No such luck (or woman)

Grace Kelly, Cate Blanchett, Audrey Hepburn. Three out of maybe 40 women in the world I can think of who look — just look — like they harbor some degree of exquisiteness, and two of them are dead.

Yesterday, I attended a press conference by Kanebo, announcing the launch of its Impress skincare range in Malaysia. In addition to the full range of six Kanebo Impress products the press was gifted with — yes, free merchandise which we paid for dearly by sitting (and in some cases, dozing) through an excruciatingly dull presentation in Japanese — the press kit also included an extensive product catalog. Out of boredom, I opened this catalog, only to find on the second page:

The 50 Qualities that Define an Exquisite Woman

  1. Is healthy.
  2. Has good posture.
  3. Speaks properly.
  4. Says “good morning” cheerfully in any circumstances.
  5. Is polite to everyone at all times.
  6. Has well-trimmed and healthy nails.
  7. Is told, “You always look so pretty”.
  8. Doesn’t easily get bored.
  9. Has a passion for something.
  10. Puts things back after using them.
  11. Has a voice that is pleasing to the ear.
  12. Writes to people frequently.
  13. Can say “I don’t know” when she isn’t sure.
  14. Looks good in jeans.
  15. Is in a good mood 365 days a year.
  16. Spends the right amount of money on underwear.
  17. Is good at cooking, with a masterful touch.
  18. Has beautiful teeth.
  19. Can throw away things she doesn’t need.
  20. Gets up early.
  21. Reads the paper every day.
  22. Sleeps well every night.
  23. Can say “thank you” more often than anyone around her.
  24. Spends a lot of money on shoes.
  25. Leaves no dust in any corners of her room.
  26. Is sought by others as a mentor.
  27. Can overcome her worries by herself.
  28. Doesn’t carry negative feelings over to the next day.
  29. Resists colds.
  30. Has sleek, shiny hair.
  31. Can style her hair by herself.
  32. Knows when to be quiet in a group.
  33. Knows when to take the lead.
  34. Has lifelong friends.
  35. Can have fun following trends.
  36. Irons her handkerchiefs.
  37. Speaks with a proper inflection.
  38. Knows how to achieve peace within herself.
  39. Has beautiful handwriting.
  40. Has favorite phrases or personal mottos.
  41. Is not afraid of getting old.
  42. Has a long list of things she wants to do in the future.
  43. Can cry for others more than herself.
  44. Has many people that she’s really fond of.
  45. Looks at herself in the mirror once every two hours.
  46. Doesn’t get lazy even when she comes home tires.
  47. Likes to take care of her skin.
  48. Wants to be more beautiful today than she was yesterday.
  49. Is happy and looks happy.
  50. Has exquisite skin.

Now I don’t know about anyone else out there, but I don’t know a single woman, living or dead, that fulfills all, or even half, of the 50 criteria. According to Afham, only 18 out of the 50 apply to me. Which means Kanebo is either trying to make women feel bad about themselves and aspire in vain to inject some exquisiteness into their lives, or has in fact created and programed its own woman/robot to be all of the above without tiring herself/itself out.

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