When I was thinking about writing this post I didn’t realize there was actually a product called, “Hope in a Jar”, but there it is. If I had imagined there was a product named as such I would never have thought it would be a moisturizer, but rather a product that could transform a person, probably a woman, into that someone they always “hoped” to be.
The first person to call beauty products, “Hope in a Jar” was beauty industry pioneer, Charles Revson, he was a very smart man, because he knew that beauty products speak to us from a place inside that says, “You can look better”, “You can be Better”, “if you are more beautiful”. Recently I heard someone remark, “You can’t cure ugly!”, but certainly the beauty industry gives the best hope for a cure. There are so many ways to cure it too! You can use diet, you can use exercise, you can use clothes and accessories and finally you can use make-up. Put your best face forward and smile. If your teeth don’t look so white anymore you can go home and bleach them yourself. And now there are products that will reverse the signs of aging. How does that work exactly? Companies selling hope reap billions of dollars a year. In 2002 Brazil had more Avon Ladies than it had active members of it’s armed forces, 700,000 to be exact. Maybe that was a good thing because wanting to look better should take precedence over wanting to kill people, but still that’s a lot of Avon Ladies parading around in one country selling hope.
When I was younger I used a lot of beauty products, but I used the less expensive kind. I didn’t have to go to a special make-up counter in a high class store to purchase my wares, but as I age I find the more expensive items really do work better and now I buy them but use them sparingly. I make them last. My issue with beauty products and the beauty industry in general is the individual work required to maintain a consistent, positive effect. From shower to hair to make up to outfit can be a long daunting process that requires precision and timing. Add to that a daily exercise routine, meal planning, shopping and expense and all of a sudden it feels like most of one’s day is spent with great focus on appearance. Do we want to appear attractive to impress others or do we want to appear attractive to impress ourselves? Or have we been taught that appearance is more important then anything else? For me it often feels like if I don’t look like everybody else, if I don’t dress like everybody else and if I don’t value what everybody else values I won’t be appreciated or accepted in a society that values appearance more than substance, unless we are looking at fabrics or calorie content. I believe this adds a lot of stress to our already over-stressed existence and I also believe that other people feel the same way. Maybe I am wrong. It seems like we live in a pretty superficial world and even though that really bothers me I have come to accept it, but I have hope that it can change. I assure you that hope does not come in a jar.