Makeup is Manners? P1

I heard a beauty blogger on YouTube say once that wearing makeup today is like having manners. I was immediately taken aback by that, but let myself think for a millisecond ” Should I wear some very basic makeup then?”. Of course then I came back to logic and I thought to myself, ” No! Besides, at 24 I have the best skin today than I will have in 10, 20, 30 or 50 years from now, so why would I cover that up?”.

Is it manners or insecurity when I consider it ‘being polite’ to tell the world, I’m sorry about how I really look, but here’s a made-up version of me you can actually bear to look at!

I am all for empowering women, but I think somewhere along the way, we must have done something wrong if scores of ‘beauty gurus’ rarely come on YouTube without makeup, even while talking about non-makeup things. At the same time, they often state that they never wear this much in real life. A little part of me dies inside each time one of them prefaces showing their real, non-made up face (still beautiful, of course) with emphatic warnings and  embarassed apologies. In which part of our self-empowerment classes did we teach women to apologize for what they looked like? It’s just a normal face, they’re not throwing acid onto their viewers’ eyes!

Why is it that women, nay girls, begin wearing makeup ‘to feel better about themselves’ or the more outright and honest, ‘to look better’, but the more makeup they wear, the more insecure they seem to be without it. I have read  natural beauty blogs where women write about how ‘freeing’/ ‘liberating’ it was for them to walk out of their houses with no makeup up, except for some mascara ( there’s always that one thing isn’t there? :), after they resolved their ‘skin issues’ using whatever natural, homemade face regimen they have been experimnting with.

As someone who wore some makeup ( eyeshadow, eyeliner and maybe some gloss) for occasional parties etc, I will say it is disarming and a little crushing when people tell you, ‘You look good!’, as if pleasantly surprised, or hear people remark on  ‘how well she cleans up’.

I still remember one time I wore a toned down version of bharatnatyam ( it’s an Indian classical dance with makeup highlighting the eyes and lips) makeup for a dance recital  and had one girl actually tell me, “You look hot!”. Believe me, I had to try my best not to give her the most incredulous look and burst out laughing because to me, bharatnatyam makeup is halfway between normal makeup and clown makeup, in its manner of exaggeration. Does that mean I have to subject myself to that level of cover-up to ‘look hot’?

What is necessary to look ‘hot’.

And then we wonder why boys don’t know what natural makeup looks like and mistake it for being equivalent to girl with no makeup on. They’re so used to seeing such an exaggerated level of makeup, that any makeup that leans towards more natural and skin tonal colors in the makeup spectrum, they assume, must be normal then, right? I’m sorry boys, all you need to do is to search on YouTube for ‘natural makeup tutorials’ and you’ll see how much work goes into attaining that ‘normal’ look.

Pay attention boys, on the left is ‘heavy’/ glam makeup and on the right is ‘natural’ makeup.
This is no makeup, i.e truly natural. Look at her! She’s frickin gorgeous!!

For lesson number two, boys, here’s the link to a collection of pictures of Victoria’s Secret models’ face photographs before and after makeup. I know their makeup isn’t always ‘natural’ but I think its more on the natural side because though they play up the eyes, the rest of the makeup is usually kept neutral. I think these women are quite beautiful without makeup, what do you think? I hope it illustrates the difference and maybe shatters some misconceptions.

Note that my point is not to bash women who wear makeup and say how ugly they look without it or something along those lines. I think that actually feeds the cycle. If you say a woman wears makeup because she looks ugly without it, you are bullying that woman into continuing to wear makeup, and maybe even increasing the amount, and you should be smacked by your mama for being so rude! I understand if you’re in the entertainment industry, where all this is necessary, to an extent, but if you live in real life, why do you need all this HD foundation business? I don’t see the point in damaging your skin at so young an age and then having to fight wrinkles and scarring later in life caused by unnecessary efforts now.Why? Why do we do this to ourselves? We feed our own frenzy!

See? Much better without makeup!

I remember once in college when a girl in our class walked in looking very tired and soon enough, her friends were asking her, ‘Did you not sleep last night? Did you pull an all-nighter?’. In due course though, we realized what had happened was not that she grew incredibly tired looking in one night, but that she didn’t wear her makeup that day. I couldn’t begin to imagine how mortified she must have felt to hear such a reaction to the way she really looked. She probably swore to never step out without makeup again..and thus the cycle continues.

I  believe it was Tyra Banks, who I saw once saying on her show how it was scary for her when she got close enough in a relationship, and it was time for the makeup to come off and for the guy to see her as she was, sans foundation, eyelashes, eyeshadow, lipstick, Photoshop etc. At least in her case, she is in such a situation because her job demands it, but I can definitely picture this happening, in real life, to some girl who unnecessarily brought this nightmare on herself!

The ever famous Dove ad that showed that Photoshop had been rofling in our faces this whole time.

Ladies, you want to teach guys to appreciate real beauty? Stop dressing and making yourself up according to the media’s standards and be yourself. Its not even that big a deal, because you’re beautiful even without all that stuff on, and you know it! This is not like calling women to stop shaving their leg hair, in that its not going to be as gross to men, maybe? (what do I know, I’m a girl!). But I believe that if we get comfortable with ourselves, then guys will start to see how fake the women in movies, magazines, and other media are and begin to appreciate women instead of calling them ‘ugly’ because she has no makeup on.

I understand if you may want to cover up a few spots or scars, but all I’m asking for,  is that you keep it as close to your own real face as possible and save the extravagant stuff for once a year or once a month type events. And please do not go on a first date with full coverage makeup on, and then fret when the relationship gets serious and now you have to show him your real face. Read that sentence again. By the very meaning of saying ‘you have to show him your real face’, you haven’t shown him yourself thus far, i.e. you lied. Please don’t bait and hook guys, its unfair to them and unfair to you and every woman they deal with after you. You want a guy who loves you for you, looks and all. So don’t do it, I beg you.

This you should wear to a first date.
This one, probably not.

7/26/13

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