As you know, I take pleasure in observing society, its people and their fascinating behaviours. I could spend my whole day asking people why they do certain things, like wearing a FitBit, or getting tattoos, or keeping a fish in a bowl at home.
The answers to my questions are sometimes surprising, and sometimes predictable.
For example, I remember asking someone why they like Coldplay. They responded that everyone likes Coldplay. Later, I asked another person why they don’t like Coldplay, and their response was the same – because everyone likes Coldplay.
I asked someone why they are so enthusiastic about spin classes. They said they actually hate it, but because in ‘King of Queens’, Carrie goes to spin classes and because she looks amazing, it must be working.
My mother owns many things because there is some sort of list of things a good woman of the house must have in her home, like a rolling pin or aprons. And not just one apron, several aprons!
Men won’t use shower gels or shampoos unless they come in a bottle that looks like motor oil and says ‘for men’. Because deep inside is the fear that using anything that might be for females would immediately reduce the size of their most beloved genitals and perhaps trigger the growth of a uterus.
But if we don’t bake, why do we insist on having a rolling pin? If we hate spin classes, why don’t we do something else instead?
Well, dearest reader, I’m afraid it’s because of you and me. Society! Peer pressure!
I remember being a teenager and asking my parents to allow me to go to a party. Of course, they said no. As I cried “but everyone is going!!” their famous response was: “Well, if everyone jumps off a bridge, are you also going to jump?”
Evidence suggests we all would.
Just recently, I decided to take a stance. I decided to face one of my bridges. The bridge of beauty products.
Like any other woman led by her insecurities in a very beauty-critical society, my house has always been filled with products to hide or eliminate my imperfections. I have always had a night and a day cream for my face, because I read somewhere that your skin needs different nutrients at different times of the day.
Dearest reader, I cannot describe to you the anxiety when I accidentally used the night cream in the morning and vice versa, worrying about the effects on my skin. Will I get a rash? Will I age more quickly now? Will my skin know I did this??
My skin, it turns out, has no idea what time it is. It also doesn’t change persona at night, it’s the same skin all day long. And it really doesn’t need two creams – I threw out the night cream and decided to never buy one again. And my skin looks exactly the same. Let the others jump off the bridge into a sea filled of delicious-smelling night cream while I stay strong!
Dearest reader, I challenge you to pick a bridge in your life, and decide not to jump off.
Because adulthood is already too darn hard without all this extra fear.