I posted a completely natural selfie the other day on Instagram and I got an influx of comments and texts from several people (not just those of you who have already exchanged in a lively debate with me who shall remain unnamed) telling me that I don't need makeup. Now while I truly believe that people are being genuinely nice when they tell women they don't need makeup, it didn't FEEL that way. What it felt like was, "All of the time and effort you put into doing something you love to do for YOU is actually pointless and WE (all the people who live outside of your body) prefer that you don't do it anymore."
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate the compliments about my natural beauty. Thing is, I've never had a problem with my natural beauty. I'll feel confident without brushing my teeth or getting the crust out of my eyes if I have to. It is when men assume that I wear makeup for one of two reasons that it cooks my grits.
The first is the assumption that I wear makeup because I'm trying to cover something up. I appreciate the compliment about my natural beauty. Thing is, I've never had a problem with my natural beauty. My dad did a pretty good job letting me know I was the jam. I leave the house without makeup frequently, I have numerous pictures sans makeup. So that's not the problem. Some women do definitely wear makeup to cover up scars and dark under-eye circles, but that is not and has never been makeup's chief purpose. You see, in Ancient Egypt (long before society had commercials to make us feel insecure, people wore makeup. In fact, they were wearing foundation in the year 4000 BCE.
From A History of Cosmetics from Ancient Times-- In 4000 BCE "Egyptian women apply galena mesdemet (made of copper and lead ore) and malachite (bright green paste of copper minerals) to their faces for color and definition. They employ a combination of burnt almonds, oxidized copper, different-colored coppers ores, lead, ash, and ochre -- together called kohl -- to adorn the eyes in an almond shape. Women carry cosmetics to parties in makeup boxes and keep them under their chairs."
The second thing that makes me want to light my shoes on fire is the assumption that women wear makeup for men. I read an article from the-gloss.com that put this beautifully.
"So, I find that putting on make-up is more about me and the associations I have with make-up than the act of making a man in my life happy.
Which men, surprisingly, do not seem to realize. At all.
I think men genuinely think they are being nice when they tell women they shouldn’t wear make-up. I’ll give you that not wearing make-up requires less effort, than, say, going out and getting breast implants, or any number of other ways men might want you to alter your appearance for their benefit. But they’re still trying to get you to alter your appearance for their benefit."
You see, women have been putting lead on their faces, crushed poppies on their cheeks, and crushed beetles on their lips from the beginning of time. Why do you think we're going to stop now?
Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be over here by the blush getting my Hapshepsut on.