Three a week: Makeup

Millions of women wear makeup. Three questions:

Question 1: Why wear makeup?

Makeup is used to look pretty, right? Well, what is looking pretty? Who determines what pretty is? How much influence does society have in determining what “pretty” is? Are you being pressured by a bunch of strangers¬† to put paint on your face because they did too?

Question 2: To what end?

Let’s say you’re successful in “looking pretty” by painting your face. What does it really mean if people find this attractive? They find the mask on your face to be attractive? Wouldn’t it mean more to associate with people who appreciate how you actually look, rather than accepting peoples’ praise for your powdery artwork?

It seems awfully depressing. Step one: be convinced that you need to cover up your face with chemicals and powder. Step two: get positive attention from people of the opposite sex while wearing said mask. Step three: to keep your fix of praise from the opposite sex, go out and buy different ingredients to put on your face. Step four: get so wrapped up in this cycle that you feel embarrassed to show your real face to anyone.

Feel better? Feel confident?

Question 3: Is there another way?

People are obviously hooked on positive attention from other people. This might not be a bad thing, depending on who these people are. Who should judge whether or not you are pretty? Are they justified in making their decision; is it an honest one, or are they just regurgitating the preferences of some social norms? Remember, feelings based on unjustified emotions might be a recipe for disaster. I have a solution: acknowledge the pettiness of people’s judgements of you. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, people don’t understand the reasons for the beliefs they hold, and this even applies to people’s ideas of “beauty” and “prettiness”. Keep in mind, societies once thought that the Rubens-esque woman was beautiful, not the skin-and-bones modern “ideal woman”.

Try this: don’t wear makeup, and don’t worry about what people think. Only the people whose judgements don’t matter will think differently of you. If you radiate confidence, it will look a million times more attractive then lathering various products on your face in a desperate attempt to look like other people. At least, at the very least, wean yourself off of the stuff. Clowns are deserving of lots of makeup; they need it. Real people do not.

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