Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

kelly lebrock pantene

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If you’re my age or thereabouts…

– which in trending terms would be the sort of person who wears flats to The Cannes Film Festival (I have no idea what the real story behind the snowballing media ‘real story’ version is, it’s hard to believe anything these days, but this has stirred up so many issues for so many people it’s probably going to keep snowballing for another few seconds in media life while everyone chips in with their opinion, jumps on the bandwagon and publicises themselves).

… then you may have been exposed to Pantene’s ‘Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful’ advertising campaign. It was both annoying and rather endearing. Not dissimilar to L’Oreal’s ‘Because I’m Worth It’ commercials. There were some major Jedi mind tricks going on there for the purpose of selling beauty products.

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im-worth-it_meme

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Did it work? Did I buy Pantene because I wanted to have hair which made people hate me because I was beautiful or whatever I was (and others were) supposed to think and feel?

Luckily I’m at that stage in life when forgetfulness is a blessing, even though I keep being told to fear such a thing as it may be a sign of dementia or something worse (like actually being happy because I no longer care… to remember or can recall why I should be unhappy).

I did try Pantene’s shampoo at some point… and it felt as though I’d rubbed my scalp with shards of glass. I figured that was a deliberate sensation which the product was supposed to cause to force me to also buy the conditioner just to make the pain stop. I decided that not using the product was the best way to go.

My bad…

I probably did buy L’Oreal stuff. It was hard not to as they owned other companies with other names and monopolised the market. But not because I wanted to be worth it. I hated that slogan… it pressed my I-don’t-want-to-go-there buttons. It’s just not worth it!

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photoshopped madonnaphotoshopped madonna

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Growing up female is a weird experience. I’m guessing that growing up male is also weird. Genders are weird. Being human is weird. Being human is hard enough as it is without piling on the gender issue pounds and dollars.

We have so many issues because we have this thing we sometimes brag about as being the reason why we’re better than all other natural creations. We think… about ourselves and being ourselves. And because we think… we think we’re better than other natural creations, and we mess with what is natural because of it.

We do the whole god/goddess complex thing… so focused on the benefits we disregard the side-effects, the consequences. Typical human-god complex magical thinking (because we can think and think thinking is magic) at work.

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rainbow_immersion_therapy_by_sebreg-d56enrsby sebreg

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I grew up with parents who overdosed on the god/goddess complex pow(d)er. So… of course I absorbed some of that and repeated the behaviour… with my Barbies.

I loved my Barbies (that term also includes Kens and Skippers).

I wasn’t a typical Barbie girly-girl… frankly, I didn’t think about that kind of thing because it wasn’t made relevant. Otherwise I would have probably done it. Been a girly-girl.And thought about it.

I didn’t know that the way I was wasn’t the way that everyone was. And that the way I played with my Barbies was not how girls were supposed to play with Barbies… according to the adverts… I only figured that out when I saw the adverts, but even then… it didn’t hit home until I played with others who surprised me by playing with Barbies like the adverts rather than like I played with them.

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nailed it - game of thronesgenius!

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Every now and then I come across an article which tries to be all objective, detached, psychological, or whatnot, while tearing Barbie a new one for being the source of all female body dysmorphia and other ailments. Hating on Barbie for being ‘beautiful’ and justifying the hate, encouraging others to propagate and perpetuate it – don’t you dare disagree or you’ll get accused of being something far worse than Barbie. Barbie is the root of all evil……….

It makes my heart ache – Barbie never made me feel bad about myself, even though I looked (and look) nothing like her. That was not what the relationship between me and Barbie was about – I got that kind of shit from interacting with humans, never with Barbie. She was there for me, accepted me as is, and helped me deal with human shit, work things out by playing them out with her. She put up with a lot of human mess on my part.

Some of my favourite Barbies went bald because I stuck pins in their heads (for ‘beauty’ purposes). They put up with it, and taught me to accept human shit… and yet not accept it too.

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chanouga

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Barbie didn’t teach me to hate my body – humans did.

I loved my legs until my mother enlightened me with the awful but true truth about how deformed they were (they weren’t she was just in an envious-of-my-youthful-self-love mood).

I loved to dress up and look ‘pretty’ until my father told me I was a whore for doing that (he was just pissed off at having a child, a family, responsibilities he didn’t want, and life in general in that moment in time and forever). My mother was there and didn’t disagree with him (if he hated me, then at least he wasn’t loving me because that offended her… or something like that).

