natural beauty

Oh, God, this is happening again. Men love natural beauty, they wish you’d wear less make-up. As XX states, men are telling you that you are silly bunnies who don’t know what you’re doing with the make-up brush. Again. And the New York Times is on it!

In the Room For Debate Section section, the Times is discussing whether or not women should wear make-up. Namely:

Some would argue that makeup empowers women, others would say it’s holding them back from true equality. A recent survey seems to come down on the side of makeup—at least superficially—saying that wearing makeup increases a woman’s likability and competence in the workplace.

Unsurprisingly, you’ll see comments like this from men:

Do any other men share my point of view that makeup makes women unattractive? The extreme gloss that some women use as lipstick is repulsive. Who would want to kiss such lips?


He certainly wasn’t alone in this sentiment, as evidenced by The Boy in Outer space who declared:

boy in outerspace(And who received an admirable slew out of outraged responses).

I once dated someone who told me I shouldn’t wear lipstick, because, as he politely explained “I haven’t told you this, but I don’t like it. You don’t need to wear make-up. I don’t like it.”

At which point – I can’t remember what I said. But I should have said “cool, because it’s not for your benefit.” I didn’t. I tried to change my make-up routine, and that made me kind of sad, because I liked my make-up routine, and eventually the relationship ended, and I realized I could wear red lipstick again, and that made me happy. So, in a way he did me a favor, though I doubt the way he expected.

That’s not to say that I wear make-up entirely for myself. I did not grow up in a cave and stumble upon a tube of lipstick with my enormous night seeing eyes and latch onto it as my only form of comfort (though I respect those who have that relationship with lipstick, and think they’re going to have a blast when they discover eyeliner). Obviously, I wear make-up because the act of applying it and wearing it carries with it certain societal connotations. I suppose, for me, the act of applying it always makes me feel adult. And, hell, it makes me feel like I’m at the beginning of a movie montage where the glamorous character applies lipstick and picks out a pair of shoes, and I like feeling that way. I like putting on lipstick in the morning, and forming my mouth into that cool “oh” the way they do in the movies. I like finding new colors. It’s fun, is what it is. It’s like painting. On your face.

I also think it would be fun to be a clown, if clowns weren’t so terrifying with their deceptive Satanic faces. I guess I’d like being a clown if you were allowed to own how scary you were. But that is another story, for another time.

So, I find that putting on make-up is more about me and the associations I have with make-up than the act of making a man in my life happy.

Which men, surprisingly, do not seem to realize. At all.

I think men genuinely think they are being nice when they tell women they shouldn’t wear make-up. I’ll give you that not wearing make-up requires less effort, than, say, going out and getting breast implants, or any number of other ways men might want you to alter your appearance for their benefit. But they’re still trying to get you to alter your appearance for their benefit.

That sucks.

Don’t do that. If you want to wear make-up, wear make-up. If you don’t want to, don’t. If you want to be a clown, be a scary clown. So, just proceed in the same way you already know in your heart is right.

Picture via Creative Commons