Pro-tip to dudes who always need to interject that they like non-made-up / “natural” looks on women: nobody cares what you think.
It seems that the HuffPo article on porn stars without makeup has stirred the pot. Practically every dude you secretly hate on your friend’s Facebook page has felt the need to proudly tell you that he prefers women who look “natural” or women who don’t wear makeup. And that’s if you got lucky and didn’t witness him throw in any slut shaming first. You know, “those poor, poor girls. Why do they need all that whorepaint? OH. IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE WHORES, GET IT?”
(Bonus Pro-tip: if this is you, you should try walking barefoot over Legos. I hear it feels great!)
Anyhow. Back to the point. Nobody cares what you prefer. Unless you are a creative director paying a lady to model, you shouldn’t get a say in how she presents herself. Hell, the only guy in my life who gets any consideration whatsoever is my husband, and he loves it when I look like a comic book villain. So stop assuming that a lady is wearing any particular thing for your attention. I wear makeup for me. Because I like pretty colors. Because it’s a form of self-expression.
Here is a truefacts newsflash: it takes a fair bit of makeup to look “natural.” “Natural” and “no-makeup” are two VASTLY different things. And I’m not saying natural is a bad look. Many of the ladies in the HuffPo article looked great in their before pictures. I like a natural, low-key look now and again. But when you constantly assert that you/ men in general like a “natural” look, it’s not exactly offering an innocent statement of preference, like “I prefer curly hair.” It’s another way of telling women how they should look to please dudes every minute of every day, and goddamn, we get enough of that already, ok? Enough with the constant hammering on this so-called “natural.”
Here’s the thing: there have been historical periods where it was commonplace for men to wear makeup. There are cultures on this Earth at this very moment where men wear makeup. I wonder if people got all worked up about the poor insecure menz needing to wear makeup, gosh golly if they only had self esteem. (Hint: no. No, they did not.)
I’m not trying to say that there isn’t sexist bullshittery that happens in cosmetic marketing. There totally is. Half of makeup marketing is telling women what “flaws” need “correction” and that sucks. But you know what? You’re not being feminist or lady-friendly by telling a woman, unsolicited, what you would prefer her to look like. You don’t get free blowjobs or cookies or exclamations of “why thank you, kind sir! Now that you have given me permission to look ‘natural,’ I feel so much better!” You’re just being a NiceGuy ™, and you should stop.
I’m gonna finish up with a quote from my friend Maggie, who runs Maggie’s Makeup. Because she’s awesome.
“That bullshit cranks my craw. It’s such covert misogyny – women are supposed to conform to an impossible standard of beauty, but do so invisibly. The minute they decide to enjoy beauty rituals for their own pleasure (or to some arbitrary level of excess) they are accused of being vain, shallow, materialistic, fake and quite probably stupid.
“It’s the same mentality that underlies all those ‘people are starving, you should donate your money instead of spending it on makeup!’ comments. Sure, right after you donate all the money you spend on clothes, dinners out, video games and your stamp collection. No? Didn’t think so. So why is it that my hobby, a predominantly feminine one in western cultures, is the one that subject to that kind of judgement? And a vitriolic one, at that.”
TL;DR: If I cared what you, random internet dude, thought of my appearance, I wouldn’t have purple hair. But I do. So keep your sexist bullshit to yourself.