I have a very difficult relationship with make up. I wear it every day, and I don’t like my face as much without it. The periods where I haven’t worn it in the the past 11 years are notable as they are so rare. But wearing make up and buying beauty products hasn’t exactly been forced down my throat, nor do I think was it unnaturally thrust upon me by well meaning relatives (I’ve heard this happens…)
I actively sought out make up, spending my pocket money on glitters, pomades and polishes – and it was a form of self expression.
I first remember wearing make up when I was 10 to a school disco. I wore pearly white Barry M Dazzle Dust and black mascara (belonging to my 12 year old sister). Heavy black eyeliner at 14, glitter all over my face at 21, this kind of make up was fun. So when did it become so tricky? When did I start to realise that the paint I was applying to my face every morning wasn’t just self expression, it was a mask?
But I still love make up. I love the MAC counter, I love wearing red lipstick.
I hate the knowledge that (as a friend said to me once) I wouldn’t think I had an uneven skintone without foundation if the beauty advertisements hadn’t convinced me that was a thing. That actually, I am not attractive enough to go to work and do my job, or see my friends without make up. That being attractive even matters. That I consider being attractive enough such a fundamental part of my personality that I am somehow lacking or owing if I don’t “make the most of myself”.
All this would be fine if I wasn’t such a bloody feminist, with a tendency to unpick and unpack those seemingly rosy parts of society.
SO here you go. Enjoy pals.