Here is a thing that bothers me a lot: guys who say that women (be they specific or be they women AT LARGE) wear too much make-up.
I just saw this tweet on my timeline:
Nope! Nope, I won’t allow it. I get it as a joke, whatever, even though it is not a GREAT one. As Rylee pointed out, it’s like saying that if I see you with gel-spiked hair at the gym, I can assume you wear a wig to work. Ha, ha. Whatever!
I get why people say that other people shouldn’t wear make-up to the gym, because it IS a little counter intuitive to dress up in tight, stretchy clothes and make-up just before sweating and breathing heavily a lot. (Though: isn’t this what people do before sex? Huh.) It’ll get ruined and come off anyway! These people, I think, believe they are making a practical (and even benevolent) suggestion. Nobody should feel as though they have to wear make-up to the gym, sure, but it isn’t doing anyone any favors to act as though adult humans can’t make that decision for themselves.
And as for this sentiment’s more prevalent relative, “I like natural beauty, not women who wear a ton of make-up.”
Here is the thing: you don’t get to belong to a group of people that constantly tells women and girls to make themselves prettier, and then criticize them for going ahead and trying to make themselves prettier. You don’t get credit for telling beautiful women to wear less make-up if and when you are equally quick to point out flaws in other women. You don’t get credit for saying you appreciate “natural” beauty in women who are already conventionally beautiful by LITERALLY EVERYONE’S STANDARDS. (And who — I’m serious, and though you do not believe me, I’m telling you it’s true — are definitely wearing make-up.) That’s what I hate perhaps most of all: the assumption that anyone should pat you on the back for saying something like this. I’m shaking my mascara wand at you! Fuck off!
Even guys who do not, as individuals, enforce this directive on women, as surely many don’t, are still not allowed to say that anyone is wearing too much make-up, because in 99.9% of cases (i.e. everyone but that make-up artist guy on E!) they don’t know what they’re talking about. Give it up! It is over. There isn’t enough time left in life to teach you all of this stuff.
Here is the new law: if you cannot identify each and every product on a woman’s face, you can’t say that there are too many on it. It is forbidden.
This post by Katie Heaney originally appeared on her blog Shut Up. Tell Me.