Saturday, September 1, 2012

Women and Make-Up.....

I made the decision this morning when I was getting ready that I would NOT wear make-up to the football game. That turned out to be an excellent decision, since it would have MELTED off my face. In Hubby's words, "We were sitting right up there next to the sun." In a first for me in that stadium, folks in our section started cheering a couple of times because a cloud had drifted over the sun for a few minutes. It. Was. Hot. I drank three bloody marys (there's no good way to make that word plural, so maybe I should just drink one from now on and I feel like I should capitalize it anyway) before the game, four 20-ounce bottles of water during the game, and a Diet Dr. Pepper as soon as we got back to the RV, and I never felt the urge to go to the potty. That's how hot it was.

We have a saying that Southern women don't sweat, they glisten. Well, either I'm not Southern enough, or I'm the glisteningest fool you ever met in your life. Because boy howdy, do I sweat. Buckets. I was sweating at 7:30 this morning, just from the activity of putting my things in the RV. Not bags of bricks, mind you. My iPad and a change of clothes (boy did THAT come in handy!) and food for Gus. The hair I had just washed and dried was already frizzing. 

Anyway, back to make-up.

I guess I started wearing make-up around the time most girls do, thirteen or so. I wore it sometimes before then, when my friend Terri (who is now Terry) and I would go to the movies. We'd take make-up with us, go into the bathroom and apply it liberally, then go into a darkened theater where no one could see it. And I don't think we were ever smart enough to wash it off before our parents picked us up from the movie. Duh.

I don't consider myself a high-maintenance woman. I have always worn make-up to school, work, almost anytime I go out in a public setting, but my routine isn't elaborate or extremely time-consuming. I don't fool with eye liner, I use the easiest and cleanest foundation I can find, and while I usually put on lipstick in the morning, I rarely reapply it during the day, even when I was working.

What is the purpose of make-up? I mean obviously I realize the purpose, but why do some of us perpetuate the need to wear it? Why haven't we decided as a gender that it's ridiculous and we won't do it anymore?

My friend Amanda made the assertion once that women don't wear make-up for men, we wear it for each other. And I think there's some truth in that. Men as a rule don't even KNOW whether or not we are wearing make-up, but (some) women feel the need to compete with each other. Hubby, for example, swears he can't tell the difference between when I am wearing make-up and when I'm not. I can't figure out if that's the truth (it may be, since most of them aren't observant about those things anyway), if he's saying it because he's trying to flatter me, or if he's saying it because it's something he thinks he's SUPPOSED to say.

When I go on bike rides like BRAG, invariably I see women in the bathroom in the mornings applying full make-up. No joke. And when I see some of them at rest stops, their make-up is still fairly well in place. I hate those women. I hate them much. I really don't see the point of wearing make-up in 90-degree temperatures (and higher) on a bike ride, but whatever. I have no idea how they manage to KEEP it on either. I've never asked one of them, because I'm afraid my follow-up question would be, "Why the HELL do you do that?"

I once heard an extreme story about a woman and make-up. And it's sounding familiar to me, like maybe I've put it on this blog before, so forgive me if I'm repeating myself. (I swear I'm going to run out of material some day, and then I promise I'll stop blogging.) This woman had NEVER let her husband see her without make-up. She got up an hour early every morning so she could apply her make-up before he woke up. If he got up earlier, SHE got up earlier. The saddest part of that story is that she raised both her daughters to be the same way. I shouldn't say "saddest." That's a judgment, and I shouldn't assume I know what's better for that woman and her daughters. Still, it was strange enough that she was on a talk show of some sort because of it.

To be honest, I don't think I LOOK as different without make-up on as I FEEL. When I wear make-up I feel more confident, I smile more, and I look people in the eye more. Isn't that weird? Ironically, the best make-up I can wear IS a smile, but when my face is naked I don't feel confident enough to do that. Full disclosure here.

It reminds me of a story I read way, way back in middle school. It's kind of hokey and it's a pretty common theme, but bear with me anyway. The story was called "The Date Catcher," and it was about a girl who wasn't popular and never could get a date with any of the boys at school. Then she went into a store and saw a display of hair accessories called "Date Catchers," and after peering at the display for a while she bought one. She walked down the street holding her head up proudly and smiling because she was wearing the date catcher, and lo and behold a boy spotted her and asked her out right on the spot. (I DID say it was hokey, and I DID mention it was middle school.) She started thinking the date catcher really did work, and then a woman came running down the sidewalk telling her she had dropped something, and it turned out to be the date catcher.

Is that how make-up works for us? Not that I'm trying to catch dates or anything. I'm just curious.


Anonymous said...

I only wear makeup on special occasions like date night. I actually feel more confident without it. But the funny part? I spend as much on quality skincare products as most women do on makeup. I figure if I treat my skin right then the makeup isn't necessary.

Kelly said...

At the height of my makeup wearing days I only wore eye makeup, blush and lipgloss. Fortunately I have good skin and easily get by without, so I gave it all up years ago.

My mother always told me ladies "perspire". I sweat.

Julie said...

I was out playing pool one night (single at the time) and was enjoying a fair amount of male attention. I wasn't looking for any more than some challenging competiton (I think it was the year after a women's team I was on won the Indiana State's team championship). Anyway, this guy I was playing walked up put his nose approx. 6 inches away from mine and said- almost accusingly,"You don't wear any make-up!" I just gave him a grin, turned and in the process flipped my pony tail in his face (before I beat him on the table, again!).