Reject the New Ideal of Beauty: Boycott Maybelline and Cover Girl
Dear Maybelline Makeup Company,
I got a little choked up as I threw away my last Maybelline product this weekend. Maybe it's because you've been part of my life and lifestyle for 35 years - longer than any other brand, I think. I bought my first Maybelline Great Lash mascara when I was 12 years old and desperate to look and feel pretty. I wanted so badly to look like the models on the cover of Seventeen and Glamor! Cindy Crawford, Christy Brinkly, Christy Turlington.
In those days - the early 1980s - the ideal of beauty was a woman. She was athletic, with tousled windblown hair. She had curves but she had muscles, too. She looked like she could actually steer that sailboat she was posed upon around the bay and back again, laughing all the while.
She was beautiful, outdoorsy, athletic. She wasn't a skeleton. She didn't look like a zombie, a heroin addict, or vampire. Or a man trying to be a woman.
For the past 30 years, I've waited for the fashion and cosmetics industry to return to the days when beauty meant health and femininity. When glamor didn't equal men in drag, but beautiful women on the arm of handsome men. When a healthy appearance was in fashion, not a pale, dark-circles-under the eye look that equals addict. When women, not bodies with all the shape of a pre-pubescent girl, would be the ideal of beauty once more. White woman, black women, all are beautiful. Why aren't we seeing realistically beautiful women?
Instead, this year, aping your competitor Cover Girl, you decide that the ideal of beauty for the average American girl, teenager, and woman is a gay man wearing makeup.
Because being gay is in. Because being trans is in. Because being anything but your God-given sexuality is "in."
A man with five o'clock shadow wearing glittering eyeshadow, lipstick and blusher is neither attractive nor beautiful.
I am told this is about "acceptance." Acceptance used to mean a 'live and let live' attitude. It meant that I, as a 20 year old working in the retail industry and working with gay and transgendered colleagues, didn't tease them, or act mean to them.
It meant treating them like coworkers and people with souls made in the image and likeness of God. It meant loving them as Christ would love them - as human beings worthy of dignity and respect.
Which I did then, and I do now. But that doesn't mean that a man wearing makeup is a fashion ideal.
Male cosmetologist (Max Factor and many others) have worked in the industry for years, creating makeup looks, acting as makeup artists for the theater and movies and so on. Sometimes makeup has been in fashion for men, as in the Egyptian days and in the 16th and 17th century when men powdered their faces and hair the same as women. Your new spokesmodel may be a fine cosmetologist who can offer advice, but his face should not be the face of a cosmetics line for women.
I have been waiting 30 years for the pendulum of beauty to swing back to a healthy ideal. Just when I thought it could not get any worse, it has. Now, it is not enough to be a woman or look like a woman, like the healthy and attractive women models of the 1980s. Nor should you look so thin you are either an anorexic or a drug addict, like the models of the 1990s and early 2000s. Nor should you look like a reality star, as the models of 2000-2010 looked like as bad copies of the Kardashians and all the other vapid television personalities.
No, now you and others in the fashion industry are saying, "Women, you are not enough. The beautiful bodies God gave you are no longer relevant. Everything that makes you a woman is unimportant. The only thing that is important is the other - gay, transgendered other."
This is the modern ideal.
This is flat out wrong.
As a 12-year-old girl, I loved looking at the makeup ads for your company. I would not want makeup ads featuring this young man to be admired by young girls forming their own self-identities today.
Maybelline, both you and Cover Girl have been staples of my life for 35 years. Great Lash mascara is the only mascara I have worn for 35 years. This weekend, trash bag in hand, I cleaned out every single item of makeup, nail polish, and product I own that was made by your companies. Some were brand new. It did not matter.
I threw them all in the bin and closed the lid.
I will no longer buy your products. Ever.
I am done with being told to accept your ideal of beauty. Your ideal of beauty is against my ideal of truth, and the two are not compatible. If one has to go, it's you. And you are gone - gone from my bathroom counter, gone from my shopping list, and gone from my life. Forever.
To those who are also sick of this nonsense and ungodly ideals pushed as fashionable, I invite you to join me in a boycott of both Maybelline and Cover Girl cosmetics. Let's stop putting up with being pushed around. Transgendered men are not the ideal of female beauty.