There is some deep-rooted problems with the use of make-up among the female human species. As someone who religiously painted her face as an insecure sixteen year old, for the nonsense days that are high-school, I can confirm that make-up belongs to the category of addictive substances. The addiction works by making us used to seeing faces in the mirror everyday that are not our own. We come to accept the ridiculously uniform skin-color as the best version of ourselves, along with those unrealistically long and dark eyelashes, and for some strange reason, weirdly, very weirdly colored eyelids. And admittedly, even through my most insecure years, I have never quite understood eye-shadow and probably never will (them colors belong in the rainbow, not the human eyelid sista).
So we begin by dabbling here and there in one substance or two, and before we know it, we’re obsessed with perfecting every single feature of our face. In most people, this happens to the extent that we start to feel embarrassed of our real face that we’ve carried with us throughout childhood, and to assert ourselves as grown women, we wear these more ‘mature’, ‘womanly’, porcelain faces. I first became aware of my hypocrisy when I started noticing what was beautiful to me. I distinctly remember going out with a set of girlfriends, getting dressed up together, and successfully covering our human imperfections. Sure enough, we managed to look mainstream-society-type attractive, at least to the extent that brown girls can. Then after partying and returning home while scuffing down greasy burgers, we routinely stood in the bathroom sinks together, washing our faces and removing the nasty substances from our faces. As I saw one of my close friends wash away her barbie face, I couldn’t help but notice how much more beautiful her real human face was. Her freckles and pimple scars, worn out eyes, and messy hair. She looked so tired and so beautiful. She was in her raw human state. Her face expressing emotions such as ‘I don’t give a fuck, let’s grab these McDonald’s fries and stuff our faces till we pass out’. The realness of her existence was beauty. How could I possibly acknowledge to myself that that was the most beautiful thing and yet paint my face everyday to try to attain porcelain perfection in hopes of appearing more beautiful? In fact, it was worse than that. I had no awareness what my actual face was like or what was beautiful about it. I was accustomed to a routine of transforming my face everyday and my concept of my appearance was skewed. I was unfamiliar with my real face. I had the ability to admire myself in the mirror if covered in make-up but I never quite had the urge to look at myself without it. Now, let me go off on a tangent of evolutionary shit:
Even monkeys, when left alone with a mirror like to observe themselves. The female human species who are addicted to make-up on the other hand, won’t (not unless they’re wearing make-up. In that case, they can’t look away). They have lost curiosity in their own face and existence. It’s really a whole process of facades and discomfort with your true self but maybe that’s my own stretched out crazy psycho-social theory. Think about it though: what other species has a gender who likes to use substances to enhance its naturally occurring state of appearance in order to, say for instance, have more perfect stripes or whiskers? Would a cat try and search for a substances that resembles its stripes to make them appear more symmetrical and prototypical of an attractive cat? Sometimes I wonder if humans have ‘evolved’ to an unnecessary and unproductive degree. That’s another tangent though and I will save it for its own piece.
Of course, I know now that it isn’t my long painted eyelashes or uniform skin color that make me beautiful. It is my scars, the asymmetry of my face, and the dark circles that I inherited from my mother at the age of twelve. I still own two or three make-up substances though because if I were to walk into a serious job interview without any makeup on my face, I would be perceived as not caring enough or shabbily dressed. Hair also plays a role but that’s another story.
Even if you rule out all of the above, have you ever noticed the environment inside the places that sell make-up? Let’s take Sephora, for example. Whether you’re a male or female, I strongly urge you to walk into one of these places. I assure you that within a few seconds, you will be submersed in insecurity and confusion. It also gets extremely claustrophobic, with no place to stand idly and everybody looks much busier than they possibly can be with the tasks at hand.
I really wish I could say I have never experienced this personally, but I can’t. So there’s that.
The women who work here are drowning underneath layers of these substances and approach you with the ‘I know everything there is to know in the world’ vibe. If you ask them for help in buying one substance, such as a foundation, which is a tiny bottle typically priced around $50, designed to imitate your preexisting skin color, they will show you three that need to be used all together in order to achieve optimal results. So now, you’re looking at about a $150 worth of substances intended to imitate your own skin. This could buy a family of 4 an entire month of groceries. So what are we even doing? Do we not know that human faces and bodies are not uniformly colored, that there are tints of reds, whites and blacks on brown faces and vice-versa? Why do we expect females to have such unrealistically flawless features? There is a reason that mannequins, although flawless, are not attractive to majority of people who exhibit normal sexuality. They have no skin/fat to grab onto, no warmth, no expressions, and no humanity but they are undeniably perfect. Why would a human in her right mind strive for that though?
Man, the amount of beautiful females I see hidden behind that nasty shit is innumerable and makes me sad. The amount of time we waste on our appearance as females is also quite depressing. So here, I hope you try this brain exercise: