Friday, September 24, 2010

No Makeup Week (not a books post, per se)

Did you know that Sept. 23 -27, 2010 is (was) No Makeup Week?

I didn't until I saw it on Afrobella's blog. I then followed her link to see RabbitWrite's original post about it.

At first glance, I thought - oh well, at least I don't have to think about that. Because I wear makeup about 4x a year - and that's if I have a high frequency makeup year. Then I read RabbitWrite's post - and the part about women wanting their female colleagues to wear makeup reminded me of something I heard when I was 19 or 20. I worked that summer in a hospital and I remembered hearing two women snickering about a job candidate who had just interviewed. They were laughing because "she didn't even have on any makeup."

Oh how I remember that. And I wondered about that - was it really necessary, mandatory to wear makeup. I didn't wear makeup regularly - but I wore it more than I do now. Never to work, but for nights out with friends (and I was a nerdy girl, so there weren't many of those - but a few).

After that conversation I knew that not wearing makeup could be held against me, but I didn't know what I was doing. And I didn't really care yet.

It's 20 years later and I still don't wear makeup, but I really am beginning to care about it. It's more accurate to say that I'm beginning to worry about it.

Even though I have been a feminist since childhood and reading The Beauty Myth gave my dislike of and lack of confidence about makeup the support of feminist ideology, I am beginning to waver.

Age is a big part of that slow shift. Aspiration is another. I still wonder how differently I would be perceived if I were a savvy user of beauty products. And I remember the difference in reaction when I am wearing even the littlest bit of makeup - I now wear lipgloss several times a week!

Is it time for me to figure the makeup thing out and stop making every week a makeup free week? It feels like the grown up thing to do. And the most successful women around me are often makeup people.

So no makeup week is making me explore all the reasons I don't wear makeup and whether I'm ready to let them go or address them.

My reasons are these:

It feels terrible - hot, itchy.
I shine like patent leather.
I sometimes see women in makeup that makes them look older - yikes!
It feels like a big time drain - I love being able to get up and get out quickly.
I don't think it's healthy.
I think the societal expectation of wearing it is one of the light oppressions.
I have no idea what to do or where to begin.
I'm not a fan of fake things on my body - nails, hair, makeup. But I've considered fake hair lately as well.

And my reasons for thinking about wearing it are:

Age - I want to be as beautiful as possible, even now.
Image - I still want to be one of the cool, successful girls (now women) who are stars.
Skills - I think I should know what to do and not be standing in a discount store buying makeup the night of an event.

So that's where this makeup free woman ended up after thinking about No Makeup Week.

1 comment:

Dee said...

Hi there, *waving*

It sounds like you're allowing outside influences to color your outlook.

As someone who's attended beauty school and did makeup for weddings, I've been on both ends of the spectrum and frankly I'm just too lazy now to do more than ensure my brows are plucked, my face shineless and lips chap free.

It's really about what you want. If you truly feel it will stop or slow down the hands of time, go ahead... play with it a bit. Just remember, less is more. It should appear natural, so go for earth tones in eye shadow and keep lips close to your lip color.

It's nice to see the "other" you every once in awhile.