Does make-up make the woman?

Beauty is as beauty does?

I was watching this show recently where the hosts were women and they were talking about leaving the house without make-up and how much they would have to be paid to come on TV without make-up. Every single one of them said they would have to be paid a ridiculous and ungodly amount of money to appear on air without make-up.

They also discussed how when they went out without it in their daily lives how rarely they would get hit on and if they did get hit on that they would basically think the guy was insane. What could he see that was worthy to be noticed if there wasn’t some eye liner, eye shadow, and lip gloss to bring out their true beauty? The guy must be nuts, right?

Well, not exactly, though I did think the same thing when my fiancée hit on me. I had my hair back in a pony tail (ick), I had no make-up on, and I was all sweaty because we had played several games of bowling. Not exactly my perfect scenario to pick someone up with hair in a ponytail and sweat on my brow, but he didn’t seem to care too much. And he seems to call me beautiful still when I’m done with work, smell like spa, and just feel pretty gross from sweating and working.

The industry I work in makes beauty, and make-up, an absolute must. It’s actually, for us at least, a good thing that a woman has some kind of insecurity. Sounds awful, right? But, it’s true, the beauty industry can help you out if you have circles under your eyes, your skin is dry, or you need that make-up to make you feel confident on that date. I think women attracting men with make-up on can be a case of them looking better to the opposite sex, but probably more likely is that the woman herself now has the confidence to strut her stuff because she feels good about herself.

I have never been a person to wear make-up… ever.

This generally has me criticized at my job or just plain ignored. The few times I let the girls play with me when it comes to make-up I get compliments here and there, while when I just come in as I am normally I never get anything. The other thing is that I wear glasses, so any kind of eye make-up is kind of a loss cause for me and I cannot stand eye liner or anything to do with my eye. Wearing stuff on my face makes me want to scratch it off, it makes me more self-conscious than you could ever believe. Call me crazy but I like the feel of my bare skin, and if I do wear make-up it’s a tinted moisturizer that is super light, blush on, and that’s it.

I really do wonder if make-up makes the woman, or makes her realize more of the potential of who she is… or who she can be? We like to cover up our faults and pretend they aren’t there, and believe me when I do have a blemish I try to find what is the best stuff to cover it up. Is confidence a matter of finding the right tools to bring it out in us, in this case some make-up, clothes, probably shoes, can bring that spring in our step? Or, are we always aware of it but is it kinda hidden deep down and needs to be brought to life through other means?

I know my confidence tends to be kicked in gear by a few kind words here and there, and I still never believe the fiancée whenever he tells me how pretty I am. I still don’t see the same, and I know from listening to conversations of the girls at work that they don’t believe in their own beauty either.

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4 Comments

  1. We women are our worst enemy.
    Never happy w what we got… We are constantly are even questioning our own happiness.

    Reply
    • True dat, sister! It’s almost that whole ‘grass is greener’ thing kicking in. We gotta envy other women’s beauty but we don’t see it in ourselves at all.

      Reply
  2. I think that it can really run the gamut–some women use it for a sense of play and personae (glamazon one day! California girl the next! vamp! ’60s siren!); others use it as a sort of ritual of how to face the world; others feel shackled by it.

    I usually wear makeup, and always at my job. But last week I took up a writer acquaintance on a no-makeup challenge she issued students in her body image class, and it was surprising: I thought I would feel WAY self-conscious, but in fact I felt totally fine. It was much easier once I walked out the front door than it was thinking about it the night before and worrying that my coworkers might think I was sick or something.

    On the other end, I got a makeover once and found that I was excruciatingly self-conscious looking that over-the-top. I felt like I was trying to be someone I wasn’t, and even though I liked the way I looked I also knew that it felt like an enormous risk to be putting myself out there in such a blatant “Look at me, aren’t I beautiful?” way–because once you ask that question, someone can reply “no.”

    I wrote about no-makeup here: http://www.the-beheld.com/2011/02/debriefing-day-without-makeup.html

    and the makeover here: http://www.the-beheld.com/2011/01/all-made-up-thoughts-on-being-bombshell.html

    (I hate to be spammy but these relate so directly to what you’re talking about that I thought you might find them interesting.)

    Reply
    • Wow, thank you for the long comment and stopping by! I’m encouraged to wear make-up at my job, but they have given up all hope for me. They used to consistently bug me about putting on make-up, lip gloss, etc. but once they figured out I’m a bull-head and I’ll do what I want they eventually gave up on that. I tend to feel a lot more self conscious with a lot of make-up on and making sure I don’t mess it up and all that. I saw the makeover in your one post and I say you look gorgeous either/or and I tend to feel odd with a lot of stuff done.

      Reply

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