feeding the beast

When beauty becomes business
parameters are set
proliferating pretty ideas
that turn us into pawns
running off to purchase products
designed to bust us out of who
we really are
to create who we can be,


The mirror hides our real faces
cast aside and silent,
sorry they were never enough,
trampled upon by societal ideals
as needling procedures
entice our easy vain pride
filling in our laughter’s life
eating up its lines.

When beauty becomes business,
daughters desire more than they are.
Society teaches our children enhancement.
Find a mask that covers what’s wrong.
Women and children buy it:
lock, stock, and help us belong,
shooting for media envisioned standards.
Ready. Aim. Fire.

Pinching a pretty profit,
industry eats original face.

(unless we stop feeding the beast)

Brenda Warren 2012

Visit The Sunday Whirl.

22 thoughts on “feeding the beast

  1. This was a fantastic read, Brenda. I’m studying Business & Society and Strategic Marketing this term. Your poem expresses their concept in a nutshell. I even had to write about beauty products last week. I used to think I couldn’t face the world without make-up on and now I do. Priorities change.


  2. Brenda. this was right on target. That “machine,” the “beauty” industry, creates so many pitfalls for young girls (and Barbie expectations for young straight men). I used to have to slap it on when I performed, but never went too far astray from how I really looked. Now I’m 55; one of my sisters, almost 60, is TRAGICALLY blonde and I believe may be botoxing. Such a bad example for youth. As for young women, when her very world revolves around zit cream and eye shadow and the latest whatever, where is the time for her MIND to expand? It’s up to mothers to teach their daughters real values. Women DO have curves; everyone gets pimples. GREAT. And thanks as always for the Wordle; I have one for you and will send you the link. Peace and wrinkles showing with the grey, Amy


  3. So true, and so well written! Sadly, there is such pressure on young girls today, both by their peers and by the industry, and beauty is big business.


  4. I hope I am not repeating others views. I had my grandson over most of the day and am just catching up. I really like this piece because in our house growing up, I was not the one to conform. I still don’t. But then I never had a job that required I had to ‘dress-up’ to play a part that I wasn’t comfortable with playing. (Well most of the time anyway.) So I guess I’ve been lucky. I suppose it hasn’t hurt that while I’ve done nothing that I haven’t changed all that much from high school – the 1960’s and 1970’s did lean more towards ‘au naturale’. I’ve seen more smile lines and changes to my hair color, but I kind of go with natural is more beautiful than what some of the run-way models or their creative fashion house designers dictate.

    Thanks for stopping by the short form offering. I appreciate your kind words.


  5. Well said Brenda – “industry eats original face” – such a great line … so true … our ideas of “beauty” are so skewed by what we’ve been told is beautiful that I think it’s wise sometimes to take a step back and make sure we’re seeing what we think we’re seeing … good poem.

    Thanks for stopping by my Leaping Elephants blog earlier and commenting on a poem that deals with the fall-out from this topic … I appreciate your thoughts and the time you took to comment.


  6. The problem with cosmetics is that women (and girls) actually believe it will *make* them prettier. When that doesn’t happen, they’re off to buy more, still searching for that magic solution. Great poem, Brenda.


  7. yes, i agree! with everyone’s comments on how true your words are and how wonderfully you have expressed them.. and agree with daydreamertoo that these words should be out there for all to see.. would love to share this/link this on my blog later this week on a future post…
    my favorite lines – ‘The mirror hides our real faces
    cast aside and silent,
    sorry they were never enough,
    trampled upon by societal ideals’
    i love my real face, as i am.. and hope the mirror never hides it for me..


  8. Brenda, the beauty product industry makes a killing on selling those ideas and products, which are generally made by abusing animals. I haven’t succumbed to their program for quite a few years now. There are so many natural alternatives nowadays. I agree with the others all that makeup on older women can be hideous. Thanks for writing this poem.

    p.s. I am giving myself a cucumber mask today 🙂 Grind it up in a food processor, smooth it on and grab a pillow and a towel. Lie down for 20 minutes and viola! Refreshed!


  9. Industry eats original face indeed. Your poem is about one of my greatest pet peeves. Teens and young women are so beautiful naturally. Why put all of that goop on their face which gives them a mask-like look rather than a natural look! Whoever started this madness that gave women the feeling that they had to ‘enhance’ their face with products to be ‘desireable’ or to look ‘good’ (even to themselves)! But…..perhaps they are following their mothers’ examples?


  10. An over made-up older woman simply makes herself look ridiculous, older than she would look without. The spend on advertising spurious so-called scientific products is outrageous, and contributes to the copy-cat desires of our grandchildren. You only have to watch a television programme such as Strictly Come Dancing (Dancing with the Stars) to realise that so many celebs are indistinguishable one from another!

    Thank you for making me think, Brenda.


  11. I couldn’t agree with you more on all of this strong write Brenda. We live in an unreal world so much now where the kids all seem to think they need to look like their teen superstars to be seen as pretty or perfect instead of just celebrating their own unique beauty. So sad to think the big business just keeps growing fatter on other people’s misery in search of perfection.
    Phew…I really agree with all of this so much. Great piece of writing, ought to be seen on every classroom wall all over the western world.


    • Wow, thanks Bren. Your comments mean a lot. I haven’t worn make up since middle school, and I see my beautiful daughter succumb. She does it tastefully, but I do marvel at the expense, and at the extremes some women go to to cover up aging.


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