his/her own hygiene and appearance. it's just that, so many people are so obssessed about the superficial, that they're forgetting that it's their own personality and intellect that counts more.

    don't forget, about these products - capitalism, at its best. they gotta make money too, y'know ;)


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