The debate over women wearing makeup is quite fascinating. Recently, a very talented makeup artist named Nikki, posted a YouTube video displaying the transformative power of makeup by presenting half of her face naked the other half of her face "made up" with cosmetics. The comments were unkind... especially from men...who for some reason felt obligated to point out how unattractive Nikki was bare-faced and how cosmetics are creating an illusion to somehow cheat or ensnare men.
For starters Nikki is beautiful either way, and I encourage you to watch her videos. She's hilarious and gifted, has an amazing boyfriend and has the whole world watching her tutorials..she's laughing all the way to the bank. Secondly, I think the arguments made by the trolls are ludicrous.
Men, do you think the women you ogle in the pages of Playboy roll out of bed like that? I would argue that even fresh faced gals are still wearing the basics; ---dabs of concealer, blush, gloss and a touch of mascara. Those actresses who "supposedly" post naked face selfies...look closer..they are still covering blemishes, blending out dark circles and brushing a hint of mineral powder on their faces. It may fool the dreamy-eyed teenagers but not a wise old crow like me.. That kind of perfection doesn't exist. If a man is searching for his natural beauty, that flawless, full lashed, pouty lipped vixen... the sun will probably fall from the sky before he finds her. Natural skin is seldom dewy, flushed or blemish free. I think cosmetics are miraculous and necessary.
The age old makeup is a "man trap" debate, has been with us for centuries. In 1915, the Kansas legislature even proposed to make it a misdemeanor for women under the age of forty to wear cosmetics “for the purpose of creating a false impression." In the early 1900's Rouge was considered too provocative..and make-up was not sold in stores because it was so scandalized as being the paint of tarts.
Throughout history, it has been men who have instructed women on what they could or could not wear. Ladies were so desperate to add a little colour to their faces in the 1800's they would secretly smudge burnt match sticks above their eyes and crush flower pedals to create the slightest pink tinge for lips and cheeks.
There's also a feminist argument against cosmetics. Are we enhancing ourselves merely to appease men? To become sex objects for society's consumption? I don't believe that argument holds water, either. I think it's anti-feminist to tell a woman how she should look and how she should dress.
There are some men in my family that tell their daughters not to wear make-up. My Grandfather actually calls it WARPAINT. I like that wording, WARPAINT. That's what I call it too... because make-up makes me feel powerful. Sadly, some of the men in my life have barely crawled free of the primordial goo and the women married to them are forced to live their lives pasty-faced and tired looking.
When I get ready for work, I blast my music and apply my makeup every morning with gusto. I won't leave the house until I have it on...because it makes me feel confident, perhaps ready to do battle with the world. I became fascinated with cosmetics as a young child..my lovely aunt Wendy gifted me blush and lip glosses. I used to adore watching my mother transform herself for a night on the town. She would brush her long black hair and paint her lips bright red. It was friggin glorious.
Makeup has been around for 6000 years, and it was used to set a stage. Chinese dynasties whitened their skin and painted their nails to demonstrate their status in society.
Geisha in Japan depended on makeup to transform into artists ...their costume was the foundation of their art and what is could achieve, perfection, beauty and strength. In the Middle Ages European women would use white power to appear more aristocratic. The rich worked indoors and had pale skin from zero contact with the sun. Tanned skin in those days meant "peasant."
Queen Elizabeth I of England was one well-known user of white lead face paint, with which she created a look known as "the Mask of Youth." This was Elizabeth's way of setting her apart from the rest. She needed the support of her kingdom, and her goddess like appearance brought her respect. Her armies needed to idolize her as a icon of Renaissance beauty , and be willing to fight to the death for her. Image was everything. She even outlawed paintings that showed her aging. She was actually a Queen of self promotion and marketing. She also relied on her white make-up to cover her imperfect skin that was horribly scarred from a childhood bout of smallpox.
Some Native American tribes painted their faces for ceremonial events or battle. Similar practices were followed by Aborigines in Australia. Make-up was spiritual and transformative.
Icon Marilyn Monroe's cosmetic routine took hours. Her eyes were shadowed in a very precise way , eyebrows drawn with a precise arch. Her lips were coated with layers of different shades of lipstick to achieve that full pouty look. Her skin was masked with vaseline to blur and hide imperfections...her stylist was an artist....Marilyn. There would be no Marilyn without her classic red lips, darkly lined hooded eyes and that over emphasized trademark birth mark.
The black tar make-up that footballers swipe under their eyes...they say it's purpose is to eliminate glare...but...it's purpose...is really too look mean.. My point...make-up....the purpose...is to enhance your look, your features, your uniqueness. Don't let critics tell you make-up is a mask. It's a tool that you control. Beauty in all it's forms and applications is freedom and a form of personal expression. I use it to give the world the version of me I want them to see.