I’m writing this column to you from a nail bar, where my toes are being painted hot pink. It’s a new high for feminism. Or a new low, depending on how you look at it. But, personally, I’ve always considered beautification a triumph, especially for women.
Economically, vanity appeals to me — the more extreme, the better. It strikes me not as a sign of falling for advertisers’ slogans, but a way in which we indulge and express ourselves. More significantly, it is symbolic. For women, particularly, I see beauty treatments not as a form of narcissism but as a war cry of independence; a triumphant flexing of our economic muscle. Every treatment chimes with my freedom to do what I want with my body, because I earned the pay cheque funding it.
Recently, I wandered around an anti-ageing beauty show in London watching groups of women buying lipo-freeze treatments, signing up for hypnosis sessions, whitening their teeth and getting permanent make-up. They looked happy, titivating themselves, playing with their image, splashing their cash.
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