“Did you know,” one friend said,
“That, long ago, a paste of lead
Was used to paint a face more white?
Pretend a glow, a gleaming light.
It’s poison, though
They didn’t know.
They hoped to make their skin more pretty.
Instead, they made it lumped and pitty!
Such silly people! Couldn’t they tell
The stuff they were using would make them unwell?”
Her friend just frowned at her own reflection
And planned her next botox injection.
“Tribes people do some crazy things!
Like stretching lips or necks with rings.
Why would you want a lip that gapes?
Or necks such long unnatural shapes?
Their mouths must ache
Their necks might break!
Why put themselves through so much pain?
What, really, could they hope to gain?
Such silly people! Can’t they tell
The stuff they’re doing will not end well?”
“Ahuh,” said her friend, not really listening
Admiring her cleavage of silicon glistening.
“And long ago, our goal in life
Would have been
No value to the female brain,
All anyone cared: we mustn’t be plain.
Vainly tried, in vain applied
Perceiving flaws we hoped to hide.
Such silly people! Why couldn’t they see
There’s more to a girl than being pretty?”
Her friend agreed. “The world’s not fair.”
And continued perfecting
and her hair.
We’re slow to learn, it’s fair to say.
The beauty trade in the UK
Is built on hollow lies and vanity.
It murders confidence and sanity.
Ten billion pounds we spent last year.
Are our motivations clear?
A bit of lippy does no harm
But don’t you also feel alarm
When so much money’s being spent?
And youngsters state their clear intent
To change their faces or their forms?
And business dictates societal norms.