Don’t Adore Beauty
“The beauty myth is always actually prescribing behaviour and not appearance”
Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth
As a self-identified feminist (or pro-feminist, as I would be called in some circles), I have consistently (and especially during my Feminism degree) grappled with the idea of selling cosmetic products to women. I’ve read countless feminist works on the construct of beauty: Naomi Wolf, Germaine Greer’s infamous chapter from The Female Eunuch on ‘hair’ (not to mention her controversial statements about beauty products) and bell hooks’ work on hair straightening in her many black feminist texts. However, as a hairdresser by trade, I know that for many of my clients, hair and beauty are not about fitting in with a man’s ideal, in fact, they are often used as a way to express yourself, your inner beauty, creatively through your look.
So when we began The Ritualist, I was firmly against the idea of promoting one kind of beauty. The kind that identifies differences in women’s bodies as ‘problem areas’ and the same voice that characterises an inability to achieve enough volume in one’s hair as an almost life threatening illness.
As a result, our mantra has always been the same: we don’t want you to adore beauty, or your beauty ritual, but more power to you if you do. We simply want to curate the very best products that do exactly what they promise so that you can spend your time doing more important things, rather than endlessly reading reviews and beauty blogs to try to find products that work for the look you want to achieve. We firmly believe in the truth that the most beautiful people are the most confident, the women that seem to radiate positive energy and we are pretty sure that you are not going to find this self-confidence picking at your flaws in front of a mirror with a so-called ‘life changing’ product slapped all over yourself.
Naomi Wolf’s comment above speaks to exactly this: that beauty is not so much a ‘thing’, but a prescribed behaviour, aka the hours women spend in front of the mirror ‘beautifying’ themselves. Your hair and beauty ritual should be easy, quick and make you feel great about yourself. If that isn’t your experience then we would love to hear from you!
Alternatively, if you are shopping with us to add yet another product to your overstuffed beauty cabinet that you are hoping will change how you see yourself, you’re in the wrong place. But I would love to meet with you and have a chat and see how we can get that beauty cabinet narrowed down to the best products for the job.
To all of our amazing clients out there, may I just remind you of this, the mirror is not your friend! Step away and treat yourself to another coffee or some before-work-TV or read a magazine: this is all better than slaving away to look like something you’re not. The truth is you have no idea how beautiful you really are, especially when you’re not worrying about it!