October 30, 2007

Trick or Treat: What’s Under the Costume?

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Fashion is one of the truest forms of self expression. Fashion is also one of the easiest ways to disguise oneself. Masquerades go beyond Halloween costumes and regularly figure into our daily lives.
Many girls use Halloween as an excuse to diverge from their usual, more conservative attire to dress like either a slut, whore, skank or ho. However, Halloween does not have to be the only day of the year that girls wear disguises that alter their ordinary appearance. Costumes are not necessarily the obvious outfits that we associate with Halloween; costumes can be worn everyday to disguise minor physical or intellectual attributes.
Makeup has been used to enhance the wearer’s natural beauty for thousands of years. Amy Winehouse clearly stole her trademark heavy eyeliner look from the Egyptians. Cosmetics come in a vast range of varieties and prices making them accessible to all consumers. Lip gloss, foundation, concealer, blush, eye shadow and mascara are just some of the products that girls, women and even men can utilize. Makeup can be used to mask blemishes, uneven skin tone, wispy eyelashes, pale lips, thin brows and myriad of other unsatisfactory facial features. By using these products, the wearer is literally applying a thin mask that may completely transform their natural look.
Hair products, hair removers, self-tanners and a vast array of other toiletries can also transform a person’s basic veneer. Not every girl with pin straight hair actually has straight hair. And simply by waxing one’s eyebrows a person’s face can be transformed. And that guy with the perfect summer glow year round probably uses Jergens. Such small changes such as treating ones hair or skin can disguise ones natural appearance.
Most women’s natural physique may also be less than ideal so women can use certain types of apparel to hide their flaws and enhance their strong points. A tight dress, short skirt, fitted trousers or slinky blouse all can fit better with something worn underneath them. Push-up bras, pantyhose, thongs, boy-shorts and assorted Spanx body slimmers help women to look great in their clothes by disguising bodily imperfections. By slightly altering such problem areas, focus can be removed from those regions and be refocused on more attractive places.
If women do not want to be restricted by the successors of the corset and girdle they can simply purchase clothes that are flattering on them without wearing dominatrix-like undergarments. If something is too tight / loose / short / long / low-cut and can’t easily be tailored then don’t buy it. Even if you LOVE the item it is not worth wearing it if it is unflattering. Well-fitting clothes, with or without enhancers, can also cover up imperfect body parts. Take some brutally honest friends shopping with you and find cuts that compliment your body. Wouldn’t you rather get mildly insulted by a friend in a dressing room than repeatedly wear such items out in public?
A lot of people opt for completely natural looks instead of using make up, hair removers, hair products or other body altering products. Although not everyone is attracted to the ultra organic woman with saggy boobs, excessive body hair, moderate B.O. and a head of unkempt frizz, there is something to be said for pursuing a natural lifestyle. It may be healthier to avoid coating our bodies in an assortment of artificial ingredients and ignoring the social norms of what is fashionably suitable. However, one does not have to sacrifice their appearance for the sake of their health or the environment. Natural and organic cosmetics are available at low prices, so you can get over your fear of getting breast cancer from antiperspirant and stop smelling like onions. Additionally, many clothing companies are also launching products lines that take advantage of natural and organic materials. So any organic, vegan, tree hugger can indulge in the fashion world.
Alternatively, excessive makeup, bleached hair, over-waxing or other overdoses in masquerading may seem less attractive than intended. Finding a balance between natural and enhanced is essential. It is easy to find that point by experimenting with different products to figure out what works for you.
People don’t have to know about your cellulite, birthmarks, tummy bulges, raccoon eyes, frizzy hair, pimples or other maladies. Simply covering them up will make you more confident. Hiding such things does not make you artificial; instead, it makes you more comfortable in their own skin and perhaps helps to portray the image that you hope to have. And why not hide imperfections and leave people in suspense of what’s under your costume?
Fashion, through disguises, can still be a great way to express individuality. So wear those disguises and camouflage things that may be truly frightening. No one will know what is buried underneath, whether it’s a trick or a treat.