Friday, June 22, 2007

Crisis of Conscience

In this post I intend to:
1. Go on a rant about a certain cosmetics company. (I won't mention names but it's initials are MK.)
2. Question my motives.
3. Backtrack somewhat
4. Ask for wisdom.
5. Possibly delete the whole thing without posting

So, Thursday night I attended and MK function with my sister in law (whom I sincerely hope never, ever, ever comes anywhere near this post). It was fun and all but it totally creeped me out. I don't think it was only about being outside my comfort zone either. The only other time I recall feeling quite so creeped out was when a male stripper showed up at a bridal shower I attended. I have always had an extremely bad body image but as for my face and aging I have always been ok with it. I use lotions because my skin is so stinkin' dry and sunscreen to prevent cancer but I don't have much problem with normal aging and have no driving desire to forestall it. My mom didn't wear much makeup so I didn't have that paradigm. Of course my mom looked like Snow White, she didn't need enhancement. I also loved my grandma's face and still do to this day. Her wrinkles tell the story of her life. To me cosmetics are more about telling women that they are not good enough than they are about beauty. My husband totally gets this. One Christmas a consultant railroaded him into getting me some concealer, or something, that I had showed a little interest in, convincing him that it was something I would really appreciate as opposed to whatever inferior gift he could think up on his own. My favorite gift that year was a computer game, Monty Python's Complete Waste of Time, from my husband, who thought it up all on his own. He knows what I really want, that's why I love the guy.

So back to this meeting.

It was like a recruiting session In fact, now that I think about it, that's exactly what it was. I kept picturing Plankton telling Spongebob, "isn't it great to have the things you desire". The consultants, directors and the, umm, uber-director were all very enthusiastic and only slightly plastic looking. I was promised cars, cash , friendship, fellowship, diamonds, and trips to Switzerland all for a measly one hundred dollar starter kit and the cost of inventory. And, ninety percent of it is refundable. What kind of idiot would I be to pass up an offer like that. I was a total failure at this meeting. I did not write down the names of five of my friends that could be contacted at a later time, even though I was offered tickets for each name I wrote down. Tickets for a drawing at the end of the evening in which I could guessed it, beauty products. I did not answer the question on my survey indicating what I thought would be the best thing about selling beauty products. I did not believe the uber-director when she gushed about how fabulous my skin looked because according to my celebrity look-alike query I am a fifty eight percent match to Bob Marley. Not that Bob Marley didn't have fabulous skin.

Ok, now that I've got that out of my system. I actually know quite a few people who have had some success at selling these so-called beauty products and in one case is just this side of life saving. I may not like the tactics or the message but what right do I have to be so judgemental? And yet, is this the message I want my daughter to receive?

And now the part where I admit that I actually bought some stuff. After all is said and done, I am a girl and most girls like pretty shiny things. I occasionally wear make up. I try to get up early enough to wear it on Sunday mornings. I also like to play dress up when my husband and I go on grown up dates. Add to this the fact that my "consultant" is my sister in law and in spite of what the uber-director said about consolation purchases, I made a consolation purchase. It's more than I usually spend on my drug store cosmetics but it won't go to waste and it helps a worthy cause, my sister in laws family without the uncomfortableness of an handout. Even though, I hesitate to add, she didn't buy a wreath this year from my son the boy scout. But, nevermind that. I love my sister in law and in a warped way I view this as a chance to get a little closer to her. Neither of us is what you would call warm and fuzzy in social situations so if this is what it takes to spend more time with her I'm willing.

But I do ask for wisdom. Am I just kidding myself? Should I be honest and state my feelings clearly to my sister in law, then trust God to show me another way? Is this a hill to die on? I read today that we, as a nation spend eighteen billion dollars annually on make up and that it would only take nineteen billion to meet the basic nutritional needs of the world’s poorest children. This is probably not my most unnecessary purchase in any given year. I'm sure a LOT of fat could be trimmed off here and there, and there, and there too. God grant me wisdom.

Now I should probably just delete this but I think I'll leave it here a few days and then take it down. I may revisit it occasionally to see how well it's digesting.