Tuesday, September 21, 2010

No Make-Up Week!

I remember very clearly when I started wearing make-up.

It was Junior High, and something happened to everybody between sixth and seventh grade. We went from putting on make-up at sleepovers to be silly and feel adult to wearing it on an everyday occurrance. It was literally a light switch in everybody's heads. I always felt a little behind the curve, I think I noticed everyone else wearing it and the thought occurred to me, "Should I be wearing make-up?"

It was probably a combination of wanting to feel adult, wanting to fit in with the group, and wanting to explore an artistic outlet. Because honestly, that's how I view make-up: it's artistic! You have a living palate on which you can express emotions and desires through color. I find that really exciting. I enjoy make-up in the same way I enjoy fashion: as an expression. I like who I am, but it's fun to try new things and experiment with my identity. Make-up is a way to put on a new face for an evening. When I go to fancy events, I like to wear it because it makes me look different, and different can be fun and exciting! I like that.

But not all women view it that way. And I stopped seeing it that way too. At some point I did convince myself I needed it. Which, when I look back, is so strange. I was 14, no 14-year-old "needs" make-up. Then again, NO ONE needs make-up. But certainly not 14-year-olds. I got over it quickly, but obviously most women don't.

I hit high school and I'm not sure what happened. My type of friends changed, my attitude changed, my confidence changed. Maybe even something entirely different spurred me on, but I stopped wearing make-up. I didn't feel the need anymore. I didn't wear make-up one day and nothing changed. Nobody stopped liking me. Nobody commented on me looking any different. My whole world was completely unphased, so clearly the extra 30 minutes I was spending on make-up was not worth the effort.

I stopped wearing make-up.

But most women don't. In fact, for most women, it only gets worse.

This statistic completely blows my mind: 8 out of 10 women prefer their female colleagues to wear makeup.

holy crap. holy effing crap.

Honestly I don't even know what to say about this. Maybe, at an engineering-oriented school, I'm secluded from this mentality, but I'm so used to trying to look nice one day and having 15 different people ask me why I'm dressed up. I'm reasonably certain I'd be judged more for wearing make-up than not wearing it.

What's sadder to me is that this isn't men judging women, it's women. I'm sure someone will come up with an argument for how men contribute to this problem, but from what little I understand of this issue, it is women being their own worst enemy. It doesn't make me mad, it doesn't frustrate me, it just makes me really sad.

No Make-Up Week is an interesting idea to bring light to the issue. I wish I could feel like I was actually contributing, but this is just another week in my life. Maybe some other women will understand make-up's true purpose through this experiment.

Here is my picture without make-up!

I put make-up on and took a picture after this, but you really couldn't tell the difference. I'm going to wear make-up today in an interesting reversal of my schedule. We'll see what happens.

Sorry the picture is dark, I'm only an amateur Blackberry photographer.


  1. Why did you have to pick the day we hang out to try this? :|

    I had never noticed this about you.
    Props? I guess.