I liked the way I looked until society told me that was not okay on so many levels (who did I think I was!?!). I needed their approval first (and they were loathe to give that kind of thing because not giving it gave them power… over their own powerlessness issues, and stuff). Each decade has made this worse rather than better… society is going through some tough shit dealing with being mortal.

But humans tell you to blame Barbie, because then you won’t blame them… but they will blame you.

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princessdiana barbie quote

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If you think you’re cool, special, enlightened, or some other ego trip for hating on Barbie… Barbie doesn’t care, not in that way, not in a human way… Barbie won’t reject you for hating on her… so you’re safe doing that and believing whatever your hate for her makes you believe… mostly about yourself.

When we hate others… we feel better about ourselves. Who created that kind of paradox!?!

Barbie is just a piece of molded plastic… she becomes whatever you make of her. The problems you have with Barbie… Barbie will accept that as being what she is to you, but she’s not the one causing the problems which you have with her. For the source of those problems, you’re going to have to look at the flesh and blood around you and within you.

Yes, sometimes Barbie is an evil bitch. But she needs to be because good, sweet Barbie needs to learn how to deal with evil bitches. Sometimes Ken saves the day, being all Knight in Shining Armor Prince Ken about it. But good Barbie may reject his help, she needs to handle this situation herself or she’ll end up being a damsel in permanent distress who always needs a Prince Ken to save her. That may be great at first, but it gets boring quickly. She’ll end up hating Prince Ken for that!

There’s also evil bastard Ken to contend with. Good Barbie needs to learn how to deal with that kind of creepy Ken. Sure Prince Ken could do that for her, but she does have to figure that kind of shit out for herself at some point… what if Prince Ken dies in the line of saving Good Barbie duty? Good Barbie has to learn how to wield a sword as much as she knows how to work with her wardrobe.

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top tips for ending rape

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My father was a bad father by conventional good father standards, but when he was being an a-hole, he didn’t discourage me from being an a-hole back just because I was female, his daughter, in fact he pretty much encouraged it. He dished it, and let me dish it back, provoked me to dish it back so I could defend myself and not worry about my self-defense being offensive.

It’s not a perfect system, but it has helped me… to get myself out of certain situations where being a typical ‘female’ adhering to standard good female inoffensive behaviour would have caused me a lot of grief. More grief than I already had from being human in a very human family in a very human society and world.

He once played Barbies with me – that was awkward, yet also kind of nice. A father willing to do that… well, sometimes evil Ken isn’t as evil as you think he is, perhaps you just think he is because bitch queen Barbie won’t let it be any other way.

Who knows…

My Barbie games were more like an episode of Once Upon A Time or Grimm…

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hexenbiest

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… which was great for me, but often confused my friends if I played ‘Barbies’ with them.

My bad…

They’d want to dress Barbie up to go on a date… fair enough… but this date is going to go horribly wrong, there’s going to be a shipwreck on a seemingly deserted island, and just as the survivors are pulling themselves together, and doing basic survival stuff… they’ll discover this island isn’t deserted at all (sounds like Lost). Evil Ken or Bitch Queen Barbie rules this island of Dr. Moreau… Shit just got surreal!

Let’s just say… I introduced quite a few innocents into the world of extreme Barbie X-games. Welcome to childhood insomnia – you can’t go to sleep, not now… Good Barbie is naked and hanging upside down over a vat of piranhas, evil Ken thinks this will convince her to love him. Prince Ken is probably dead or enslaved by Evil Queen Barbie. Good Barbie better learn to kick some manipulative ass quickly or she’s chum!

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the-island-of-dr.-moreau

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My mother once walked in on one too many of these Barbie games of mine and decided to consult my child psychologist Godfather/Uncle about her child. From that moment on I knew he was scared of me (he wasn’t my uncle, he was crying uncle)… which was funny. An adult scared of a child!?!

I didn’t really realise what I was doing during that time in my life… I was working stuff out in a way which may have appeared unhealthy, but considering the consequences and side effects… putting bits of molded plastic through hell has somehow made me more considerate towards flesh and blood (and not putting flesh and blood through hell) than maybe I’d have been had I followed in other footsteps.

Those who don’t do that kind of thing… tend to be more prone to acting that kind of darkness out on their flesh and blood.

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 1618665_745507265462116_1888609718_nby Toby Allen

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We’re always a work in progress… working things out… one way or another.

