So, a man I don’t know just stopped me on the street to tell me to “put on some makeup.” I can’t believe I took one of my earbuds out for that noise. Such a jerk move, man. I will count some of the myriad ways that interaction was stupid.
One, stopping women you don’t know on the street can be scary. You don’t know me. I don’t know you and you have no right to talk to me. There are obviously exceptions, recently, a little old lady with a Lord and Taylor bag asked me to help her get on a Manhattan bound M train and I obliged because she was polite, decidedly non threatening and she wasn’t criticizing my appearance. The man who stopped me today was just annoying, but he could have been dangerous.
Two, interrupting people is rude. I was walking with velocity from the train to my workplace with headphones blocking my ears from the sounds of the outside world. I wasn’t meandering around with nothing to do, open to conversations with strangers. But, it didn’t matter that I was preoccupied. Does it ever? If someone has headphones on or is reading a book or something, it should deter others from talking to her. Even if a stranger just wants to chat or offer a compliment, they should read the fucking room and ignore someone who is clearly disinterested. You are not entitled to my time.
Three, don’t tell me what to do–you’re not my dad. Not even he can tell me what to do because I’m a grown woman. This man told me to put on makeup, essentially explaining that 1) I don’t give him a boner, but 2) I could if I follow his orders. Like I give a shit what he finds attractive. I didn’t get a good look at his face, but I’m sure I wouldn’t want to fuck him either. I just wouldn’t say so because I have manners.
Four, I am wearing makeup. I am wearing Dr Jart black label BB cream, Tarte Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara, Bare Minerals mineral veil, and Benefit’s Benetint on my cheeks and lips. It’s not my most glamorous look; I decided against my usual liquid cat eye and skipped concealer, but it’s still a cosmetically manipulated version of my face. Are we so used to lies about “celebrities without makeup” that what I had on looked like nothing? I used four products this morning. What more does he want from me? I’m sure he used zero. Had I done my face up for the big time, with a bold lip, contoured cheeks and lashes out to here, I would be inviting my face to other sorts of comments and judgements. “Why so fancy?” “You look like a clown.” “Don’t you know men like the natural look?”
Is today the prettiest I’ve ever felt? No. I’m recovering from a cold, wearing glasses and my bangs are pinned off of my face, a hairstyle I only do when I’ve let my hair get egregiously filthy. Plus, I’m wearing jeans, though I prefer wearing dresses. Even with glasses, dirty hair, my “sick” face and the outfit I have on, I look pretty. Even if I wasn’t wearing makeup or if I didn’t look cute at all, it’s not ok to tell me so.
So screw you, random man I don’t know and will never see again.