Thursday, April 18, 2013

Makeup is a Feminist Issue

Years ago, when I was part of a very insular online community, a fellow poster-- whom I at one time respected -- decided that women who wear makeup must be insecure, or else they wouldn't feel the need to mask their faces with expensive cosmetics. The rest of the community either agreed with her, or  opted not to challenge her, since her flippant comment was loosely directed at me, the only openly feminist member, and the lone "girl" who dared talk about "girl stuff," like makeup. I regret not confronting her. If there's one I thing I loathe it's the belief that a feminist can only do perfectly feminist things all the time.

Whenever there's a discussion about feminism and the politics of cosmetics , I sort of brace for the worst, or at least, brace myself for a lot of faulty logic on both sides of the argument: the choice feminists for whom any choice a woman makes is good and valid one, and those who think that once one declares herself a feminist, she's forever held to a certain set of beliefs and actions from which she can never deviate, lest she still call herself a feminist.

The article is a good one, and I largely agree with it. I wear makeup almost every day, too. I'm not dumb. I know I'm treated a little better when my skin looks clearer, my cheeks rosier, and my lips a little dewier. And I know my actions don't exist in a bubble.

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