 

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5 thoughts on “Don’t Hate Me Because I’m Beautiful

  1. Excellent. Wow. With a writing mind like yours, you should be rich and famous. If you are not, well that’s just one more proof of how unfair life is.

    My momster, the most malignant person I have ever known in my life, and that is really saying something — my momster dearest would not allow me to have a Barbie because she said Barbie’s face looked hateful. Like she apparently never looked at her own face in the mirror. She insisted I could only have a Betsy McCall doll, because her face looked sweet. What did my momster know about sweet? To her, sweet was something you eat….

    Oooh….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      I was given Barbies because my mother wanted them, and bought them for herself using me as an excuse. But she rarely played with them, and I think she may have been a bit annoyed that I did – her problem for giving them to me instead of keeping them for herself. Most of my toys were bought because my parents wanted them, or they were bribes, or a way to win ego points (as in look how generous I am being to my child).

      Parents are very weird beings.

      It’s interesting to explore our early interactions with our parents, you can see things more clearly sometimes in the way they treated you then, and what it says about them and the issues they brought to the relationship, it was all about them using us (kind of like dolls) to work something out of their system (and pass it onto us). We confuse things later on because we think it’s about us due to absorbing their issues.

      Each insight you get, frees perspective. Ah, the bliss of pieces falling into place!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What you said about your mother giving you Barbies because she wanted them reminds me of how my mother always insisted on naming my dolls. She insisted that my favorite doll, the one her father gave me, had to be named Susie. I hated that name, and it made me not like that doll so much. I was only two and a half (my memory goes back really far) so I didn’t know I could privately give my dolls different names.

        But here is the crazy thing. My mother named every single one of my dolls — but when I was six and she had twin girls — which surprised even the doctor, this being 1960 and long before ultrasound — our momster asked me, a first grader, to pick a name for one of them, because she only had one girl name picked out. So I named my sister Nancy, after Nancy Drew…. but I was never allowed to name my own dolls! I wonder what a psychiatrist would make of that!

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        1. That’s an intriguing story. On the surface it sounds quite lovely, but the surface reflects what we choose to see in it, which is often a fantasy version of reality.

          You could view it as a mother who wanted her eldest child to feel a part of the birth of the new members of the family, rather than left out. Being invited to name your sibling… what a treat, what a way to connect!

          But what is going on underneath? Is this naming ritual something beautiful and touching, connecting generations, family, or… is there something beneath which may be something else?

          Did you feel more connected with the twin you named versus the twin your mother named? Did you feel perhaps that naming one of the babies made you responsible for that baby? Was your mother passing on half of her burden to you? Making you a surrogate mother?

          I think a psychiatrist would make it into something it is not (because psychiatrists… often go into that line of work for personal reasons which they then forget and project onto those they treat)… and that only you can figure out what it actually is, because you have the stories that no one else will ever know or understand – you know them and understand them, so you know what they mean. But meanings often change, each time we review our stories.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. You are so right in everything you said here. Everything — especially what you said about why shrinks become shrinks. I have some crazy shrink stories. Also, my awesome 40 year old daughter is now back in college, going for her doctorate in psychology. So I have some insider’s insight into the preexisting issues that might lead one into that field of study.

            The twin my mother allowed me to name was the firstborn by about 5 minutes. She was also not expected to live. By the time I was asked to name her, the doctor had told my parents that Nancy would not live past a week, maybe one month at the most. But she is still alive today and probably the sanest of us all.

            Here’s another bizarre parent-doll story. When I was four my dad became a Christian after a near death scare… and right away decided God wanted him to be a preacher. At the age of 22. Anyway, my dad told me how important it was that I believe in God, so I wouldn’t go to hell. Yeah. So one day my favorite doll’s head came off. I took her to my dad and asked him to fix her. He told me he could not fix her, but that I should pray to God and ask him to fix her. Disappointed, I put my “Suzie” doll and her head in my toy box.

            Later, I found my doll in the toy box with her head properly attached. I ran to my dad and asked if he had fixed her. “God answered your prayer and fixed your doll for you,” my dad said. “So you see, God is real and he answers prayers.”

            Later my mother told me the truth, that my dad had fixed my doll and lied about it because he wanted to make sure I would believe…. kind of crazy but sweet, too, in a way.

            By the way, I no longer hate the name Suzie, it is a cute name. I just hated that my mother forced her name ideas on my dolls. I wanted her to be Rachel. My second favorite doll my momster named Charity. Go figure.

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