Of Makeup and Men

Today I saw a meme on Facebook about how International Women’s Day was supposed to be March 6th “but women take too long to get ready so we moved it to the 8th”. I happen to know the poster was a middle-aged male divorcée who will remain unnamed. That in itself is no reason to be twisted up, but paired with a sexist meme about a day that’s important to more than half the population, and you got yourself a fight. Congratulations, you’re part of the problem.

If you’re someone who doesn’t require a routine in the morning, or if your routine is very simple, that’s great. Do you. But why attack someone whose routine is longer or more complex? Some people think that the length of time a woman (any woman) takes to get ready in the morning concerns them. Let me capitalize this for dramatic effect: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

Makeup, specifically, seems to be a hot topic. Those memes you see about having “trust issues” when a girl takes off her expertly-crafted makeup? Those are made and shared by assholes. We have all been conditioned to view men as attractive without makeup on because that’s what society thinks is acceptable. I hope we can one day not differentiate, and see someone for the person they are rather than for the products on their face. Makeup is about pride and self-care, whatever kind you rock. Some folks seem to think makeup is about vanity, which is why I think it gets knocked so often. People don’t like to see women appreciating themselves or believing in their attractiveness. But for a lot of people, putting on makeup is about them feeling good about themselves. For some people, it’s art.

Ladies: looking your best, in whatever form that takes, is about what you want and how you feel comfortable stepping out into this world. The Internet is full of people telling women they’d look better with no makeup/natural makeup. Let me just tell you something, the Internet knows nothing about “natural makeup”. You can’t satisfy anyone but yourself. If you wear a full face, you’re wearing too much; if you go bare-faced, you’re labeled as looking sick or tired. So just do whatever you want.

This year I told myself that when someone says I look tired, I’m going to say that I am tired, because smashing the patriarchy takes a lot out of me. I’m tired from taking a full course load in law school. I’m tired from organizing and hosting educational conferences. I’m tired from winning student government elections, so I can eventually effect some change. I’m tired from doing interviews for networks and magazines about my work, in order to spread messages that are important to me.

My point being: we’re all badasses. We work, we study, we create, and we slay. What is or is not on my face does not affect the fact that I’m a leader, and that I have worth. And I feel the same about each and every one of you.

So, again, do you. Express yourself. Feel beautiful. Wear makeup, or don’t.

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– D

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