You know what word I hate? Superficial. And most of its synonyms (which, I’ll admit, I totally just Googled)–shallow, skin-deep, sciolistic. Now, I now there are a lot of meanings to these words, some of which are terrible, like being self-absorbed to the point of ignorance. But when most people toss out the word “superficial,” it’s regarding a girl who is obsessed with fashion and makeup and clothes, because these are “shallow,” “superficial” things.
And you know who is someone who’s obsessed with fashion and makeup and clothes? Me. So I take offense to that, thankyouverymuch! Because here’s how I see it–a stamp-collector, or a basketball fanatic, or an avid woodworker, or a surfer who never leaves the ocean–are all obsessed with something particular, and no one calls them “superficial.” Why? Because style and cosmetics are related to one’s appearance, and woodworking–not so much.
But why does loving these things have to make you “shallow,” when no one would say that to a fat guy in a Nets jersey who DVRs every game? Why can’t people separate the fact that “superficial” things relate to aesthetic with the “superficial” person’s love of these things? Loving clothes doesn’t mean you love them because you are self-absorbed regarding your own appearance, it could mean that you appreciate the artistry in a fashion designer’s work, or that you love the experience of pairing and styling clothes to create outfits. It’s all fine and dandy for a nerd to bore your face off about Dr. Who, but if you breathe a word about Chanel, you’re suddenly a boring, shallow bimbo.
So, people-who-label-and-shame-others-by-calling-them-superficial, the next time you decide to write off a makeup junkie or a shopaholic, realize that it’s just a hobby or fixation like anything else, and then go back to your bird-watching or scrapbooking.