Sam Armytage: ‘Don’t attack me for being beautiful’
I BOUGHT a bag of lemons at Woolies* last week. No, please don't turn the page, I promise this won't be boring - my fodder for these columns comes from everywhere.
I tossed said citrus into my trolley not noticing until I reached the self-serve checkout (my supermarket highlight... I feel so in control when I use those machines) that the lemons scanned onscreen as "odd". The label declared them to be "The Odd Bunch". I'm guessing it's a PR exercise to encourage us to take pity and buy these less-than-perfect oddballs of yellow sour goodness.
To me, the poor little things looked the way nature intended them: like they'd just come off a tree or something. I mean, crazy! Some were even a bit bumpy with the odd skin spot (no judgements). To save the fruit from further humiliation, the marketing geniuses had added the word "lively" to the label. As if to encourage them that what they lacked in beauty, they made up for in personality.
Now obviously the above fruit-chat is a metaphor (I'm not a complete weirdo) for our societal obsession with appearance and perfection. And don't attack me for being beautiful; I have a team of hair and make-up PROFESSIONALS getting up at the crack of sparrows each day to make me look good. And if you don't think I'm beautiful, then you're entitled to your opinion (but you'd be wrong).
I too look at the Victoria's Secret Angels with utter disbelief and envy.
I too attempt to replace meals with smoothies (ugh) and buy the miracle face creams in the hope that I won't be odd, bumpy-skinned and sun-spotted. (But I'll always be lively!)
I was the 13-year-old who cried for a term when I got my braces, because I thought a boy would never look at me again. (Given a boy hadn't looked at me before that, I'm not sure what I thought I was missing out on...)
Even living through that as an ugly duckling/lazy adolescent, I continued to judge books by their covers.
It saved me so much time - time I spent ineffectually thinking about boys.
It wasn't until I fell into the TV industry that I discovered real enlightenment and awareness about the true meaning of beauty... oh hang on, even I can't spin that level of BS.
But televisual careers aside, what would happen if we all truly embraced our inner bumpy lemon skin? And looked the way nature intended us to? Would Avon close operations in Australia and New Zealand? (They did whaaaa? OK, scrap that.) Would we buy the misshapen fruit? Would we watch the misshapen Kardashians? How on earth would the tabloid magazines fill their "Stars without make-up" issues?
In my next life, I hope to come back as one of those "wash 'n' wear" girls - you know, the ones who look best at the beach. Whose hair dries straight, naturally. The women who have perfect skin and look worse with make-up.
But until that incarnation (mental note: must remember to convert to Hinduism and/or Buddhism), pass the concealer for my latest pimple/wrinkle and raise the GHDs for the odd, but lively ones!
*This column is not sponsored by Woolworths, and I highly suspect they'll never invite me into one of their stores again. Although, if this TV thing doesn't work out, I feel I have enormous potential as a checkout chick.
Samantha co-hosts Sunrise, 5.30am weekdays, on the Seven Network.