Friday, 18 July 2014

How can wearing no make up be considered brave?

Who started the rumour..?

You know – this rumour that women should care more about their appearance and their attractiveness than anything else.

This idea that they have to be a certain shape, wear certain clothes and set their hair in curlers. That they have to spend a fortune on styling products, equipment, salon visits, false nails, false eyelashes and false boobs!

I’ve been reading lots of empowering blogs and social media posts (like this one and this one) recently – they seem to be in fashion right now – but there’s something that really irks me about them. They all have an undercurrant that suggests these women are justifying why they don’t conform to society’s expectations of them:

I’m making a stand…”

But I don’t see why we have to make a stand why can’t we just live our normal lives without feeling the need to justify why we don’t look like a Barbie doll.

There are times when I look in the mirror, or see a photo of myself and I think “I really should do something about my weight” and then I think “why?” Why do I need to lose weight? I enjoy eating far too much to make myself miserable by dieting. And what am I losing weight for?

I saw this on my time line this week.

It really annoyed me. I don’t have kids but I don’t spend any time in a salon either. Lots of mothers shared this image like it was a powerful message “yeah we don’t need to look pretty, we have the unconditional love of children.” But do you know what would be more powerful? If there wasn’t a trade off or a need for justification.

We don’t have ‘pretty police’. There’s no one checking our efforts and awarding us an attractive license. We don’t need to use being a parent as an excuse for being tired, needing a hair cut or wearing sweat pants.

I am always tired because I don’t get enough sleep. I don’t get my hair cut because I just can’t be bothered,  I wear sweat pants because they’re comfortable. And I eat way too many takeaways because I don’t always feel like cooking and they taste good.

I couldn’t care less about beauty and fashion: I get bought make up for Christmas and I turn to Google to find out what it is and how to apply it. I own a variety of heated hair implements that are gathering dust because I can’t be bothered spending 3 hours getting ready for a night out when 30 minutes will suffice. I had work shirts made because I have better things to think about than what I should wear every day.

I don’t think women who have suddenly decided to take a stand are being brave by not wearing make up. Brave is going to war, not wearing your hair in a pony tail.

It has been said that women dress to impress other women.

Most of my friends are male and I don’t think any of them prefer their girlfriends/wives when they have lots of make up on. They would generally rather spend time with them relaxing than wait 3 hours for them to look presentable.

So if it’s not men, then who actually placed this ridiculous expectation of grooming and attractiveness on women? Is it the media? The fashion industry? The manufacturers of beauty products?

It’s not time for women to take a stand or justify our intention to break the mould. It’s time for women to just realise that there are more important things to be judged on than how much make up we wear. We talk about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, how personality, sense of humour etc is more important than looks, but then we either spend a fortune on trying to improve our appearance, or waste our energy justifying why we don’t spend a fortune trying to look pretty.

Just enjoy life, without reference to anyone else. The people that matter won’t care what we do, or how we look, as long as we’re happy.

How can wearing no make up be considered brave?