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conventional wisdom.

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of the look on women’s faces when they come in the shop and ask for a cream to help with wrinkles…and I tell them it doesn’t exist. It’s usually a flash of surprise, as if no one’s ever answered them that way before, followed by nodding and agreement as I explain my answer. And it’s as if they always knew that was the right answer.

But when we’ve been told by so many marketers and sales people that with the right ingredients and “technology”, a topical OTC product will erase years from the face, we go along with it, even though we know it can’t be true.

And more and more these days I’m having encounters with people (and advertisements) that really freak me out about how much we just accept as conventional thought and never think critically about.

Trying to convince a woman these days that she doesn’t actually HAVE TO HAVE a night cream AND a day cream because maybe she doesn’t really HAVE TO wear an SPF 365 days a year is nearly impossible. Can the sun age your skin? Yep. You know what else ages your skin? Getting older. Can the sun cause skin cancer? Yep. And so can genetics. And a lot of other things we don’t understand. Would I recommend you bake at the pool all summer with no protection of any kind? Never. But absorbing some of the sun’s rays is really good for you.

A few months back I encountered this photo in a shop window:

It’s a little hard to read, but it says, “60% of moms admit to letting their beauty slide. Get off the slide.” It takes quite a bit to offend me, but this really bothered me; enough to stop me in my tracks so I could record the moment. Is this a helpful message to a mom? That their “beauty” is a duty of some kind that they should feel guilty about neglecting? Exactly how much time and money SHOULD we be spending on our “beauty”?

Because honestly, for me, there are only about a million other things that I think are more worthy of my time, money, and energy than living up to someone’s beauty standard.

I think sometimes we women just assume that all the other women are okay with (or even really enjoy) trying to live up to the standard, like it’s a hobby (shoe shopping! makeup! yay!) and if we’re just over it, then something must be wrong with us.

So maybe we should buck conventional wisdom just a bit and start questioning it just a bit more.


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