Monday, 3 September 2007
The Trials of Being a Woman
These are before and after photos of a makeover I had on the Benefit counter in House of Fraser in Carlisle in April.
In the first picture I am wearing no makeup at all and I look tired and puffy I think you'll agree. In the second I have been given a subtle amount of makeup, my skin tone is more even and I have eyebrows. About 10 products are on my face if you can believe that!
I don't wear with makeup every day, I can't be bothered with the effort. Today I have some very light cover foundation and a bit of powder on. For a little while after the makeover I did make more of an effort with my appearance, but I think this was just the novelty of having some new makeup products.
As I wear makeup so infrequently the only things that I have to buy regularly are powder and mascara as these are the things I wear the most. I am a bit of a makeup magpie however and keep buying various different colour eyeshadows and am amassing quite a selection!
I think the next product I buy will be a blusher. I have never worn this, except when age 16 I was really ill and grey and needed to get a passport photo so plastered myself in makeup, and also after the makeover. I will have to go back to the makeup counter to have a discussion about the many types of blusher that are now available and how one applies it as I haven't got a clue.
Part of me enjoys the time it takes to "beautify" myself. I enjoy thinking about the colour combinations of eyeshadows and watching the transformation slowly take place. Other times I wonder why there is this tradition of plastering our faces with various creams. When did men stop wearing makeup? Long gone are the days when men made their faces white, added red cheeks, beauty spots and wore powdered wigs. There has been a bit of new romantic revival recently with some men wearing eyeliner (much more of them should in my opinion) but men in makeup hasn't been popular for hundreds of years.
And it's not just makeup of course - men may have to shave their faces and run a bit of gel through their hair but that's about all the maintenance that is required. Women have to get rid of most of their body hair to be "socially acceptable" and you are treated as some sort of freak if you don't. Look at Julia Roberts when she didn't shave her armpits. My hat goes off to Beth Ditto, lead singer of The Gossip who is big and unshaved but is still sexy.
But what I want to know is why is it that women are expected to go to such great lengths to be considered beautiful? Who started this shaving business? Your hair grows of its own occurrence, it is natural and so therefore surely it is there for a reason. Too keep you warm and to show that you have reached sexual maturity. So if it is natural then why get rid of it?