The Year in Review
1. I STARTED A BLOG
In February of this year, Conflicted Beauty came to life. It started with this product review, and it's now grown into a space I'm proud of, though I am still hoping to get it to where I truly envision. I was finding the lack of critical, feminist perspectives on the beauty blogosphere really frustrating, and wanted to delve a little bit deeper into women’s relationship to makeup and beauty (and define the term “beauty”). Beauty is a sort of religious imperative for women, due to cultural and societal structures requiring women to be beautiful. As Ambrose Bierce once wrote, “To men a man is but a mind. Who cares what face he carries or what he wears? But woman’s body is the woman.” Being aware of the pressures to wear makeup, then, and of the customs surrounding our beauty rituals as women, is an important factor in being a knowledgeable consumer and makeup indulger. I wrote here that you can absolutely wear makeup and be a feminist, but I am nonetheless still very weary of the “beauty industry” and conflicted about my own relationship to an activity that is steeped in patriarchy. Hence the name: Conflicted Beauty.
So where do I plan to take this blog? I really want to interview more women (and men too!) about their beauty routines and their understanding of the word. I want to offer more body-empowering content, like this love letter I wrote to my stretch marks. I also want to offer more posts on women-centric issues and interests (or items) that don’t get much mention in the beauty world. My review on period underwear is a start. Notice how the words vagina, pussy, blood, etc, are often expunged from the beauty blogosphere? I would like to change that as much as I can. In this post, I talked a bit about my thesis I wrote in grad school, where I analyzed the language of the top 5 U.K beauty blogs. As you can see, the discourse of beauty quite often reflects society’s expectations and constructs of beauty and womanhood (dewy skin, subtle makeup, a routine with beauty products- i.e, a relationship with consumer products). One of my biggest beliefs is that the power of the blogosphere can uproot that discourse and turn it on its head.
2. I GOT MY MASTER'S DEGREE
Though a master’s in (socio)Linguistics is proving to not be the most sought-after degree in this economy, I’ve loved every bit of my studies. My love for language, its syntax, but also how it is used and how it ascribes meaning in our society, has grown exponentially, and I feel a lot more knowledgeable of the world, and of people as a whole, as a result. It took me a few years out of my undergrad to take the plunge into grad school, but that time off only helped solidify what I truly wanted to study.
3. I MOVED FROM LONDON BACK TO NEW YORK
To obtain said master’s, I moved to a city I knew nothing about: London. Though on a student budget as little as mine London is tough to survive, it’s an incredibly vibrant, eccentric, and diverse city, and one I miss all the time. I made incredible friends, lived in a freaking incredible house with the most amazing housemates, and also got to hop on a train to France every couple months to visit family. It was a perfect life. Of course, my love for New York, and Brooklyn in particular, is as strong as ever, and it feels really nice to be able to settle down with my SO, and our little family of pets (crazy cat/dog lady over here). I feel bursts of creativity all the time being in this city, and I am never, never bored.
4. ALL THE FAVORITES
In cased you missed my last post, I made a video of all of my favorite beauty products of 2015. You can watch it here. I also made a playlist of my favorite tracks of the year, which you can access here for a leisurely, and pleasurable, experience. Enjoy!
See you all in 2016!