(I’m close to reaching my goal of 250 posts. What happens then? I don’t know).
I’ve just read a story about someone who went for 30 days without makeup. I’m not sure why I read it as I, like most men, don’t wear makeup. I have a beard so I don’t even shave. The idea of makeup if foreign to me. Even my wife doesn’t bother, except for special occasions.
The interesting thing for me was that the article recounted how her self-esteem plummeted. For the first few days it was “no one has noticed”, but later on it was “they’re all avoiding me”. She retreated from all social contact which interfered both with her work and in her personal life.
Even though her husband took two weeks to notice, she couldn’t really believe that it didn’t make any difference to him. She was surprised that he supported her in her goals, and wondered if it would help her marriage for her to go without makeup!
It seems to me that she is guilty of shallow thinking. She’s lived with this man for long enough that they are married, but presumably without children. (More on that later). They must have passed the initial attraction phase, and moved on to a deeper understanding of each other. In other words, they don’t judge the book by its cover any more. She could probably remove the wig and the false leg and it would not faze him. (I’m exaggerating of course – there’s no mention of such in her article).
Having, as she sees it, dropped her standards a little, she continues to drop them, first letting her hair go, and then letting her wardrobe go. At this stage she’s convinced that she is getting strange looks from the bank teller, who if he was a man probably wouldn’t have noticed anything, and her dry cleaner, who I’d bet was a woman.
She ends up getting called into his office by her boss. My take on the conversation was that it was about her clothes. It seems that she had come to work in clothing that was too informal for the office. The boss didn’t (as reported) mention makeup, just her outfit. It is most likely, in my opinion that he had noticed the changes in her behaviour – coming to work in sloppy clothes, avoid contact with other staff and wanted to know what was going on. A good boss always notices such things as they can sometimes be precursors of trouble.
Women in general seem not to like doing their makeup in the mornings. A Google search turns up many articles on how to “look good” without makeup. This one starts with a recommendation that the woman starts with “exfoliation”. Exfoliation for you blokes out there is a process that literally scrubs the skin off the face (or where ever. I’ve no idea if it is used elsewhere on the body. I don’t think that I want to know).
Of course young girls and boys see their mothers putting on makeup and they want to do it too. It’s fun painting your face. Boys are often discouraged from doing it, for no really good reason, but girls are often encouraged to make up their faces. Of course if the kids go out in public with makeup on, someone is going to be outraged at the “sexualisation” of young girls, which is a bit silly really. It’s only practise. Now if a young boy were to go out with makeup on, all hell would break loose, the heavens would fall and it would be the end of the world.
To get back to exfoliation – it remove everything, including the supposedly “dead skin”. It removes all the natural oils from the skin, so once the outer layers of the skin are removed, “moisturisers” and “serums” and so on have to be rubbed into the skin.
All traces of skin hair apparently have to be removed. There are various methods for this ranging from shaving to waxing, from really painful to the merely expensive. Women have body? Shock, horror! Of course I’m an excessively hairy male with beard and some body hair, so it is no wonder that I don’t understand the obsessions with body hair. The only hair that I remove is the long nose hairs that meet with my moustache – they tickle.
There are 20 tips in that article, all of which sound expensive, the lotions and serums and face masks, and the whatever. I know that a hairdo may cost a woman up to $200. And they all seem so time consuming! A face mask takes time to do, and then the woman has to lock herself away for an hour or so for it to work. The article was on how to “look good” without makeup, but reading through the list, I’d suspect that most women would do at least some of these things, makeup or not.
Kids! I’d suspect that women who do most of the things mentioned above have no children. Of course having children doesn’t stop women doing these things, wearing make up and the rest, but time is precious when you are a mother, assuming that the responsibility for their day to day care devolves on the mother. Some of the things I mention above naturally fall by the wayside.
That’s why articles like this probably reflect more closely how women with children feel. Dropping kids off at school and at kindergarten, doesn’t leave a woman much time for makeup. Morning is all about wrangling kids out of bed, into clothes and into the car (back out of the car to pick up the packed meals that are sitting on the bench, also a coat for one child who seems oblivious to the temperature) leaving no slot for makeup, let alone exfoliation.
The rest of the day is washing and cleaning and removing the toy cowboy stuck in the vacuum cleaner. Of course she could wear a face mask while hoovering, but then she’d sweat under it with dire consequences. Then it’s time to pick up the kids again, and start preparing a meal.
So, makeup. The spouse probably doesn’t care. The spouse sees the woman, not the makeup, believe me. It’s absurd, really, that going without makeup could damage a woman’s self esteem. It’s just not that big a deal.