Posted on August 2, 2015

Collage Club: BEAUTIFUL – ‘Polished Girl’

In this second response to The Collage Club theme of ‘BEAUTIFUL’, I couldn’t resist a subliminal commentary on lipstick – make-up in general – being both a tool to empower and also to imprison.

It’s great to wear make-up and feel like a ‘polished’ girl (or woman), yet to some degree it is expected that women will wear make-up to ‘look more beautiful’, and in certain industries – fashion for example – practically unthinkable for a woman to choose not to wear make-up.

In this collage I’ve taken the original image of the ‘polished girl’ and surrounded her with images of lipsticks.

Collage Club: Beautiful - 'Polished Girl'

The lipsticks become an armour against the world; an opportunity to polish up and exude an enhanced confidence, yet, yet, turning inwards like a knife, there is a fine line between ‘looking your best’ and ‘making the most of your looks’, to the more invasive side of the beauty industry and ‘going under the knife’ which can become an obsession in a world that reveres celebrity and stardom and the polished patina of a Photoshopped cover-girl (woman).

I’ve gone quite dark, but I think it’s important to examine the psychology behind much of the glitz and glamour in beauty advertising, as young girls are influenced by images that force them to identify non-existent flaws, pursuing the polished look as a cure for all ills – ‘if I was more beautiful, then…’.

I love this quote from Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch:

Beauty alters the grain of reality…the pursuit of pure beauty is a trap, a fast track to bitterness and sorrow…beauty has to be wedded to something more meaningful.”

See a different take on this theme in my first collage What is Beautiful?

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  • Reply Emily@squiggleandswirl August 4, 2015 at 5:10 am

    It’s hard not to think of beauty without thinking of all the pressure surrounding women about appearance. I enjoyed this months theme over at collage club too, I really like how you used the lipsticks to convey your message ! Emily :)

    • Reply daintydora August 4, 2015 at 8:03 am

      Thanks Emily. There are often so many ways to interpret a theme and so it’s nice sometimes to do more than one collage. I love wearing make-up and do it because it makes me feel good, but I do think that the beauty industry is good at making women feel they *need* to wear make-up or that once you start, you can’t stop (heaven forbid anyone is seen out without it kind of idea). A very interesting topic! x

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