I've been working in the beauty and fashion industry long enough to know when a girl has gone shiny. It's my term for those who become exponentially fabulous, sexy, elegant, refined - and consciously so, so different from how they used to be. The girls typically start their glamorous jobs as brand people, writers, models, makeup artists, or photographers etc. looking shabby and nene. Perhaps they are fresh out of college or from a different kind of work, knowing very little about how to be vain.
We'd see each other in events or even get to work together so I'm able to observe the transformation closely. First they learn that there's so much more to makeup than foundation and lipstick. They discover how the perfect kilay makes a mighty difference on their face, how to do eyeliner and mascara and why they're worth the hassle, how to apply eyeshadow and contour even. Then they start dressing better in flattering cuts and colors. They start investing in nicer things depending on what they can afford.
After a few months of working with shiny people, they become shiny too. Everything about them become so manicured! I'm not just talking about how they dress or do their hair and makeup. Their speech and movement also changes to reflect the society they are with. Their taste for fine food and objects are also developed.
I don't think anyone really gets out of this industry the same person they came in - at least outwardly. So this is the question: do we become better people the shinier we get? The more beautiful and tasteful we are?
Yes and no, I think. Yes because achieving a measure of physical beauty can help us feel more confident, attract better people to have relationships with, and thus become happier in many ways. No because this puts us in an awkward position of having to conform, a pressure to always have something new to show off, and keep up at a fast pace with our shinier contemporaries.
That's the thing with anything or anyone who is manicured. The manicure chips so easily, and needs to be refreshed or repainted so often.