“Why do women wear make up and perfume?
Because they’re ugly and they smell”
The big news in social network land this week has been a popular trend for women to post photographs of themselves without any make up on.
The idea was to raise money for Cancer Research.
The women would take a photograph of themselves without any make up on, post it on Facebook and Twitter, and people would reward them for their efforts by making a donation to Cancer Research.
Using the hash tag #nomakeupselfie, thousands of women took part and raised an amazing 2 million pounds.
While this is clearly a great thing for the charity concerned it also raised awareness of another issue;
That some women are afraid/uncomfortable/unhappy to be seen in public without make up on.
How strange that this should be happening in a modern country in 2014!
The thing that got to me was that a great many of these people were being described as “brave” for daring to go make up free?
If a woman in a Taliban controlled area of Afghanistan defied the men who were oppressing her, and stopped wearing her burka that would most definitely be brave.
But for women in the UK to be called brave for simply showing their face seems to highlight a problem.
What has happened to all these women’s self esteem?
I remember first thinking about this years ago when a friend of mine was going out with a really nice girl who wore quite a lot of make up.
Our group of friends all thought that she was great, and we were surprised when he told us that he was planning to split up with her.
We then subjected him to the usual sort of nosey interrogation that only friends and MI5 can get away with, as to the reasons why.
When he finally cracked and spilled the beans it turned out that he had never seen her without her make up on, she would get up before him every morning and put her full slap on before he was allowed to see her.
This had caused him to feel that no matter how close they got, no matter how intimate they became, she was always hiding something from him.
That he could never actually see the real her.
In his words she was “always wearing a mask”.
I expect that quite an extreme example, (I hope), but you see my point?
I feel that it is really quite sad if women are feeling the need to mask up in order to be accepted in society.
This is almost like a cultural burka.
These days we all know about the lengths that woman’s magazines will go to perpetuate this feeling of low self esteem; airbrushing, using anorexic models, etc.
Women’s magazines are propaganda tools for an insidious industry trying to sell you stuff.
Lots of stuff!
The same magazines that promote and feed these feelings of inadequacy make a large percentage of their profits from the very industry that can sell you the “solution”.
They are like drug dealers for the make up companies, keeping you feeling bad about your self and introducing you to “their man” who can sell you something to take the pain away.
Of course we know that this doesn’t work and the empty feeling of inadequacy can not be filled with pan stick and lip gloss, but once they have you hooked you just keep coming back for more.
The (overly) simple answer is to cut them off at the source, and just stop buying these magazines.
Here is a little secret, a secret that everyone already knows;
Men don’t want women to look like some super model.
If a man really likes you it is for your personality and not just your looks.
If any potential partner’s main requirement is what you look like then they are probably not a keeper.
Of all these women that took part in #nomakeupselfie, I bet none of their partners would love them any less if they stopped wearing the make up.
There is nothing more attractive than a happy, confident woman who is comfortable in her own skin.
Women of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains…
And your blocked pores.
This problem is not just limited to women.
As a 50 year old man I have see a slow change over the years in the way that the cosmetics companies have started to target men.
Not content with chipping away at the self-esteem of 50% of the population, they want to make 100% of people to feel bad about their looks.
And of course this is all designed to increase the market for their products.
I saw an advert recently;
A slightly greying man in his late 40s, dressed in a smart business suit and looking amazing, smiles at a beautiful young woman in a lift, she smiles back.
The voice over says: “what you think are great lines, she thinks of as premature aging” .
What they really are saying is “stop feeling good about yourself, you are worthless if a young women does not think you are attractive”.
Now we all know that women, even young ones, are usually not that shallow.
Neither are most men.
The cosmetics company has a plan:
“Now that we have planted a seed of unhappiness, buy our product.
We will be back to water that seed on a regular basis”.
Don’t let them water that seed.
Aging is natural, they can’t stop it.
All they want to do is sell you their product and they will systematically lower your self-esteem in order to do so.
These companies have to spend millions in order to do this, they have to run these campaigns for years, and they have to get you hooked when you are young.
Because it is so easy for you to stop buying the shit they are trying to sell you.
Just say no.
Then another issue raised its head;
In support of, and as a response to #nomakeupselfie lots of men started to post photos of themselves wearing “woman’s” make up.
This was all considered a great laugh.
Why is a man looking like a woman considered funny?
There is a long history of men dressing as women Britain.
Men dressing up as women on stag nights…
Men dressing as women in panto…
Men dressing as women in comedy shows.
The generally this is considered funny because men are often thought of as being higher status than women, so by dressing like a woman the man is lowering his status…for a laugh.
Even as recently as during my lifetime people used to black up in the name of entertainment, blacking up for a laugh.
As black people were not viewed as equals, a white man blacking up was lowering his status as so it was considered funny.
I wonder if future generations will look back at us and ask;
Why was looking like a woman funny?
Just as we now ask why was blacking up thought to be funny?
I like Iggy Pop’s take on it.
This judging people by their looks is all bullshit anyway.
People are scared of young black guys in hoodies in case they are muggers, when really the biggest muggers have been proven to be the respectable white, middle class men in their business suits.
The country isn’t fucked because of young guys in hoodies, it’s fucked because of business criminals in business suits.
Try this; every time you see a man or woman in a business suit look at them with suspicion.
Every time you see someone wearing a costume of respectability, ask your self; what are they up to?
We have very little to fear from hoodies, we have a lot to fear from men in suits.
If you want to keep your children safe warn them about the dangers of white, middle class men in suits.
So far we have been giving respect to the wrong people, based on what they look like, based on their gender, race, how they dress.
People have been showing respect to things that you can simply buy if you have enough money; a business suit, a crown, a peerage.
This all goes to show that we should judge people by their actions, not their looks.
Perhaps when we actually have equality a man looking like a woman will no longer be funny.
Perhaps when we have equality women will only wear make up if they want to, not because they feel that they have to.
And they won’t be called brave for showing their face.
I’m hoping that it won’t be too long before this happens.
Take the #nomakeupselfie, a bunch of women raised 2 million pounds in 24 hours by simply posting a photograph of themselves.
Just think what we could do if we actually put our minds to it.