The last couple of days I've been toodling about town without makeup. Maybe because it's summer and I'm not going to work for a while, but it just seems dumb to bother getting all dolled up to hang out at the cancer clinic. One thing that I've noticed is that, after getting over the initial shock of not seeing myself in makeup, I look just as good without it, just different.
I started wearing more makeup when I briefly lived in Southern California mostly because everyone else wore a lot and I felt really under-dressed in comparison. The beauty standard there is quite different than Seattle and the pressure to pay attention to your appearance non-stop is oppressive. For the most part, I generally wear noticeable makeup only when going out on the town which happens, oh, once a year. In other words, I don't wear much makeup or, at least, it doesn't look like I wear much makeup.
Skimming it down is liberating. I save an extra 5 minutes and since I'm just letting my hair air dry, there's another 10 minutes in the morning. It strikes me as ridiculous those women who spend an hour doing their hair every morning. I'd rather be doing something else, but I'm sure some women can point to me and say that they'd rather be spending the extra 15 minutes every day doing something else. So, it's all relative.
There are some women who, admittedly, look better with makeup than without, but the majority of celebrities are trapped by the same beauty ideal, even though they look beautiful without makeup.
So, who is driving this standard? Industry, other women, men or a combination of them all? Is it because it's what we expect women to look like that we set these ideals? Or are the red lips and rimmed eyes some evolutionary throwback that stimulates some part of our primate brain that signals beauty?
For the women reading this post, do you wear makeup and, if so, do you feel better with it on? Do you feel ugly without makeup or is there one or two things that you absolutely have to wear in order to go out in public? For the men (and I know you won't answer but I'll try anyway), do you prefer your significant other or just women in general to wear makeup?
If it's really just industry driving this, why are we willing to spend thousands of dollars on beauty products and potentially poisoning ourselves with chemicals just to achieve some arbitrary "look" when, in fact, no one cares? If we really are programmed to respond to this artifice, can we ever escape it? I'd like to hear the opinions of those who didn't grow up under this beauty rubric... if any still exist.