What’s Wrong with My Face?
While talking with a few friends (a woman who identifies as cis and a man who identifies as queer) last night the topic of makeup came up. My female friend admitted that she felt a little coerced about the whole thing.
“I tell myself that it’s like a fun hobby and I get to take time for myself, but I’m having difficulty believing that lately. I mean, do I really want to get up an extra half an hour early every morning? No, probably not.”
My other friend chimed in that he liked to get all dressed up sometimes and go out. This often included a little eye-liner or what not. He was also the first to admit that he wouldn’t like to get up early in the morning every day before work to do it, nor was he comfortable with idea of anyone expecting it of him.
And that’s exactly where my dilemma comes in.
I know how much I hate wasting my money and time. I also find no real reason to enhance my face by painting another face on it.
I don’t mind if others want to take part in this. But the fact that there is an expectation makes it much less like “me” time and much more like time I wouldn’t be wasting if I hadn’t been born with this pesky vagina.
My own mother wouldn’t dream of leaving the house without makeup. The idea alone was mortifying.
I remember a conversation she had with us kids concerning a really bad pimple that she had been calling her “crater.” My brother quipped, “no mom, that’s a volcano!”
But no one told my brother to put on more concealer or maybe try a little powder when his face started breaking out.
It wasn’t until I started creeping toward my 30th birthday that I questioned all of this.
I began by asking myself “what’s wrong with my face?”
Upon rather extensive searching I have yet to find anything truly remarkable about it.
So why am I told to cover it up?
Sure, I am grateful that I don’t live in a place like Saudi where women aren’t allowed to show much of anything in public. (Not trying to pick on anyone here, just giving an example).
A lot of work has been done by rights groups in the US and I am grateful to those who came before me.
We have come a very long way, but we’re not quite there yet.
I am also in no way trying to upset those amongst us who chose to enhance themselves using cosmetics and enjoy the pagentry. I simply don’t think they represent the majority of users of these products.
And just how much does applying makeup cost anyway? Maybe you should start with some $38 organic mascara. Unless you don’t mind aluminum powder, formaldehyde, or Sodium Lauryl Sulfate commonly found in cosmetics.
You’ll definitely need some eyeshadow as well, but you need to watch out for thimerosal which according to rawbeauty.com “is a compound that’s literally based on mercury. You know, that stuff that makes you go blind when you drink it? Oh, the irony. This stuff has actually been banned from use in practically every shade of makeup apart from the eyes.”
I could go on but the same is true for so many “beauty” products that are marketed as safe.
By the way, did I mention this was a 62.46 billion dollar industry in the US alone as of 2016?
The daily mail surveyed 2,000 women and estimated that it takes about 10 extra working days worth of time to get ready when compared to their male counterpart.
Their estimate was in the lower range that I’ve come across and that’s still an extra year-and-a-half over the course of a career! Even at minimum wage that would be an additional $20,880 in gross income assuming it never went up from 7.25 (in many states it still hasn’t) and didn’t accrue any interest!
Add this to the fact that as of 2015 women were still making 78 cents to each dollar made by men in the same jobs.
So I need to buy a bunch of potentially dangerous and/or very expensive products, and get up extra early to put them on so that I can go earn less than the guy next to me who just rolled out of bed?
Or, am I in danger of losing or being unable to acquire new employment if I chose to go without?
One study from the University of Texas, Austin states “appropriate makeup use is strongly associated with assumptions about health, heterosexuality, and credibility in the workplace. They describe how these norms shape women’s personal choices to wear makeup.”
I don’t think I’m alone in my distaste for cosmetics or fear of credibility without. In fact “ the authors (of the afore mentioned study) conclude that the institutional constraints imposed by the workplace effectively limit the possibilities for resistance.”
I know what captain Picard did when the Borg told him that “resistance is futile.”
I’ve decided I can no loner conform to this social norm. Even at the risk of my own success, I won’t hide anymore.
There is nothing wrong with my face.
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