“That’s not fair,” I said aloud, smiling, as if the empty, disheveled band room could hear me. “You tricked me into thinking four years was a very, very long time.”
misha collins walks into a bar
everyone in the bar is now gay
Hank Green on gay marriage (x)
There are a lot of things guys do that bug the shit out of me. Don’t get me wrong — I’m still attracted to them as a gender, but I’ve got a constantly-growing list of actions and qualities that make me totally not-attracted to individual dudes, and I think that maybe number one with a bullet on that list is “Doesn’t think women should wear makeup.”
Here’s the thing about the culture we live in, guys: as a woman, you’re bombarded with ads for cosmetics and an impossible-to-achieve beauty ideal pretty much from early childhood. Taylor Swift’s last concert tour featured a CoverGirl “makeover bar” for her tween fans. You can find Barbie and Hello Kitty tie-in makeup in the “girl toy” aisle at any Target. I wouldn’t be surprised if you could buy baby makeup now (kind of like SNL’sBaby Spanx, only worse!). To be a lady anywhere in the world is to go about your day being constantly informed that you are Not Good Enough. Use this foundation! Now use this concealer and this blush! Now some of this powder! This eyeliner! This eyeshadow! This mascara! HOLY SHIT, YOU DON’T MOISTURIZE? WERE YOU RAISED BY WOLVES?! Look, we can fix you and make you look kind of like Emma Stone — or at least slightly less disgusting and busted than you look now — if you buy all this stuff! And if you don’t, your boyfriend/husband/partner will leave you and you’ll never know the joy of turning heads as you walk down a city street in slow motion while a Jessie J song plays! But by all means, don’t wear too much makeup — who are you, Trampzilla?
Basically, you can’t win. Either you’re hideous without makeup or you’re a tarted-up whore with too much. That’d be okay if it were only women who enforced this weird double standard — but nope. Of course, dudes had to get in on the act. The hip new fad is for guys to claim that they prefer girls who don’t wear makeup, and talk shit about the ones who do. I typed “girls who don’t wear makeup” into Google and came up with millions of hits. Some gems from those sites:
- “Natural. Makeup disgusts me to the utmost.”
- “I get more turned on seeing her natural even with her flaws as make up seems to be telling me she is trying to hide something or is uncomfortable with her own skin”
- “I really detest makeup— especially as a woman wears more and more of it. I feel people have a natural beauty and they should embrace it. I hate seeing women who wear pounds of it on their face or breasts (to make them look bigger, evidently this is a big thing now)… I don’t like the idea that people want to hide their “imperfections”.”
- “I hate the bright red lips that make women look like they’re from the 1940’s or 1950’s. If women want to look more attractive, then start working out.”
- “There is however, nothing worse than a girl with a face caked in make up” (Ed. note:I think there are worse things than a girl with a face caked in makeup. Murder, for instance.)
- “… the sad thing is that a lot of women are really beautiful, but they look ugly (or maybe fugly is better) because they have make-up smeared and slathered all over their face.”
… and so on.
Hey, guess what, dudes? Sit the fuck down. No, seriously.
I wear makeup, pretty much every day, for multiple reasons; one being that I’ve always been self-conscious about my skin (it’s not awful, but it’s oily and inconsistent and looks alotbetter when I even it out a bit) and another being that I justlike how it looks. I’d be a liar if I said that I weren’t at all affected by crazy cosmetics ads or weird societal beauty standards, because of course I am — I’m human — but honestly? More than that, I just really enjoy makeup. I’m not super artistic, but I see makeup as an accessible form of art and my face as a canvas that I can change every single day if I want to. I love winged liner and red lips, and shimmery blue-green shadow that makes me feel like a mermaid, and smoky eyes and all that jazz. And believe it or not, I don’t spend that 15 to 30 minutes in the bathroom each morning just to impress some dude! I do it because it makes me feel confident, which in turn makes me hold my head higher, smile brighter and speak up more readily. Andthatmakes me look better than when I’m bare-faced and tired-looking. Dudes, I’m sorry, but not everything is about you. Not everything a woman does is done with the intent of getting your penises inside us.
