Made Up

I’m going to say up front that I don’t know very much about makeup. I’ve never worn any, and I don’t make a point of talking to female friends about it very much.

Nevertheless, I have recently observed – to my surprise – that I have started caring more about it. I’m not sure what the trigger was, if there even was one, but broadly speaking… I wish it would just go away.

Makeup is an outdated concept. Obviously, right? It’s a relic of a time when women were required to good above all other things – and by ‘good’, of course I mean ‘however men wanted them to look’.

Yes. I know that’s a sweeping generalisation. Sue me, I wrote this in half a lunchbreak.

Yes. I know that, depending on the culture and historical era, men wore makeup too. Elizabethan wigs, white faces, and so on. It probably says a lot about me that my mind immediately jumps to this:

Ah, Hugh. Hugh Hugh Hugh.

As ever, these posts are mostly stream of consciousness. This might be frustrating for you. Sorry.

I think that expecting women to wear makeup, but not expecting the same of men, is ridiculous. Just because it’s “normal“, doesn’t mean it makes sense.

A terrifying number of women I know wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without quite a lot of makeup on. Artfully done, of course, to make it appear as natural as possible.

This depresses me beyond words. Not literally, or this post wouldn’t exist, but you catch my meaning. Apparently we’re in a situation where everyone agrees that women’s faces aren’t good enough.

No, it’s not a case of ‘subtle improvement for the sake of looking and feeling good’. I don’t buy that for a second. Why is it only women who are expected to learn this crazy skill?

Okay. Maybe I’m just missing something really obvious here. On the information I have so far, it seems very much like we live in a system that subtly – and sometimes not-to-subtly – tells women that their faces are woefully inadequate without hundreds of pounds of creams, dyes, scrubs and whatnot.

Am I wrong? I’ve never heard any woman describe a tangible, reasonable benefit to makeup that made sense to me. They generally only express concern, if not outright panic, at the thought of being seen without it.

Imagine no more makeup. Ever.

Well, maybe on rare, special occasions, I guess. But only as a striking exception to an accepted rule – your face is fine the way it is. If you are made up then your face is, quite literally, made up. It’s a fiction.

Easy for me to say, this change wouldn’t affect me directly in any way. All of this is easy for me to say. All of this may well strike you as naive, and/or obvious. I don’t know what I’m actually going to do about it.

But still.

Imagine it.

I think it would be awesome.

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One Response to Made Up

  1. Jen says:

    There is a school of thought (mine, I grant you) that thinks make-up is fun. Far too much trouble for everyday use, but playing with tiny wand things, coloured crayons, little pots of sparkle…..that’s just marvellous!
    Also, have you factored in baboons arses? It’s part of your primitive, ape nature as a man to want the sexy bits all red and bulbous.
    I am with you on using it as camouflage, though. Be free, women of the world!

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