shivver: (Hardy)
[personal profile] shivver
One of my friend's Facebook posts is really popular right now, and I don't really understand why everyone agrees with her. She's gotten tons of likes (40 or so). I've been thinking about it for a couple of days now, and I just don't get it. Now, I'm pretty clueless socially and emotionally, so maybe that's the problem. I'd love any insight into this that anyone would like to provide.

I've put this behind cuts. The first cut is my description of the post and my thoughts and questions about it, and the second cut is the text of the actual post and responses.

Thoughts and discussion:


The original post is that she gets angry "whenever male singers equate women wearing makeup to insecurity/insincerity". This was pretty cryptic (I wasn't the only person who wondered what song had lyrics like "You're wearing makeup because you're insecure"), but she clarified later that she's upset with men saying, "You look beautiful without your makeup", saying that it's an insult, that the man is implying that she's insecure.

As I said above, the outpouring of support for her post was amazing, but I just don't understand the problem. I've always considered "You look beautiful without your makeup" to be a compliment, and never thought that a person saying that meant it to mean, "You're vain/insecure because you insist on covering up your natural state." I suppose there are always people out there who might mean that, but I didn't think that was the default. Am I wrong?

As the post progressed, more things were said that I just don't understand.

"That drives me nuts. Like makeup is just for impressing men lmao". Original poster: "Right??? Makeup is great and super fun, regardless of who happens to see my face that day."

I don't understand why saying, "You look beautiful without your makeup" implies that you think that makeup is just for impressing men. But more to the point is the second statement. Why does enjoying wearing makeup necessarily mean that saying you look good without it is an insult?

Maybe I don't really understand why people wear makeup. Why do they wear makeup? There has to be a reason for wearing makeup - if there was no benefit, you wouldn't do it. There are only two reasons I can think of for wearing makeup: either you think you look better with it, or you think that other people think you look better with it. Well, there's a third reason, that it makes you look different, not necessarily better, such as trying to look like someone else, but even with that case, if you thought that makeup has no effect on how you look, either to yourself or someone else, you wouldn't wear it. Why would you spend the time and money on cosmetics if you look exactly the same before and after? I guess I need this explained to me. Why is makeup great and fun if it doesn't make you look different?

"Yes I wear this makeup so you think I'm pretty not because I fucking enjoy it you putz."

This might be the most reasonable of the reactions, from my point of view. It means to me, "I did this because I want you to say I did a good job of it, so it bugs me that you are saying that you prefer that I hadn't done it." Now, mind you, I don't feel that's the point of someone saying, "You look beautiful without makeup", but I can understand this point of view. I do think it's a selfish, manipulative reaction ("I'm going to get angry because you didn't compliment me on the thing I wanted to get complimented on.") and I cannot imagine reacting like this myself, but I do get it.

"My favorite is when women are talking about how amazing their boyfriends/husbands are, and they say things like: 'He thinks I'm beautiful even without makeup.' Girl. You need to raise your standards."

This is probably the most offensive of the reactions, to me, anyway. I think that "He thinks I'm beautiful even without makeup" means "He appreciates me for me, and not for any affectations I put on." Isn't this a good thing? I really thought this was a good thing.

But that thing about raising standards... What does this even mean? A man who loves me for the way I am is substandard? I'm supposed to wait for the man who only values the prettiest face possible? I just don't understand this. I'm doubly offended by this one because the person who said it is a good friend, so it the "Girl, you need to raise your standards" feels like a direct insult. I happen to think my husband is the best in the world (and he's a good friend of the person who said it as well).

Original poster: "My favorite is when I don't wear makeup and people ask me if I'm sick. NO, THIS IS JUST MY NATURAL COMPLEXION YOU DINGUS."

Two things about this one. First, she's insulted when someone says she looks beautiful without makeup, but then she's insulted when someone says she doesn't look good without makeup. Um, what? I guess we're back to the concept of wanting to look exactly the same with or without the makeup, so then why exactly are you wearing makeup?

But second, and more importantly, the person who says something like this is inquiring after your health. This person cares, and you're taking it as a personal affront?

