So I was thinking whilst I got dressed this morning- yeah I know, a pretty miraculous activity for 6:30 in the morning. I'm right there with you on the insanity of that one. So as I was getting dressed, sorting my hair, finding my make up I was struck by the thought that it is so much more difficult for me to get dressed than it is for James.
Women's clothes are infinitely more uncomfortable and impractical than men’s. You name it, skirts, tights, heels, funny blouses that mean you have to suck your tummy in- all far more hassle and time consuming than their male counterparts. And then one item in that list struck me more than the others- make up. Why do we religiously apply this to our selves? I know that there are some women who cannot go out without it. That see it as so integral to what makes them an attractive woman that they can't even let their significant others see them without it on. In reality I think that a society where women have to wear makeup and traditionally men do not is telling us something quite scary about ourselves. It’s telling us that we do not think women are enough. We look at our faces, and society tells us that they are not good enough. Not beautiful enough, that they need more. In order to be attractive we have to add to ourselves. That a woman, in all her glory, intricacies and yes flaws, is not enough without a mask. That their face is not what we want to see and deal with. Just a side point, I'm not saying that men don't wear makeup I'm just saying that it's not acceptable in out society for a man to turn up at his office suit and mascara.
Then do you know what worried me further? We sell make up to children. On the market at the moment there are a whole variety of different make up products aimed solely at little girls. Designed to show girls that this is what they can aspire to when they grow up. We, as a society are teaching our little girls that they are not enough, and that their brothers are. This is sad.
Margaret Cho (an American comedian) once said that, ‘Ugly. Is irrelevant. It is an immeasurable insult to a woman, and then supposedly the worst crime you can commit as a woman. But ugly, as beautiful, is an illusion.’
Yet convexly I guess makeup can be construed as a tool of feminine empowerment. Allowing us to present ourselves as we see fit, for ourselves. Whilst beauty is undoubtedly ephemeral we are all guilty of wanting to be seen as attractive and desirable.
So I would be interested to hear your thoughts on this subject. Do you think that makeup is a mask or a tool of empowerment? This is something that came to me one morning whilst getting dressed, so feel free to weigh in.
I look forward to hearing your views.