I have been told natural is pretty; I have masked my face to become beautiful.
I’ve often mused to myself about some of nature’s ironies. For instance, there are species of male animals that are brightly colored compared to their dullish female counterparts.
With humans, on the contrary, females tend to be the “brightly coloured” specie—particularly in their use of makeup. The tint of their lips are enhanced, their cheeks are flushed with blush, and their sultry eyes can rival that of any cat on the prowl. Or ghoul, depending on the application.
At any rate, makeup has always posed a bit of a perplexing pickle for me. For starters, there is the whole gender issue—makeup is marketed predominantly to women. I don’t feel the need to discuss this point any further as it is rather self-evident, but it’s there to be noted regardless.
Second, I’ve always feared being the woman who has trapped herself by not being able to leave the house makeupless without hearing a gasp of horror from people’s slack-jawed mouths crying out, “what is that freakish creature!”
This exaggeration serves to demonstrate the whisperings I’ve heard from people about how so-and-so is really not so beautiful when she is makeup-free, the tabloids I’ve seen about what celebrities really look like without the glitz and glam, and the secret revulsion I’m sure many women harbor about their own freshly-washed reflections.
I’ve tried to avoid wearing makeup with such frequency that when seen without it, people can hardly recognize me, or worse, think I must be sick or tired.
However, when I’m strutting my stuff in all my glammed-up glory, I can’t help but wonder, why wouldn’t I—no—why shouldn’t I look fabulous all the time especially if I can? I only have one life to live, after all, and my youth won’t last forever. Why should I not look great whenever I can?
But therein lies the issue, the conundrum, the pickle. That very pondering is the heartbeat of why makeup mystifies me: that I feel I look great with makeup on. More fabulous. That I feel more confident.
It’s not that feeling these ways are the problem. Instead, it’s that makeup is responsible for the jump in my positive perception. Makeup appears to enhance not only my lashes but also my self esteem.
Is this really a problem? No, not really. But the point is rooted in another issue, which is exactly where I take issue—my third point.
And that is the contradiction of what society tells us. “Enhance your natural beauty…with makeup.” “Natural beauty is preferred. Lucky for you, you can achieve that with makeup!” Lucky us indeed.
“Buy this product to look and feel your best.” In other words, “buy confidence in this tube of goob.” It seems beauty in this society isn’t truly realised unless it comes in a bottle and ends up on your face.
What a thought.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to re-apply my tinted “Raspberry & Blackberry glossy lip balm—Smell delicious and Feel delicious.”
But of course.
Photo Credit: Untitled by Rondell Melling via pixabay