Photo by @Soumz
For a long time, it struck me as inane that a woman should bother so much that her appearances. Is there so little that a woman could think about than what she's wearing? How could the Saudi woman splurge her entire tens of thousands of riyal dowry on clothes instead of education? Or travel? Or a car and a rice cooker?
When you think about it, it's just how urban societies work that made appearances so important. Urban Social positions rely (if not entirely, then heavily) on appearances.
In a woman's case, her main source of income is her looks. If she looks good as a girl, she get's the better husband. If she looks good as a married woman, her husband will keep her. And if she still looks good after three kids, she can still have other options if things turn
Looks can be deceiving and it goes as far as brains. But who needs brains when we can have everything with a gorgeous face?
Let's stereotype a bit more, just for examples' and sensibility's sake.
Italians are usually depicted loud and rowdy. When they talk, they TALK, with their italic Italianness and animate gestures. Yet in all that noise, there is expressive and desperate appreciation for beauty and life. There is the subtle knowledge that under all the noise, there will be a pause of satisfaction. That all have been said. All have been tried. And life, as sour as it gets, can't conquer the human spirit.
I see that gregariousness to take life by its details and make it beautiful in the Saudi and urban woman's attention to herself. To her appearances. And fashionably overfilled closet and mind.
That as confined and restrained and sour as life gets; the mere appreciation of beauty can set forth one's freedom and humanity.
And that's okay too, you know?