And honestly, yes, if you wear makeup all the time, that's what people are going to picture you as, and they're going to notice when you're not wearing it. What is makeup for? It's for smoothing out your skin, hiding imperfections and blemishes, and making you look healthier. If you wear it all the time and then not wear it, you will look unhealthy compared to your normal appearance. Why is that unexpected? And more importantly, why do you think that the person is saying it to insult you?

Sigh...

Okay, so I really don't get it. Why is telling a person that they are beautiful without makeup an insult? Can someone please explain this to me in a rational manner?

And secondly, why don't I understand this? It really bothers me that so many of my friends feel this way (the "like" count is up to 50 now) and I cannot understand even a bit of this. Maybe it's because I don't wear makeup except on special occasions and have never cared how I look? Another person in the thread said, "(Wearing makeup) never bothers me because it's just not my thing, but it wasn't until I met my husband that I felt pretty too", and I can't even tell how that then comes to the conclusion of her agreeing with the original poster.

The original poster just added this (abbreviated a bit, because it's long), and I still don't understand it.

"There are so many reasons why this kind of thinking is insulting, but the crux of the issue for me is that women are told from such a young age that makeup is necessary... We're inundated daily with the idea that our bare faces aren't good enough... Alicia Keys announced recently that she's refusing to wear makeup, and she's being called "brave". When Tilda Swinton walks the red carpet with minimal makeup, it's considered a statement. So when some dude croons that girls wearing makeup is a sign of insecurity or deception or he acts like he's being so loving by accepting her face as is, he's placing the blame on the people who've spent their whole lives being told they're not pretty enough. NO THANK YOU."

I can understand being upset at being told that wearing makeup is a sign of insecurity or deception, but the original poster has not yet supplied an instance of that. However, she has been talking mostly about being insulted by the "I think you're beautiful without makeup" line and that's what I don't understand. Please help me.



The actual post and thread:


Original post:

  • Whenever male singers equate women wearing makeup to insecurity/insincerity:
  • (Comic of her tearing her earphones apart in anger - she's a fantastic professional artist and normally expresses herself with drawings)


The following replies:

Person A: Preach.

Person B: What song is that from?
OP: There are hundreds of them. Dudes are always singing things like "I love you even without your makeup" and "you look beautiful without your makeup" or "you don't need to wear makeup in front of me" like GEE THANKS FOR LIKING ME DESPITE MY FACE
Person C: (Laughing emoticons) I don't do it for the boys

Person D: That drives me nuts. Like makeup is just for impressing men lmao
OP: Right??? Makeup is great and super fun, regardless of who happens to see my face that day.

Person E: "Yes I wear this makeup so you think I'm pretty not because I fucking enjoy it you putz."

Person F: My favorite is when women are talking about how amazing their boyfriends/husbands are, and they say things like: "He thinks I'm beautiful even without makeup." Girl. You need to raise your standards.
OP: Please re-evaluate your life choices and also choice of partner thanxxxxxxxxx (Laughing emoticons)

Person G: Wears makeup: "Wow she must be really insecure." Doesn't wear makeup: "Wow she really let herself go. She should respect herself more." LIKE SERIOUSLY DO YOU HEAR YOURSELF.
OP: My favorite is when I don't wear makeup and people ask me if I'm sick. NO, THIS IS JUST MY NATURAL COMPLEXION YOU DINGUS.

Person H: I can count on my hands how many times I've worn makeup. It never bothers me because it's just not my thing, but it wasn't until I met my husband that I felt pretty too. Definitely a double standard.

OP: There are so many reasons why this kind of thinking is insulting, but the crux of the issue for me is that women are told from such a young age that makeup is necessary. Makeup ads on tv are telling us that are eyelashes are insufficient, our complexion is too blotchy, our lips aren't kissable, etc etc. I remember reading a piece in a teen magazine outlining makeup routines that take anywhere between 5 minutes to an hour (!!!) so girls can be ready for school no matter how little time they have in the morning. We're inundated daily with the idea that our bare faces aren't good enough.
Alicia Keys announced recently that she's refusing to wear makeup, and she's being called "brave". When Tilda Swinton walks the red carpet with minimal makeup, it's considered a statement.
So when some dude croons that girls wearing makeup is a sign of insecurity or deception or he acts like he's being so loving by accepting her face as is, he's placing the blame on the people who've spent their whole lives being told they're not pretty enough. NO THANK YOU.

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