I like to view the world in a realistic way.
One thing that I think is obvious about the world that we live in is that people are visually-oriented. Good or bad, that's the way things are. And, depending on what visually-oriented means to you, I don't tend to think it's a bad thing. For me, it means that you put effort into your appearance - you wear nice clothing to your office, you brush your hair before you leave the house, etc. This behavior goes for women and men. For example, women can put on a little mascara for work and men can put on a tie. To clarify, I am not referring to changing natural things about you, such as nose shape or body type (unless you want to).
But there's something that really gets me. There are women who vehemently refuse to wear makeup or change their clothing or cut their hair into a more flattering shape, even when it's to the detriment of their dating life and their professional prospects. They get angry at anyone for even suggesting it. It seems to me that women do this for one of two reasons. The first is that they feel like they're lying - they don't want to lie about what they actually look like, they don't want to lie by flattering their body in a way that improves the shape of their frame, they don't want to lie by getting a haircut that they have no expectation of styling. The second is that they feel like they're taking a stand for women everywhere by refusing to change their appearance - they shouldn't have to change the way that they look to fit in with some standard they never agreed to in the first place.
I fundamentally disagree with this outlook on femininity.
As a woman who didn't know how to do my makeup until I was 21 and who rarely if ever wore makeup before that, I say this without having been brainwashed into thinking society needed me to look like a photoshopped version of myself. In fact, I was probably influenced in the other direction: wearing makeup was a bad thing in my childhood and teenage years. But the fascinating thing that I learned when I started doing makeup was the way that I started viewing other people: I would look at a friend of mine, for example, and think to myself, "Wow, her features are stunning. I could accentuate that with a little bit of eyeliner, or a little bit of contour, or a little bit of lipstick." Everyone became beautiful because their best features could all be brought to life with just a little bit of cosmetic artistry.
Wearing makeup isn't a lie, and it isn't something that the world has enforced on you. It's a tool you can use to become even more beautiful than you already are. Do you have to pack on the eyeshadow or wear bright red lipstick? Absolutely not. But if you have beautiful green eyes, why not wear mascara to make them stand out? Why not give the men that you're interested in the absolute best chance of seeing you at your most attractive?
And wearing clothing that flatters your figure? That's just common sense. In fact, to me it's a double standard. Women complain about men wanting them to look put together...but we expect the same thing from men. If a guy walked in for a first date without having showered, brushed his teeth, or put on a clean shirt, wouldn't you be disappointed? It's a symbol of respect for him to look nice when he meets you.
The same goes for women. Yes, men don't have to wear makeup. But they have to shower, put on cologne, put on a fresh outfit and get ready in their own way for a date with a woman. And outside of that, they have to pay for the entire thing! And you want to know something else? Men have their own burden to attract women: by earning a living to support a family and/or exercising to keep themselves physically fit.
Are you changing your appearance to make other people happy? Well, first, I would say that you're not changing your appearance, you are improving upon it. Giving it a boost. But second, no one is happier that you put effort into your appearance - but you might be. You might actually get that job you've been dreaming of if you look the part. And you might catch the eye of that fellow you've been interested in. Even just small things, like a different lipstick or a pair of heels, can make a huge difference. So why resent what you can use to your benefit?
Do you agree? What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments down below, and share with your friends!
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Why do you go to the movies? I know that for me, sometimes I simply want to enjoy a movie that altogether isn't that great. I know that I'll feel good watching it, even if I wouldn't put it on a list of the 100 best films ever made. One example of this is the movie Leap Year, with Matthew Goode and Amy Adams. It's not a masterpiece - but it made me smile. Another example? Downton Abbey.
I have watched every episode of the British television show...even through its less entertaining seasons. I was a fan of the first two seasons and even the third, but the next few seasons took a steep nosedive until the last few episodes when things began to wrap up. Much of the drama with Anna and Bates, for example, was horribly upsetting, unsettling, and unnecessary, while the marriage of Carson and Mrs. Hughes was a perfect ending to the show. I even went to the Downton Abbey exhibit when it was on display in New York, enjoying every moment.
So when it was announced that there would be a Downton Abbey movie, I knew I wanted to see it. After Faith Moore invited me onto her podcast to discuss it, I went to the Alamo Drafthouse, bought one ticket, and sat down in the theater next to another woman who had no one to see it with. So I guess that tells you one thing: Downton Abbey is probably not meant for your male partner.
The movie opens as the show always did, with a lot of hustle and bustle leading up to reuniting with our main characters. We find out rather quickly that the King and Queen are coming to Downton. As you can imagine, that is the catalyst for the rest of the film: the King's servants treat the Downton servants like pests and try to take over operations; Edith's husband is invited to travel with the prince right after Edith discovers she's pregnant; Mary and Tom have to deal with an assassination attempt on the King; and Tom finally meets a young woman he can envision a future with.
First of all, it's lovely to see all of the characters we've grown to know and love back together on the big screen. It feels as if everything is even more grand than the show itself - the sweeping shots are now even more sweeping, the costumes more luscious, the characters more witty, the music more entrancing. And the twists and turns that were a signature of the show are back in the movie - although they are so obvious that they can be seen as soon as the hint is dropped.
But with so much going on and only two hours to tell the entire story, the movie sort of feels like a season's worth of material crammed into one episode. I planned on taking notes during the movie, but each interaction was so short that I literally didn't have time to consider a thought before we were moving on to the next character's drama. There are so many characters that we care about, so many stories to tell, that you feel like you're in a whirlwind, simply trying to keep up. In one particular scene, Mary stops by Carson's house to invite him back to Downton to help with the preparations before the King's arrival. She says that she can only stop by briefly - and the scene itself is so brief that it doesn't feel as if that was the character's choice, but rather a decision made by the screenwriter to make the scene as short as possible so as to fit in everything else.
With the focus very heavily put on the conflict between the King's servants and Downton's, as well as on Tom getting his happy ending, it was interesting to note that less attention was paid to the Crawley family than I had anticipated. Mary's struggle with change as the head of Downton was touchingly displayed, though, and I appreciated the attention paid to the question we, as the audience, had been struggling with. And it's always fun to hear Maggie Smith as Dowager Violet spewing witticisms at the other elderly women surrounding her, despite her story line regarding a cousin of whom we had never heard being rather silly. Of course, one moment at the end of the film is bound to have you in tears if you've been watching the show since the beginning, and rightfully so. It's well-written and kind and sweet - but I won't spoil it for you.
So is it enjoyable? Yes! It was visually stunning, the music was beautiful, and it was so much fun to reunite with these characters. But is it good? Well, don't watch all six seasons of Downton Abbey just so you can see the movie.
What did you think? Did you enjoy the movie or watch the show? Let me know in the comments down below, and make sure to watch Faith Moore's podcast!
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Hey! I'm Abby, the creator of Classically Abby, a commentary, opera, beauty, and lifestyle brand dedicated to looking at the world from a classic perspective. I'm the first Conservative Influencer and I'm an opera singer with three degrees in performance!