I do love makeup. I come from the generation that put that extra line above the eye-socket. You’d think that was rather reminiscent of a clown, wouldn’t you, but then it was the absolute thing. Before that, just as I got into my teens, there was Bridget Bardot with her pink lips and black-lined eyes framed with masses of mascara. Do you remember spitting into a block of black stuff to make it work! And over and above all this, there is the image of my mother, not going out, not starting her day, without putting on her face. She was the epitome of femininity, and I wanted all the trappings of that. And although I rebelled against many of my mother’s values, I never rebelled against the idea of putting on makeup.
But last week I didn’t wear much makeup as I had a large molar at the back of my mouth extracted (with just local anaesthetic). Geez (apologies) but really it was fairly ghastly. End of moan, as it’s all so minor, and the symptoms of post extraction will pass.
The lack of makeup though made me feel not quite myself and I so looked forward to wearing it again. Interesting – you could have a debate on what is the self? Why do you need makeup to feel your self ? And funnily enough a friend had sent me an article Why do girls wear makeup?
To be honest, I received it with a heavy heart, as I always get slightly annoyed when I read this type of article. You know where it’s going, and the journalist’s argument can be summed up with her last two sentences:
“Why do women wear makeup? You could say it’s a pinch of patriarchy, a dusting of sex, a smattering of fun, and a whole, caked-on layer of misplaced insecurity.”
For goodness sake – why don’t people/journalists leave us women alone to do as we damn well please. Insecure, speak for yourself! But not for others, thank you!!!!!
Really, I cannot stress this enough – there should be no rules for what you wear, and what you put on your face. If you don’t want to wear makeup that’s fine, if you do that’s fine. Just don’t listen to people who want you to conform to an ideal – especially an ideal that women shouldn’t be wearing makeup because of some idea that they’re insecure without it.
OK, if you’re talking about ideals I do think that you should look in your mirror and be realistic about your face. For instance, I can see that over the past couple of years my wrinkles have increased. (I shall write about this anon.) But hey, I’m getting older. And then I note my skin tone – it’s quite pale and pasty. So I need colour. And then I put some makeup on. Note the ‘some’. To give the article its due it does say that a study at two UK universities found that both men and women thought some (but not too much) makeup was the most attractive. I’d go with that.
But what do you think? And apologies if I sound annoyed. I am. I can’t abide faux feminist journalists pontificating about us being our own worst enemies in wearing makeup. Oh, for heavens sake, and if you listened carefully I didn’t actually say that as I’ve totally taken on board Helen Mirren’s approach to life now I’m nearing 70!
Penny, the frugalfashionshopper
P.S. At some point, I think I might do a before and after (makeup) vlog – watch this space!