Today, I went to the mall with my mommy. She took me to Dillard’s. There were a lot of mean ladies in Dillard’s and I wanted to leave. So I cried and I stomped my feet but my mommy made me stay. I was not happy.
……How old am I? Oh, that’s right- I’m nearly twenty.
I’m nearly twenty, but today I showed the shopping public that I am a terrible toddler in a twenty-year old’s body capable of throwing a terrific temper tantrum. So, what exactly caused this behavior? I wasn’t hungry, I wasn’t tired, I wasn’t cranky, and my diaper was dry (kidding, I don’t wear diapers), but still something caused a major disturbance in my disposition. What happened?!
First off, let me go ahead and defend my general disdain for shopping malls.
1. Kiosk employees become annoying stalkers. “Ma’am! You are so pretty! Would you like to try our new…” How does my face-down, fast-pace, and aversion of eye-contact lead you to believe that I want to try your crap? I realize someone needs to buy your stuff so you can stay in business, but don’t you know that you will always operate in the red? Maybe if you made a good product, you wouldn’t have to hassle people so much to buy whatever crap you are selling.
2. Operating in the red- all retail does it! I don’t understand. Whatever you are selling is obviously not incredibly essential to living, otherwise people would buy it. The shopping mall is just one, giant future bankruptcy party (at least that’s how I see it). Sure clothes, soap dishes, earrings, and build-a-bears are nice things to have, but they are not crucial to survival. Stop pretending they are.
3. Non-stop targeting of women to buy products. I could rant endlessly about this particular topic, but I would estimate that nearly 90% of the merchandise sold in shopping malls targets women in some way or another. Example: buy these overpriced baby onesies and your baby will love you; wear this makeup and men will find you attractive; smell like Jessica Simpson and you will entice everyone; buy this pillow and you’ll be the best Susie Homemaker; wear these yoga pants and everyone will think you’re exotic and athletic. You get the idea. This depresses me because someone out there is telling women that we are not good enough, that much of our value rests solely on our appearance instead of our wit, intelligence, athleticism, and other talents. And that someone makes a buck. But this also depresses me because there are plenty of women who unfortunately cannot value themselves in qualities other than appearance- and in that, I have much sorrow.
This now leads me to explain to you why I acted like a child inside of a Dillard’s department store. You see, I wanted to buy new makeup: foundation, powder, and concealer. I never wear makeup unless it is for a special occasion: I don’t mean dates, family gatherings, or church. I’m talking ‘monumental’ occasions where cameras flash nonstop, like at prom or weddings. So, since I have a very special occasion, I needed to buy new makeup since my makeup had expired four years ago.
Even though I was already a bit flustered with being inside the mall, I tried to muster up whatever calm, cool, and collected vibes I had and extend them to the cosmetologist behind the Clinique counter. I inquired about getting ‘a complete look’ and the lady behind the counter said she did not have time for that. I thanked her and apologized for not having made an appointment, and turned to walk out of the store. I was so embarrassed, and I was convinced that the Clinique lady just did not want to deal with a girl like me: makeup-less, clad in mismatched ratty clothes and old moccasins. I would be a waste of her time.
My mother tried to calm me down away from the cosmetic counter, and gave me a sort of pep talk. She is very good about these things. So, I marched triumphantly (or slunk sadly) back to the Clinique counter and explained to the cosmetologist my predicament: I hate makeup, I never wear it, and I have to wear it for a special occasion. I felt my face turn red, and my eyes well up with tears. Obviously, the lady pitied me and agreed to help me out. It started with just matching my skin to some foundation and powder, and gradually turned into an entire face makeover.
Honestly, I felt like Mulan- you know, when the matchmakers turn her from normal looking badass samurai girl into a freakish China doll? Yeah, that’s what happened.
So, the ‘makeover’ ended. My mom was so nice to buy me the foundation, powder, and concealer (that I will use at most 4 times in 2012), but I had raccoon eyes and clown lips— apparently some people think it’s pretty. I hid my face and darted out of Dillard’s with a downward gaze. I pray no one saw me. Well, in hindsight- I shouldn’t have worried- I was practically unrecognizable.
Getting ready for bed, I washed off all the makeup my face had worn that day. I smiled at myself in the mirror, and reminded myself of the happiness in life. That’s a great way to end the day.
Try it sometime. Smile at yourself. It can be sweet, goofy, natural- any way you want. I promise you’ll go to sleep feeling more positively about yourself and maybe even wake up that way.