And also? You don’t get to tell us how disgusting we look with makeup on when you’re the ones who created the advertising and entertainment industries — responsible for all our fucked-up beauty standards — in the first place! You don’t get to sell us this shit, then turn around and say that we look better without it! Not allowed!
Andtwo more things.One:a guy who says “I want a girl who’s beautiful in jeans and a t-shirt, without a stitch of makeup and her hair tied up” is probably full of shit. Every woman is beautiful, yada yada yada, but most women are not CONVENTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL when they’re bumming around the house in sweats and a Memorial Day Fun Run 2010 t-shirt, frizzy-haired and makeup-free. You guys don’t want that girl. You want Bar Refaeli. You want an objectively smokin’ supermodel who rolls out of bed looking effortlessly gorgeous. The proportion of girls who are effortlessly gorgeous at all times compared to that of girls who are normal-looking but clean up well with a little effort is HILARIOUSLY tiny. Saying that you would only be interested in a girl who’s stunningly beautiful with absolutely no effort is actuallyreallyshallow, when you think about it. Andtwo:YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT MAKEUP LOOKS LIKE. I have been around groups of guys MULTIPLE TIMES who have gone off on rants about how “girls these days wear too much makeup and it makes them look like clowns,” and then had them turn to me, completely straight-faced, and go, “See,youdon’t wear makeup, and you look great!” And all I can do is laugh and laugh — I had on mineral foundation, brow filler, eyeliner, eyeshadow and mascara at the time. Most of the time, when you’re drooling over some chick who’s SUPER HOT WITH NO MAKEUP? Yeah, she’s wearing quite a bit of it, actually. A lot of ladies will frequently opt for the “natural” look, wherein we apply makeup to brighten and define our existing features. The whole point is to make it look like we’re not wearing any. Apparently it works a little too well.
Basically, what I’m saying is that dudes need to sit the fuck down when it comes to this issue. I’m sure you think it makes you look valiant and like the “good guy” to say that you prefer your women bare-faced at all times, but seriously? It doesn’t matter what you think. I don’t care if it looks “natural” to you. I just want to look awesome.
“And believe it or not, I don’t spend that 15 to 30 minutes in the bathroom each morning just to impress some dude! I do it because it makes me feel confident, which in turn makes me hold my head higher, smile brighter and speak up more readily. Andthatmakes me look better than when I’m bare-faced and tired-looking. Dudes, I’m sorry, but not everything is about you. Not everything a woman does is done with the intent of getting your penises inside us.”
Granted, I don’t often wear makeup, but when do, and when I dress up, THIS is why I’m doing it. I could give a fuck whether or not it makes some cis dudebro want to put their dick in me, I just want to look dapper and feel spiffy.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that my ideas of “dapper” and “spiffy” aren’t influenced by social beauty norms. But I’m beyond sick and tired of being treated—both by dudebros and “feminists”—like some particularly stupid four year old who’s too ignorant to realize this and to try to work against that social conditioning.
All of this.
I don’t wear make-up all the time. I frankly wake up about 45 minutes before I am supposed to leave so I literally have enough time to shower, eat, and look half way presentable before I walk out the door. When I do decide to wake up an extra 15 minutes early to do my make-up, its for me not someone else. I put it on because I want to be wearing it. I dye my hair because I like my hair being different colors. I like doing this. Also, men are fucking lying when they say they don’t like women without makeup. I get shit for not wearing makeup from both men and women. When I do wear make-up and it doesn’t look “natural” (i.e. blue eyeshadow or dark eyeshadow with bright red lips) I get shit for it. Women cannot fucking win in this culture. We are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. Feminist don’t help with this either because a lot of them constantly harp on how we shouldn’t wear makeup because of patriarchy. Fuck that shit, I wear it because I like it.
It’s not too much to ask men and boys to “look, but don’t touch.” A young woman who wants to be noticed, even desired, without being assaulted isn’t making an unreasonable request. She’s not defying the facts of biology. She’s asking to be watched, appreciated, and left unharmed. Saying that she’s asking to be raped is like saying that a talented actor who portrays an unsympathetic villain particularly well on screen is asking to be attacked by an outraged member of the movie-going public. There’s a difference between a performance and an invitation, and it’s not that hard—really, it’s not—to distinguish the two.