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Why Beauty Writing?

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 1/03/2016 Annie Walton Doyle
INTERNET LISTS © stevanovicigor via Getty Images INTERNET LISTS

For a bit longer than a year now I have been composing all the important thoughts I have had about clothes, hair, makeup etc. into neat(ish) bits of writing that sometimes people actually read. And so far, I have done so without any single material benefit for me. Don't panic, fans, this isn't me announcing my retirement, heaven forbid. But it is interesting to reflect on why I am doing this - and even if it's not interesting, I have been doing it a lot.
I am blessed or cursed with a special kind of brain. It is a brain that takes in the whole world and then skews my view of it with a slant towards the aesthetic. Every single thing I see or do, I can somehow relate back to style, makeup, clothes, etc. And that doesn't mean that I look around judging everyone's appearance all day (let he who is without sin cast the first stone, and let it be known, my aesthetic "sins" are many). But I will watch the news and have at least one thought about the color of someone's tie or something. I don't know why I'm like this, but I always have been. I like visual things, even what other people would probably think are the boring ones.
This type of brain means it's sometimes hard to focus on the world. That's a bit annoying. On the other hand, though, it also means I am constantly having ideas. And although these ideas are for the most part quite stupid, it does mean I am usually at least a bit inspired about something aesthetic. I can look at a hairstyle and create a whole narrative and philosophy behind it. I can make a nail varnish color stand as a symbol of a female's place in society today. Unfortunately, I'm not joking.
Another cool thing about my brain is that I absolutely must overthink everything. I simultaneously live five hours in the past and five years in the future. Of course, this overthinking extends to all of my many thoughts about beauty stuff. The aesthetic decisions I make are not undertaken lightly. Not in the usual terms of "does this make me look like Billy Idol?" - which is of surprisingly little concern to me. My 'overthoughts' are all about the implications. I worry I have been tricked into liking something by a malevolent outside force. I follow every beauty decision I make with a why? I wonder what the things I wear and like and recommend mean for me as a middle class, privileged, young white woman. Are my thoughts and ideas good things for my own brain? For society? For the world??
I sort of know it is ridiculous to be like this, but at the same time I do think it's good to try to be cognizant. I want to keep my head above water, as it were, and be able to look at all of these things from the outside. I don't want to be offensive or stupid or wrong just because I haven't thought things through enough. I don't want my beauty writing to make anyone feel bad in the slightest. This should only be a positive thing.
And without sounding too much like a Miss World contestant, I do really like helping people. Because I don't know anything or understand the world at all, this is pretty much the one field where I can actually be useful to others. I know a lot about eyeshadow and moisturizer. Not the most essential life-knowledge, I'll admit, but still sometimes helpful. If you're having a beauty related problem, I will have a really good go of solving it. I want to turn the anguish of whether things suit you into blasé self-assurance that anything suiting anyone is just a concept, man.
So, to conclude, being me is very hard. No, not really. But I am constantly producing thoughts and having ideas about makeup and clothes and stuff like that, and these thoughts need to be released. Imagine having all of the stuff I've written about in the last year constantly living in your brain. It would be a nightmare! I'd never get anything done. I'm glad I can create fully formed thoughts and philosophies out of what is, essentially, a lipstick collection gone wild. So as long as I have my brain, I think this beauty writing catharsis is the cross I have to bear. And that could definitely be worse.

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