Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Feminist Makeupping

I like wearing makeup. I love makeup products. People know when I'm wearing makeup. It's my choice to wear it or to not wear it. I don't do it to hide my flaws. I'm not wearing it to cover something up. I'm not wearing it to appeal to someone else's standard of beauty. I wear any makeup I want, when I want, where I want. 

To me, that's Feminist Makeupping in a nutshell.

Arabelle Sicardi, Fashion Pirate, who coined the term and is a solid contributor to the hashtag presents Feminist Makeupping this way:

"It's how we present our body and selves to the world, and how we engage with the beauty industry and patriarchy's ideals on gender presentation."

Of course makeup is a political issue. Some women feel they need to wear it to look professional and to belong. Men can get fired from their jobs for wearing it.

Makeup is about CHOICE.  Once you take away my choice, limit my options, or force it -- that makes me feel oppressed and limited and, well, second-class.

Those who don't feel comfortable wearing makeup feel the pressure to wear it to work, to job interviews or on dates. My non-makeup wearing female friend calls it "the lady tax", yet for me, nothing says I'm in charge like wearing a bold lip colour.

I realize some women don't think this way, and that's cool too.

At-work-wear: silver highlighting all over my skin, nude lips, blue eyeshadow, electric blue eyeliner (on top and bottom), blue mascara, pink blush.

More at-work-wear: without much sleep the night before, I paint my lips burgundy, wear pearl eyeshadow, very white eyeliner on top and bottom, loads of thick black mascara and purple blush.

We've stumbled on a society where women are supposed to look "pretty" without looking like we're "trying too hard", and also, glamorous without washing away when it starts to rain. Ugh, the pressure can be so taxing.

And don't even get me started on the rules and boundaries of makeupping.

Magazines, blogs, and Youtube makeup tutorials teach women that you can only wear certain makeup during the day, certain makeup at night and that women over a certain age, ethnicity or gender can't wear certain styles or products.

"Black girls are taught they can't wear red lipstick or who can't find eyeshadows pigmented enough so that really show up. Foundation for people of colour is usually named after some pastry or chocolate like people of colour are candies to be consumed and fetishised. They're also hard to find in stores and are consistently located in the back of stores or only in specific communities of poverty, or only found online, for more money than white shades"
- Arrabelle Sicardi  

Contouring, if you're unfamiliar, is a makeup fad popularized by celebrity Kim Kardashian. The purpose is to slim the nose, remove appearance of jowls, and highlight cheekbones. All to appear more Caucasian or Western and also to make you appear slimmer which is the modern standard of beauty according to the fashion industry and society at large.

That being said, makeup is NOT deception. If Kim K wants to wear her fucking makeup this way, then go KIM!

My first experience with makeup as a preteen was pretty driven by deception: I smeared foundation all over my face to cover my adolescent zits. I considered makeup a tool to mask my teenage ugliness, and many people use makeup this way. The truth is I've been a babe all along, and chances are, so are you.

As a thirty-something I still break-out but my attitude has much evolved. When I have break-outs, I leave my skin bare allowing it to heal and colourize my life with bright purple eyeshadow, blue mascara and pink lips. Now I celebrate my beauty.  

These days I wake up, look at myself in the mirror, think "You are one hot bitch", slap my hands together and with a smile, dive into my collection of colour. My friend has called this so very whimsical and that is exactly how I would describe my relationship with makeup.

My makeup collection is the finest in all the land

Hey, wanna party?

Girls and boys, your body, your face, your hair are all yours to change, adorn, or style - or not - in any way you please. 

Parents, if you feel that anxiety of what if she wears too much, or not enough, or she doesn't wear it right, ask yourself what exactly are you afraid of? 

Are your judgments about her makeup helping PROGRESS -- or are you just subscribing to the patriarchy-pleasing view of how women should appear?

Don't worry players, none of it makes you a whore (unless you ARE a whore, in which case, go you -- work it!).

George's eyes aren't naturally lined blue nor are his lips naturally purple, and that's the point.

I have a reputation for wearing makeup well, in fact parents have asked me to come by and "teach" their daughters how to wear makeup.  I'd love to, thank you, but I won't teach them anything other than to be fierce and creative, oh, and if you don't want to fuck around, go with M.A.C. 

Makeup is temporary, and that's the beauty of it. You can play, wash it away, and change your look as you saunter through your days.  

....And I'd attach these hashtags:


Hey Kids! Here's some colour! Do what you want!

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