Thursday, 14 April 2011

What is perfect?

On Monday I was on a mission to get maps and stuff printed for the metrogaine on Tuesday night. Walking in the mall from one side to the other, I noticed one of those promotional cosmetics counter things. It was actually their banner that caught my attention as their logo looks very similar to Coco Chanel... They're in a similar industry - couldn't they at least be original?

Anyway, the young foreign chap at the stand catches me as I walk past. Turns out he's from Jerusalem. He's only been here for a month. There seem to be lots of them around; there's another one at another, similar, cosmetic stand in another nearby shopping centre. This chap is friendly, he seems to know his products and he has a nice manner.

I would rather be on my way because I'm really not interested in what they're selling and I know without asking that these products cost way more than I'd ever pay on lotions and potions. I don't like being one to just whiz past so I stop and listen to him.

He does his thing and also asks about my lifestyle, recommending appropriate products, like sunblock and a nourishing moisturiser. He gets me to exfoliate my hands with this sea-salt stuff - it's exactly like the stuff that the other dude with the other brand at the other counter in the other mall got me to do a few weeks ago... I didn't really like it because of a greasy after feel. Same with this one.


After being walked through all kinds of things, I ask how much the two products he is punting - serum thing for better absorption of their products and a moisturiser.

The serum stuff is R2400.

The moisturiser is like R2000.

He adds that the moisturiser will last 12 months; so what's R165/month eh?

So I say that I get his reasoning and that sure, the product will last 12 months, but that it is a lot of money for this product that I don't want or need.

Anyway, he makes some special deal offers like buy one, get one or a 40% discount on just the moisturiser... I still decline

I'm trying to leave. He asks me if there are things I want to improve about my skin.

I say no.

I've got good skin. Even as a teen I was rarely plagued by zits. And with all the outdoor stuff I have done sunblock, hats, shades, arm protectors/long sleeves for many, many years.

Then he asks whether I think that I'm the perfect woman.

Cheeky swine, preying on insecurities.

I answered no because that's the answer he expects and wants. But I did add that I'm quite happy with my skin, that I don't have any issues and I don't have any problem areas that I want to fix. I don't get greasy T-lines, I don't have wrinkles and as a Jo'burg girl who has grown up on the dry highveld, I've moisturised daily since I was about seven years old.

The thing is... what is the perfect woman or perfect skin. Both are artificial constructs. Cover models? I've seen enough before and after images to know that they've got good facial structures and that's it - make-up and Photoshop gives them unnaturally flawless, pore-less, hairless, blemish-free skin. Really, it is skin-free skin.

He lost my attention completely when he tried to sell me a 'perfection' I'm not interested in. Preying on common insecurities and challenging people on their appearance in order to sell overpriced products is low.

It probably works on others; doesn't work on me.

I don't care for his or any other 'perfect woman' construct.

I'm a perfect me.

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