Women feel under pressure to wear make-up. At least that’s the story if you listen to Dove commercials and pretty much every TV show we see on Channel 4 in Britain that involves Gok Wan or that woman with the block fringe, Anna something-or-other. The media is constantly informing me that I feel threatened by celebrities who have make-up artists at their side every minute of the day ensuring they look every bit fresh as a daisy. Oh and Photoshop, the most evil weapon since the nuclear bomb, causing women everywhere to throw themselves out of the nearest window when even their HD Forever foundation doesn’t make their face as flawless as whoever is on the front of this month’s Cosmo.
Then the next step, due to this media circus criticizing famous women for looking too perfect and not being real role models for ordinary young girls another problem is caused. It’s not pressure to wear make-up but pressure not to wear make-up. Looking like we actually care about our appearance these days is a big no. Much better to roll out of bed leave your hair untouched, splash some water on your face, eat a bowl of Special K and go. Soon we’ll be yellowing our teeth to prove how un-vain we are, not washing and turning back into cave people. It’s inevitable!
We keep going around telling everyone that beauty isn’t important and then we tell our friends, mothers, children ‘oh you don’t need make-up, you look more beautiful without it.’ Who doesn’t see the glaring hypocrisy here? First of all beauty doesn’t matter and doesn’t define us and then second it’s very important not to wear make-up because it makes you look more beautiful. Did you hear anyone going round telling the pigeons that they’re not allowed to puff out their chests to attract the women pigeons because it might make the less colourful, less puffy pigeons jealous? This is ridiculous.
Your boyfriend might perhaps tell you that you look just as beautiful with nothing on (your face) but then you show up for your anniversary dinner at the best restaurant in town all puffy eyed from a long slog at work with a big spot on your chin and wind bedraggled hair and your partner looks around seemingly embarrassed to be in your presence. Well you know what, you can’t have it both ways! If women are pressurised to wear make-up because they understand that it will make them more attractive to men they are just as pressurised to look like a ‘natural beauty.’ Men who think women are beautiful without make-up are seen as godly creatures with not a shallow bone in their body, a Ghandi of women’s rights. However they are being the very definition of shallow, judging women on the way we look. A make-up wearing woman is no good for this man but a non-make-up wearing natural beauty is just fine.
Dear media, society, other women, men, children and aliens – stop having an opinion about other people’s faces. If we want to wear make-up we shall and if we don’t we shan’t. Not wearing make-up doesn’t have to be a statement it’s just a choice, just as wearing the choice between a black coat or a red coat, with spots on. Just in case you’re confused by my inane waffling, make-up or the lack of it, is really not the problem here. The problem here is the people who have an opinion about it when it’s really none of their business. Especially since the opinion seems to be somewhat of an oxymoron. So just shhhhh and look after your own face.
(follow me on twitter and instagram @felitalyb)