The Don't Buy List: Burning Bras, Velveeta Nails, & The Depp-Heard Connection To Beauty Culture
Plus, the cult of perfection.
Hello, dewy dust bunnies, and welcome to another edition of the The Don’t Buy List. I was talking to a friend about makeup the other day and they sort of apologized for their interest and said, “Sorry, I know it’s superficial!” And I just want to say, on the record, that I don’t think superficiality is necessarily bad!! I mean, we all have a surface level. It’s just that we need to tend to our other levels, too — and beauty culture is generally invested in us not doing that (often by making us think we are doing that by tending to the surface level — sheet masks as “self-care,” concealer as “self-expression,” purchasing products as political action).
Nails.INC and Velveeta collaborated on a nail art line that looks and smells like cheese. This is, unfortunately, real. From the press release: “The creamy formula blends the cheesy goodness from Velveeta with the smoothness of Nails.INC longwearing polish to bring a mouth-watering nail color unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. These highly pigmented shades provide full cover payoff and are designed to be worn together for those confident enough to show the world they are living a big, bold, and unrestrained life.” I think they mean “show the world they’ve confused the accumulation of branded items with identity, and are living a life devoid of any true personality and defined by consumerism”!
If you read only one thing from this week’s (long) list of recommendations, make it “abortion is a public matter” by Marianela D'Aprile. (And subscribe to her newsletter while you’re there!) The piece is about abortion, yes, but it’s also about the neoliberal, individualistic myth of “personal choice” and how it’s failed feminism, strengthened capitalism, and increased the harm of beauty culture.