Scorpio Risen

A tad bit about make-up

Posted on: 24 May, 2007

Note: This was originally the latter part of a post entitled: “Just some things I feel compelled to write about…” in which I firstly responded to some comments about an assertion I’d made about women in the media, as well as writing the text below. I decided to split the two up, just to make reading easier.  

***A tad bit about make-up

For those of you who may not have noticed, in this photo I am wearing some (pretty bright, obvious and unnatural looking) eye make up, and a touch of lippie (and I also don’t look that sober either, but that’s neither here nor there).

Now, t’other day, I was explaining to one of my friends why I chose not to shave my legs and whatnot. She pointed out that wearing make-up wasn’t natural either. Which is true, of course.

However – and maybe the photo doesn’t demonstrate this clearly enough – the way I personally use make-up, it pretty much never looks natural. It’s not supposed to. Let’s get some things straight about my make-up.

  • It’s not supposed to benefit my features, or to improve them. I do not need to.
  • I’ve been complimented on both my make-upped face, and on my naked face.
  • I don’t feel I need to wear make-up. I do often leave the house with a nudey face (shocked my cousin once though; she found that concept hard to grasp).
  • For me, it is fun, and a touch of personal expression (like, I guess, my hairy legs are also a touch of personal expression.)
  • I make no apologies for my make-up.

The way I see it, on a personal level, is that I have a large, bright personality, and I use bright colours and make-up to reflect this as an aesthetic.

Also, make-up is different for each woman (or, even, man). Whereas, you’re either hairy or hairless, with make-up, you can be:

  • Nudey-faced
  • Make-upped, but nudey-faced-looking
  • Crazy-looking-make-upped
  • Subtly make-upped.
  • A combination of all the above.

With make-up, there’s not so much pressure. It’s not the same as with shaving or other forms of hair removal. There’s more an individual choice factor, which is important to me.

With my make-up, there are no pretences. Clearly, I do not naturally have sparkly green eyelids. Clearly, my lips are not naturally that Courtney-Love-style-red. It’s part of my style, as I choose to wear it. And, I can take as long or as little time as I damn well please, if I do choose to put on make-up.

Seriously, I’ll compare how I see make-up and FBH issues in wider society.

Although, that said, I do feel a tad bit concerned, when girls and women feel like they can’t leave the house without make-up on. Partly because I know what it’s like to have incredibly shit self-esteem, and at some points I actually hated my reflection in the mirror. Sometimes, even with make-up on.

I just don’t personally see FBH removal and make-up on quite the same page. One can be quite liberating and expressive and fun, one can be a pain in the arse, amongst other things.

So, just how much of a feminist issue is make-up?

If you’re a socialist feminist, I can understand that you wouldn’t necessarily be that happy clappy about make-up.

I applaud feminists who refuse to wear make-up, because if they feel that strongly about it, then, great. But I guess I see make-up as more an optional thing, rather than a ritual I must do daily. As Susan Brownmiller said – in the prologue to “Femininity” – “Enormous pleasure can be extracted from feminine pursuits as a creative outlet or purely as relaxation, indulgence for the sake of fun…” and make-up is pretty much the one and only feminine indulgence I enjoy, and, well, indulge in. Partly because, it’s not exactly a necessity.

As feminists, and as women, I believe we have the right to express ourselves in whichever way we please. Aesthetically, yes, I do apply make-up to express myself, and I do have hairy legs, too.


3 Responses to "A tad bit about make-up"

You use make up in a theatrical sense, which hey, is fun. Why not? Some people dye their hair crazy colors, some people wear bright clothes, some people like blue eyeshadow. Hell, some guys do it too. All hail Ziggy Stardust and all.

Good for you!

I don’t wear make-up because I don’t feel comfortable wearing it and feel a lot more ‘myself’ without it. However, I don’t expect other feminists to also not wear make-up.

At the end of the day, women should have the choice to express themselves either way, make-up or no make-up, and be accepted for both.

I think the approach you have towards wearing make-up is a good one- you use it creatively to express yourself. It’s when women wear make-up because they feel they have to, or to conform to some homogenous ideal that it’s more problematic.

Ha, Ren, thanks…
Y’know, sometimes when I’m applying my make-up, I think to myself: “Think Ziggy!” LOL

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