The other day as I was getting ready to go out with a few friends of mine, my brother told me something that would forever resonate in my head. His words of wisdom never cease to amaze me, despite my somewhat thick headed personality; but there something about this particular thing he said that made me think, “I wish I could get every girl who’s like me, to understand that.”

So there I am, pre- Friday hangout, tweezing at what I thought to be my, “My upper lip’s oh-so-visible peach fuzz.” Why would I publicly announce my hygienic practices? Bare with me, I promise it isn’t for naught. As I’m plucking away at a large source of my insecurities, my brother said the magic words:

“It’s not as obvious as you think.”

I of course, as any girl would, thought that since he’s a guy, he doesn’t know or see what us girls perceive. But I let what he said sink in for a moment, and thought to myself, “If I go purposely looking for hair that I already don’t see as visible unless I use a 10X magnification mirror, will I expect to not see any hair?” Of course I was going to see hair, it’s all psychological!  How one views themselves physically is no different than entering a haunted house; one has already presumed that they will hear deranged noises and see frightening things. Therefore, one will believe they noticed such things. The same philosophy applies to how one views themselves in the mirror; if one delves too much into the examination of their physical appearance for faults, the mind will conjure up faults to satisfy the mindset that one is in.

Not long after I had this epiphany of self assurance, I came across the ad above.

I was surged with rage.

It wasn’t the fact that the ad contradicted the exact words my brother had told me; it was the fact that propaganda has reached an all time low. To many, the world of marketing is considered the epitome of deception; ranging from segmentation, dominance, and brand management. However, violating a woman’s insecurities as a marketing technique says more about humanity than it says about marketing. What would you assume a woman’s internal reaction would be to an ad with a woman who has a masculine mustache, with the caption “It’s more obvious than you think.”?

To many women, self consciousness would take over, possibly leading them to spend ridiculous amounts of money on a regular basis to avoid the feeling of self consciousness or being judged. This is not to say that ALL women would react in such a manner. There are some women who have a more solidified, positive opinion on their physical appearance than other women do. This is also not to say that a woman shouldn’t spend money to feel confident in her appearance; just because some insecurities aren’t as obvious as we may think does not mean that we should get used to being unhappy with them. There is absolutely nothing wrong with spending money on your physical appearance, but the reason should not be because society demoralized you. As cliché as it sounds, don’t let others control how you feel towards yourself. Magazines, TV shows, and inane ads like the one above will always trigger a sense of insecurity in even the most confident beings. In the end, the key is to remember no one can judge you as harshly as you can judge yourself; nothing is as bad as it seems, or as obvious.

-Amy El-Zayaty