Aiming For Beauty Without A Struggle

In this age of plastic surgery, you may think women will do anything to look the way they want. Some will, of course, but a Self magazine poll finds a big constituency for looking good without knocking oneself out. When women were asked to cite the characteristics they look for when buying fashions, the biggest vote (81 percent of respondents) went to “enables me to look great without much effort.” The runner-up (79 percent) was “allows me to be stylish and comfortable at the same time,” followed closely by “is fun to wear/ makes me happy” (77 percent). At the bottom of the standings was “helps me stand out from the crowd/ make a fashion statement” (31 percent). The survey found a similar pattern when it quizzed the women about beauty products. As you can see from the chart, quick-and-easy wins the race. It’s also intriguing that the women were more keen on looking “rested” than on looking “young.” Looking unrested is apt to make a person look older, naturally, so it amounts to the same thing. But women seem to have internalized the new orthodoxy that there’s something silly in trying overtly to look young. A person who needs help to look rested, on the other hand, must have an enviably full life—albeit one that doesn’t let her get enough sleep.