Women’s magazines and the tyranny of eyelid-shaming

On a freezing cold December night, what I really wanted was a long hot bath, preferably with something good to read and maybe something to nibble while I was in there.

Having read all of my books at least five times, I went to the local shop for a magazine, something I do rarely – and when I started reading the titles of the articles, I remembered why.

Cosmo was the worst offender, with an article called something like ‘Ladies – how to tame a player’ which I won’t go into right now, as I can see from here that your heads have already exploded with rage and you don’t need further goading. There was also a delightful piece called ‘How passion turns sane girls psycho‘ but my fingers physically refuse to get into that one – there’s not enough time for the angry typing that would ensue if I went there.

The one that really got to me was an article titled ‘We bet you never put foundation on THIS part of your face’. Inside this unfortunate rag was a piece about women who have, for years, if not decades, neglected to paint their eyelids with foundation, so that they match the tone of the rest of their face.

Let me stop there for a minute and ask some questions.

Men of the world:

Have you ever ever looked at your eyelids? (it’s actually trickier than you think)

Have you ever looked at them and thought, hmm I’m not sure I like the tone of these today – I’d better do something about that.

Have you ever considered the possibility that your eyelids might be just wrong?

Have you ever been shamed by a publication you actually paid to read into doing something about the abominable state of your eyelids?


I’m going to take a punt – you answered no to all of those questions didn’t you? I’d like to say I could too, but actually the tone of my eyelids has now lodged itself into my brain as an actual issue to be considered.  That’s in between working, editorial meetings, writing articles, researching blogs, looking after the kids, helping my daughter with her maths homework, and attempting to have sensible adult conversations with my husband.  And I’m pissed off about that, because I deserve to live a life free of eyelid-based anxiety.

In the world of magazines, that was the final straw. I’m boycotting them forever. Why, oh why, should women  pay to be face-shamed, taught how to tame a player (as if we might have the slightest inclination to do so), and be cajoled and slyly bullied into believing that we’re not thin enough, that parts of us are the wrong colour, that we could afford that designer bag if only we stopped buying a latte every morning on the way to work, as if it would, you know, hold our stuff better because of the extra 0s on the price tag?

I’m sticking with publications that have never asked me to reassess my worth based on the tone of my eyelids, or how they match up to the rest of my face.  My eyelids’ self-esteem has rocketed, and never again will they feel left-out, not good enough or insecure. You’re welcome, eyelids.





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