As women, we do some rather insane things to achieve what could only be defines as modern standards of beauty. We wear shoes that do horrible things to our feet. We don bras that dig into our chests and push our breastesses into strange configurations. We slide on pantyhose to firm our stomachs and lift our behinds, makeup to hide our imperfections, and hair dye to diminish or complete rid us of our grays. And we have this strange habit of yanking other body hair out from the root, be it our eyebrows, underarms, legs, or pubic hair. (yes, I just said pubic hair – forgive me)
When I was a buyer for Nordstrom, I was much more likely to pay attention to fashion than I am now. I think part of it is because I interacted with other people on a daily basis and it was my job to actually look like I had it together. I have had my nails done weekly, my upper lip waxed monthly and even had a bikini wax once. (Although I never wore a bikini, you understand, it was for my wedding night and I regretted it too…more on that another time)
I worked long hours. On my feet. We used to joke about the fact that our shoe buyers purposely bought shoes that made us feel like Geisha (geishas? geisha’s?) at the end of the day. There was no such thing as comfort back in those days – it was all about fashion, especially if you were traveling to the markets in L.A., Vegas and N.Y.C. Oh, the pain I endured for the sake of fashion. My dogs were barking at the end of a long market day and I always looked forward to going back to my room and soaking them in my friend, Mr. Epsomsalt.
But I don’t think any amount of soaking would do a true-life Geisha any good. Now, before you go thinking that Geisha are all about prostitution, they’re not, I assure you. Women who become Geisha endured many years of training to master their complicated and vast variety of talents including dance, calligraphy, and conversation. And they also bound their feet for the sake of fashion. It might have looked good in those teensy tiny shoes, but I wonder if they ever considered the long-term effects?
If you are easily disturbed by graphic photographs, then I suggest you don’t look at the following photographs. I plan on using them in our World History curriculum this next year when we discuss different cultures, because I think it’s interesting. So are you ready?
What do YOU do in the name of fashion that is a real pain?
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