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I use makeup just because I love using it, so why should anyone else have a problem with that? My face, my choice!
Pretty much throughout my adult life, I have been a girl who loves putting on make-up. Lipstick, kajal, eye-liner, compact are the absolute essentials that I always carry in my purse. Makeup has been around for ages, still I have been on the receiving end of strange comments and questions on this peculiar (?) habit of mine.
Here is my list of 10 things I am absolutely tired of hearing about my makeup!
This is usually followed by a pious ‘I don’t get time for these things!’
It takes me 5 minutes to apply makeup. Even if takes more, should anybody else mind what I do with my time?
This is meant as a compliment and I appreciate it. But I put on makeup because I love it, not because I think I am hideous!
I apply good, dermatologically tested brands and remove it at night before going to sleep. You could see from my skin that it is perfectly fine!
I resist the temptation to correct that it should be wedding and not marriage. And no, I do not wait for somebody else’s wedding so that I could look good!
Good for you! But where do we draw the line at being natural? Do we stop threading our eyebrows, waxing our legs and armpits, and flaunt that moustache in all its glory? Again, this is everyone’s choice. Putting on makeup is mine!
Ironically, I have also been lectured on being natural by people who have gone under the knife (hush hush) for cosmetic purposes. I am not judging them. But why do they get to shame me, just because my makeup is visible and their vanity insanity is a secret?
Oh Good Lord! No, I don’t put on makeup for men. I put on makeup because I love it. It makes me feel confident and I feel good about myself. Not to forget it defines my style statement.
Refer to the above point for my views!
“This dependence on makeup is a sign of damaged self-esteem and insecurities. Try to go out sans makeup for a day and see how you it makes you feel.”
That is a lot of insights! Thank you, therapist, for providing free services!
I am very much a feminist. Do some research on feminism, it does not forbid me from doing things I like!
Objectification means treating a person as a commodity or an object without regard to their personality or dignity. I treat myself very well. If you think I am eye candy, you are objectifying me!
I don’t care what other people do with their faces and bodies, and would wish for the favour to be returned! Applying makeup is a choice, just like choosing what to wear, what to eat. Let us respect people for their style and spare the interference and judgement!
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I like to write about the problems that have plagued the Indian society. I feel
Tanvi I do understand your viewpoint and I too like make up to the extent that I think it enhances my self esteem much the same way that a fancy piece of clothing or shoes/ accessories do. From a purely sociological and objective analysis, the act of using make up and any of the above can be viewed from several view points. Some of which are its cost, our sense of vanity and cultural values relating to women’s beauty. Make up, like all non-essential commodities is an “extra”, we don’t need it to survive. As a consumer good in a capitalist economy it is “marketed” to promote sales by essentially playing on our vanity/ weaknesses/vulnerabilities/insecurities-both of how we present ourselves and our status. So from that perspective it may be a need simply created in us by devious advertising- to be used as a symbol of status and affluence and we may be encouraged to use it to overcome or sometime flaunt these. In addition to this there is the gender angle which is suppressive. From this angle make up has historically largely been promoted to enhance beauty of the “female” more than the male and thus conformity by females to this expectation is a way of succumbing to the pressure to look beautiful for the male gaze specifically. (which is why males have largely not been expected to make a similar effort) This creates an inequality in what mates are expected to bring to the table to offer each other- While the woman bride bedecks herself to be a decorative attractive presentation (a lot of effort and money may go into forms of decoration)the male has largely not been under any such pressures and expectations. Further, culture specific analysis shows that make up is seen as an enhancer of female beauty(mainly in patriarchal societies -because female beauty is seen as a “trophy” to enhance the status of the male and his family) In other cultures it may be seen as a sign of the female being provocative for male attention-a way of showing attractiveness and availability to male attention( this is the case of more primitive and rigid societies like patriarchal tribes and fiefdoms/kingdoms where securing a female mate/s is purely a matter of sexual attraction, survival and group hierarchy) However in the context of modern urban affluent culture, it may be seen as an indulgence that a woman takes to, as a sign of her independence and affluence (her affordability and authority to pamper herself) the same way as men (more so wealthy men) may indulge in certain habits of pampering himself like spending on the most expensive watch of the family or the biggest gold ring/car or even going drinking to a pub/lounge bar everyday(whether married or unmarried)!! So if we go under the skin on many such issues there are underlying nuances that come to the fore and often only the cross-sectional view of these issues reveal a combination of various cultural nuances which intersect and involve cost, values and concepts of social hierarchy. I hope I have not changed your view of the joy of wearing make up by this very objective analysis. But we need to understand the reasons behind context and the content of a topic to get a better understanding of its depth. Hope this has helped explain some of the reasons people may be seemingly “interfering” in a personal decision of wearing make up! Many such subtle/not-so-subtle “interferences” are really a society’s way of reinforcing societal norms, ideals and values. Now a days there is such a diversity in these norms and values because groups living together are not homogenous anymore. Thus different groups will try to reinforce different norms. Unlike in the old days when we had homogeneity in societies and all conformed to only one value system. This was good in a way because people didn’t pull in different directions but it was also bad because age old established inequalities in balance continued and never got sorted. Modern times are better in terms of equality but very chaotic too and the sifting of struggles of various groups to establish their own norms/personal agendas (for eg women’s rights groups vs patriarch groups) and sorting their priority on a hierarchy is the real challenge for modern society.
Hi Sonia, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to your feedback, and your knowledge of sociology always helps us gain better perspective. 🙂
Wow, what a fantastic in depth dissection of the post! Appreciated every thought in your comment to the post about choosing to wear makeup! Loved your comment!
If you go for a weekly facial or clean up, you will definitely find people making a comment on you that you are too much beauty parlour addict. They haven’t yet understood the meaning of CLEAN UP, which is a part of hygiene for everyone. Not just for women but for men as well.
Hi Mitali, Thanks for your comment. I have seen this too. I think we don’t respect each other’s choices that is the problem. If we see others doing something that we do not do regularly, we start judging them and making unwarranted comments.
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