But You’re so Beautiful Without Makeup

22 Jul

This showed up on my dashboard today. For a great (and quick) comment thread on it click here)

Last week I went out for drinks with a friend and a guy she had been (/has been?) seeing and he asked us why we were wearing make up because we’re just so naturally beautiful.

Wearing make-up is a choice I make every day. Don’t presume that you can meet me and tell me I’m so beautiful that I shouldn’t do it.

I resent your assertion that 1) your opinion on my body is the right one and 2) your opinion on my body is even remotely important to me.

If you’re the kind of guy who feels the need to make his opinions on such things (my choices regarding my body and appearance) known then spoiler alert: I’m not attracted to you and don’t want you to be attracted to me.

I’ve been watching a lot of Secret Diary of a Call Girl lately and in it the titled Call Girl dates a few guys. And they all get to see her in various states of make-up. And they never try to tell her to change it. She’s wearing no make-up and sweat pants? Ok. She’s wearing black glitter false eyelashes and a dress cut up to here and down to there? Ok.

That’s what I want.

Because we all contain multitudes. We all get to be a few different people between breakfast and dinner. And sometimes my outside needs to reflect that. And that is no one’s choice but my own.

8 Responses to “But You’re so Beautiful Without Makeup”

  1. Anonymous July 22, 2013 at 8:01 pm #

    Why can’t you take a compliment from a guy? You would take it from a woman. Must you be so tough???

    • The Yankee July 23, 2013 at 8:21 am #

      Would you take a compliment that contradicted some way in which you present yourself to the world? For example (I’m assuming you’re a dude): what if someone told you “you would make a very beautiful woman”? You can’t just give people compliments that tear down their identity.

  2. rous291977 July 23, 2013 at 1:34 am #

    I believe what I said was, “I think women look better without makeup.”
    This statement was follow by a discussion about the reasons why I think the statement is true. I’m sorry you feel like I was trying to control/possess your body.

    • The Yankee July 23, 2013 at 8:39 am #

      I’m sorry that you feel like women look better without make-up. Post Second-Wave feminism there have been lots of dudes (and some ladies) who try to establish either their supposed feminist ideology or “good guy-ness” by labeling makeup and other tools of self-presentation (e.g. clothing, accessories and jewelry, style) as tools of oppression. Unfortunately, most of these tools (and they are tools) are linked to a femme or female identity, and criticism of them really comes from an anti-woman place. You don’t hear as much folks telling dudes that “You’d look so much better without that beard or muscles”, or “I think men look better without penises”.

      Femininity is criticized in our culture as inauthentic, and dismissed as unserious. Why? We all do things to affect our self-presentation. Sometimes wearing makeup is a tactic that women choose to gain some form of power in an unjust world. Sometimes wearing makeup is done for pleasure or to emulate other powerful Femme women (think Dolly Parton, who embodies femininity but also maintains a ton of real world power in most every sense). No decision to wear makeup makes a person less serious, less authentic, or less powerful.

      Maybe you really do have aesthetic reasons in your brain for preferring women without makeup. But those reason don’t exist in a vacuum. They come from socialization and a culture that dismisses Femmes, and has for a long time.

      And I’m making no assumptions about you as a person, but I will say that in my own experience I have been in lots of non-mainstream communities where dudes use aversion to makeup, or porn, or sex work to prove their feminist street-cred as a means to sleeping with women. I’ve done it myself. And I think it requires a lot of self-examination to stop doing it.

      Having women in my life is a privilege, and with that privilege come the responsibility of looking at where my ideas about their appearance come from, and often criticizing my responses.

      • rous291977 July 23, 2013 at 9:21 am #

        Well, I don’t know much about “Post Second-Wave Feminism,” but I do understand that you have to pick-and-choose your fights.

  3. rous291977 July 23, 2013 at 5:45 am #



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