Saturday, 28 March 2009

Makeup, Now

Today, women are generally expected to wear full makeup on a daily basis. Certainly women in the workforce are culturally encouraged to wear it as part of "looking professional." I've known several highly educated and very accomplished women who could not take one step out of the house under any circumstances unless they had on full makeup.

I read once that we should not condemn the misogyny of societies where women cannot go out in public without hiding their faces behind veils, because in our own society women must always veil their faces in public as well, except here the veil is the virtually obligatory mask of makeup. In both cases, bare-faced women are not socially acceptable.

And nowadays, deeply religious Christian women wear the most makeup of all!! Tammy Faye Baker in her heyday springs to mind immediately, of course. But WTF? How did this profound reversal occur? One theory which I read said that the modern fundamentalist acceptance of makeup signals how these women incorporated into their lives the advantages and greater freedoms of the sexual revolution without adopting feminism and without alienating their men. Fundamentalist women use makeup to demonstrate that they gladly wear the veil, because to please men is to please God. An interesting theory, but who knows if it's correct? Still, it's the best one I've seen yet to explain this very puzzling development.


Unknown said...

I very seldom wear makeup of any kind ( i am 46) but it is interesting about veil and makeup- the face covering aspect- that is something for me to ponder x

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. This is what I have in my makeup bag. Powder, moisturizer, concealer, mascara, and lip gloss. That's it! As I have gotten older I notice that the more makeup I wear, the worse I look. It was fun to go out clubbing in my 20's all dolled up...but as I near 40, less is more! Great post!