Comparing Women’s Moustaches to Holocausts…

MAC made headlines when it posted a close up showcasing a model’s facial hair on insta. Yes hair not hairs. Coming from a mixed background of all the hairy countries (Armenian, Italian, Indo-Guyanese) to me that was nothing – its like I’m looking at my reflection one day after I wax my moustache; it is barely a toddler’s tash. But apparently to others it was a big deal and currently its racked up over 145k likes. I kept on thinking its 2018, why is this hitting the headlines? We’ve had our fair share of body positivity and hairy awareness. We have model and motivational speaker Harnaam Kaur who just so happens to have a beard and Sophia Hadjipanteli who is bringing in unibrow realness. I think they could lend that Mac model a hair or two in authenticity… and there are plenty of Dove campaigns to go around…

View this post on Instagram

Sophia x @peterandmay ❤️🧡💛💚💙

A post shared by Sophia Hadjipanteli ☠️ (@sophiahadjipanteli) on

I flicked through MAC’s Instagram to try to find anything else headline worthy… and honestly there wasn’t. The most recent skin close ups have been flawless, airbrushed and startlingly bald. I suddenly realised this was a stunt instead of a statement. I have been living in a bubble of BuzzFeed niches. IRL (in real life) beauty standards are still the same and as depressing as it is, I don’t think beauty standards are about to change for the foreseeable future. We have to think about future generations and the damaging impact this will have on their self-esteem and perceptions of beauty. It comes as no surprise that girls are covering up their natural beauty with make up so as to resemble the Kardashian clan, or that illnesses such as eating disorders are on the rise amongst adolescents striving the attain the ‘perfect’ and ‘flawless’ body they are blinded by in the media. Tess Holliday might of made the front cover of Cosmopolitan, but she’s still made up, blow dried and undeniably airbrushed. I mean come on, nobody’s hair is that glossy in real life, or their skin that blemish free…

Recently I caught up with my school friends who are so diverse they look like they’re from a 90’s educational show and they were telling me horror stories of the unspoken segregation that goes on at their Universities. Honestly I kind of forgot that 18-21 year olds can be racist. This is not necessarily in the jokey microaggression way but as in the N-word, we won’t let you into our club kinda way. I had this misconception that Generation Z cant possibly be racist/sexist/all of the above. It’s probably because I live in South London, I can pass as an ambiguous Italian, and that I do film studies (seen by most as a wishy washy, open subject next to modern lesbian dance) that the bigotry passed me by.

In general, I think living in the West isolates you from the cruelty of the world. Just recently India decriminalised homosexuality. The UN has called for Myanmar’s leaders to be held accountable for the genocide on Rohingya Muslims. Genocide Watch is a useful tool to get a clearer picture into what is really going on in the world. There was pushback from the alt-right, the racist and the I’m-not-KKK buts on introducing Holocaust studies into the US curriculum. The alt right in particular drag on about how the Holocaust has been dragged out. But it is so important to never forget any genocide. I’m part Armenian. When I tell people this, they immediately ask: what is Armenia? This question makes me see red every time. Did you know there was a genocide in Armenia that killed 1.5million people in 1915?! Probably not, unless you’re Greek or a history buff. Legend has it that Hitler said he could get away with the Holocaust because, who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? … it’s a ‘let them eat cake’ kinda quote but I believe there’s some truth to it.

I believe there is some merit to when a diversity campaign hits headlines. Even if it is flawed or it can become misconstrued. And even if our generation is used to diversity, think about what it might mean to someone who isn’t as fortunate as us. Who comes from a culture where they are forced to wear makeup, to bleach their skin, to cover their head, to uncover their head and to wear the clothes assigned to them. When we get bored of diversity, we quickly slip back into our old cooperate ways and forget the cause of the suffering of previous generations.

Leave a Comment