Are mascara and lipstick a feminist barometer? Recently, talk about makeup has heated up this old debate about the sociological significance of putting on a little face paint. Hillary Clinton not wearing any? Obviously she’s above paying mind to her appearance. Kim Kardashian wearing a ton? Insecure or somehow representative of her tabloid-fodder personality. How do we get it right? Can’t a girl just swipe on an apolitical dab of lip gloss?
I pondered this one recent morning, staring into the mirror, mouth agape in that “I’m applying mascara” way. As women, we’ve heard the arguments — makeup is a societal convention that forces women to put on a literal mask in order to be acceptable to the world.
But have we fetishized the act of going without makeup? Maybe I’m part of the problem — whenever I write about a celebrity tweeting a naked-faced photo on HuffPost Style, I describe them without fail as “radiant” and “fresh-faced.” Does that mean putting on foundation makes us blobby, dusty canvases who’ve succumbed to society’s expectation that women have to “pretty up” for the rest of the world? Read more…
Why is it so freaking hard to go without makeup? What exactly am I afraid will happen if I don’t smear on some foundation and douse my lashes in mascara before going to a bar—or even, geesh, before getting coffee in the morning? You’d think I’d be over this by now. I’m a 24-year-old woman who is married and generally happy with the way I look. So why, when I think about not wearing makeup, does a voice inside of me scream, “Noooooooooo!”
A year ago, I decided to explore this. So I challenged myself to go without makeup for a week. But I wasn’t about to do it alone—I’m not that naive—so I blasted e-mails to fellow bloggers, challenging them to do the same. The project was called No Makeup Week and the idea was to blog about our makeup free experiences, submitting photos of ourselves as we went. As news of the project spread online, so did the photos of my unpainted face. (That’s me, sans makeup, above.) And after a few days, it started to feel comfortable. I even (randomly) went on Korean television to talk about the project. At that point, I was more embarrassed about the cameraman shooting the contents of my makeup bag, with its dirty lipsticks and used up eyeshadows, than I was about him capturing my makeup-less face.
And yet one year later my gut reaction of “nooooooooo!” is still there.
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Wow. Without the tiger masks and excessive glitter, Ke$ha is absolutely stunning. Here, she posed for a photoshoot with Terry Richardson. It must be opposite day, because both of them appear positively wholesome. They clean up nicely. [Celebuzz] Keep reading »