I don’t wear make-up. Except for one brief experimental period of my life that spanned fewer than six months, when I wore eye liner, I’ve only ever worn make-up onstage. And then, only because the drama directors said it was necessary.
And after every performance, I couldn’t wait to clean the goop off my face and feel free again.
Not only do I not wear make-up, but I don’t like that other women wear make-up, either.
I’m not talking about if you were born with some kind of birthmark or other “imperfection” that makes people stare or tease. I am not opposed to a person wearing enough make-up to cover it up so that they can have less stress in their life.
On the other hand, what a sad commentary it is on the human condition that we can’t accept everyone for who they are, and not judge them for what they look like.
Which is a good segue into my reasoning behind not appreciating other women wearing make-up. First, they have bought into the double standard. Men don’t have to wear make-up in order to be considered hot or handsome; why do women in order to be considered attractive?
Second, they cause women like me who choose not to wear make-up to be judged. I must not care about my appearance. I’m lazy. I’m in some kind of religious bondage.
When I was about twenty-five years old, an older woman actually had the audacity to imply that last one to me. She thought I’d come from one of those Christian denominations that “forces” women to not wear make-up.
Au contraire. I was raised Catholic, and even my mother put on lipstick before going to Mass. Plenty of other women did the whole paint job before they would attend worship services.
And many of them didn’t wear make-up any other time of the week! Why? You’re supposed to look your best for God, right? And modern Western culture has decided that women only look their best if they’re wearing make-up.
Twice now I have encountered otherwise no-make-up women who put on make-up before creating YouTube videos. The first used to not wear make-up in her videos, then came to feel like she was competing with women who do wear make-up and thus was falling short. The crazy thing was, in her video about why she started wearing make-up for videos, she showed a picture of a woman YouTuber who looked like a clown, her face paint was so exaggerated. I thought, You want to look like that?
The second woman stated that she wears make-up for her videos to “put my best foot forward.”
Ouch. There it is again: judgment. So, we women YouTubers who don’t wear make-up are being slovenly? Putting our lower quality foot forward?
The history of make-up in just a few lines
Women have worn make-up for thousands of years. At least, certain cultures and certain classes. In the ancient cultures, wealthy women wore make-up to impress. In the middle ages, wealthy women wore it to distinguish themselves from the peasants.
In the early years of the United States (and I think the same could be said for Europe), women rarely wore make-up.
Unless they were a prostitute.
Why did they start wearing make-up? Moving pictures. Yep. Even though the movies were black and white, viewers could tell that the actresses wore make-up. And non-acting women, believing a career on a stage to be glamorous and sexy, decided that they wanted to look like those actresses.
Not surprisingly, it was a man – Max Factor – who decided to oblige those discontented women. And as soon as he came out with a line of face paint, advertising bearing the message that women can’t be really beautiful without make-up became ubiquitous and rampant.
To sum this section up: women have worn make-up to number one, flaunt their class status; and number two, because they believe an unpainted face can never be beautiful.
Why women wear make-up now
Whenever a woman has put on make-up, whether part of the ancient Egyptian upper class, or whether to get an executive business job, she’s done it for one reason, and one reason only: fear.
Fear of being taken for a peasant.
Fear of not being able to attract a man with the face God gave her.
Fear of not being able to impress a potential employer.
Fear of not getting “enough” views/subscribers on her YouTube channel.
Fear of other people seeing her facial flaws, or state of wellness (such as shadows under her eyes because she didn’t get enough sleep, or the annoying monthly acne breakout).
And, thanks to the ubiquitous belief that women who want to be beautiful must wear makeup, fear of not fitting in, or of being judged as an inferior woman.
I know that if a brilliant, attractive, ambitious woman with a great track record shows up to a professional job interview without make-up on, she will probably be overlooked in favor of a woman who isn’t nearly as qualified, but who is wearing make-up.
I call that, “make-up discrimination.”
It ought not to be so. But it is.
But, you know why it is? Because most women keep on wearing make-up, because they won’t shake themselves out of the fear and lies about beauty that society has them wrapped up in. If most women quit wearing make-up, then not wearing make-up would become the norm for all but transgender men, and there would be no more make-up discrimination.
Just in case you wanted to try to argue the “everybody expects professional women to wear make-up” point.
Everybody expects it, because most women are too afraid to assert their natural beauty, to do the work it takes to make the paradigm shift to love their faces exactly as God made them, with nothing added.
I don’t wear make-up because I love myself and am confident in my natural beauty. I don’t wear make-up because I couldn’t care less about what people think of me.
I don’t wear make-up because I have better things to do with my time and money. I don’t wear make-up because I’m not going to allow myself to live in fear of what people think of me.
Oh, and did I tell you that without a smidgen of make-up on my face, I attracted my very good-looking soul mate to whom I have been married for over twelve years?
One more thing
If you wear make-up, you’re probably totally pissed at me at this point. You’re probably screaming, “I WEAR MAKE-UP BECAUSE IT MAKES ME FEEL MORE FEMININE! IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH FEAR!”
Really? Why does wearing make-up make you feel feminine? The idea is purely cultural. The reason wearing make-up makes you feel “more feminine” is because somebody taught you to believe it.
Do you hear me? It’s a belief, not an inherent, natural truth. And as with all beliefs, the flip side is fear.
And so you wear make-up, for fear that if you don’t, you won’t feel as feminine.
You’re living in fear, honey. Is that really where you want to stay?