Tuesday, March 21, 2006

For superficiality and pretty pictures, scroll down

What is it about the unnecessary? Why is there so much allure in the things that are completely irrelevant to our survival? I guess that for those of us who have never known real poverty, for whom shelter, food, and warmth have always been a given, there's nothing exciting or novel about necessities, because we count on the fact that they'll be there. I know I do.

Ok, I know that this is really vague and sounds sort of specious. Let me clarify. There's this blush that I've wanted for a while (Bourjois blush in Lilas d'Or), so I went to Sephora today to buy it, and I decided to devote the rest of the afternoon to beauty shopping, because I needed some lip balm and a new powder brush as well. Seemed like fun. At Sephora, all I needed (by which I mean wanted) was the blush, and I didn't even specifically want anything else, but I just wanted to buy something more. I looked aroud at shiny things in pretty packages, none of which really appealed to me too much, but I was determined to find something to spend on. Finally, my eyes fell on a Benefit (love their packaging) lip gloss that I've noticed before. It was sort of a loud color, a pale fuschia-ish pink, and even though I figured it would be kind of distracting on the face, I decided to try it. On my lips, it was actually sheer enough to morph into the perfect non-brown nude shade. I went for it. The thing is, I have about 10.7^6 (that's 10.7 to the power of six, for those of you who haven't had to type or read typed math stuff before) lip glosses as is, and half the time I wear Burt's Bees lip balm anyway.

Moving on, I went to a drugstore for a powder brush (I love Sephora's brush collection, but even I can't pay $40 for a makeup accessory that's not actually seen on your face). I found a nice cheap one, and of course had to wander too, and I almost bought my second eyeliner brush before I remembered that I prefer to apply most of my makeup with my fingers anyway. I wouldn't even use if it if I had bought it.

Here's the thing, though--walking through Time's Square while beauty shopping, you will pass by many homeless people. I mean, I spent close to $60 today, none of which was on stuff that I really actually needed. It's not that it isn't my right to do so, nor is it as though I asked to be born into relative priviledge, but simultaneously, no one asks to be born into their social class. Thinking about spending large quantities of money just for the sake of spending when some people have to stand on freezing street corners and beg just to get insufficient necessities makes me kind of nauseated.

Sometimes I think that the reason that so few people take action to combat the social problems of the U.S.A. is that, rather than just ignorance, plenty of people do actually think about issues like poverty and homelessness, but it's so overwhelming to think about that people don't know where to begin to help on an individual level, much less a societal one. Personally, I think that that's kind of legitimate--I mean, even the wealthiest people don't have the money to fix all of the social issues of the U.S., because it's a question of finite resources in a country where we've convinced ourselves that money (or at least monetary opportunity) is infinite. And even when you can help out a little, how do you know where help is most needed? I mean, is it better to give a dollar to a homeless person, or a public art museum? So instead, people distract themselves by thinking about something else.

Fashion, for example.

This is a vague, nebulous entry, and I don't have any easy conclusions like "thrifting is great" or "I love Prada" to give you. I promise that tomorrow or later tonight, I'll post lots about pure and simple fashion. I mean, hey, I still have my passions.

I gave $2 to homeless women to assuage my guilt.

It didn't help.

I still really like my new lip gloss.



Post a Comment

<< Home