So it turns out I actually need more makeup, in order to appear that I am wearing less makeup.
I have to tell you, this was a revelation. And a welcome one, because I am nothing if not a makeup applier. I wear it when I am going out. I wear it when I am staying home. I wear it to the library and to work and to visit my dad at the nursing home.
I do not wear it because I feel ugly without it. Some days I feel ugly either way, that’s just the way it goes and by this age, I’ve learned not to give it much thought. I wear makeup because I REALLY LIKE IT. I like everything about it. I especially like shopping for it because I love having new makeup. When I make tons of money with my writing, I am going to give lots to charity but probably an equal amount to Sephora. Judge me, I don’t care. Makeup + Me Forever!
How I realized I needed more makeup was really a freak accident. Well I mean, depending upon how you define “freak accident,” I guess, but whatever. At some point in life, I’d received this sample-sized jar of MoonGlow or RadiationGlow or some type of glowy thing that was supposed to make my face, well, glow. Despite my love of every existing makeup sold in the U.S. and abroad, I didn’t bother with it for the longest time. I stuck it in my makeup bag, where it got buried beneath the 70,000 other products.
Then one day I found it, and what do you know. Glow! My skin actually looked like living human flesh instead of like a foundation- and powder-covered potato. One could argue that less foundation and powder would do the same trick, but I would argue back that to look like a plain potato is little improvement. And so now, we must add “MoonGlow” or “RadiationGlow” or whatever it’s called to my list of things to stock up on before the apocalypse.
Jim does not know much about my cosmetic requirements; he only knows that I most certainly have them. One day at the grocery store he looked at me and said, “See? You look good without makeup.” To which I said, “Yes. I actually am wearing makeup, but, thanks.” Since then he hasn’t really mentioned it. Maybe he has learned to accept what he cannot change, but I doubt it. That’s not really his way. More likely he has just quit paying attention. Either that or he’s realized that he has no more interest in being married to a potato than I have in looking like one.
And the more I’ve thought about it (which, granted, has not been that much, since like most of us I have several more pressing matters to attend to), the more annoyed I’ve become.
I mean, I’m all for feminism. Sort of. I spell ‘women’ in the traditional way, and I wear makeup, but I’d certainly like to see Jennifer Lawrence make as much as Bradley Cooper does in the 6 million movies they star in together. I want life to be fair and for everyone to have all the same chances. I want there to be more female executives and neurosurgeons and technology pioneers. The thing is, in order for more women to be those things, more women have to actually be those things. Less time complaining = more time doing. And tearing other women down for wearing makeup? Lady, whoever you are, you are not my kind of feminist.
I don’t have daughters. But if I did, I would not tell them that they can do anything boys can do, because that only introduces doubt that maybe they can’t. I wouldn’t tell them that they have to try harder, because that is defeatist and we all should be trying hard. I would not tell them the world is unfair, because, you see what Oprah did? She made her own fairness.
Life is not fair or unfair, it’s just life. We should all get on with it.
Oh. One thing I would tell my daughters, if I had them is that it is totally worth it, finding the one ‘nude’ lipstick that won’t make you look like you just ate half a dozen powdered sugar donuts. Or, you could just eat the powdered sugar donuts and leave the lipstick alone. Either way is fine, because girls, you get to choose.
(This post originally ran on goodness madness.)
About the author: Melissa Janisin is a mom of two and stepmom of one, living and working in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She writes nearly everything down on a daily basis, and shares some of her observations at goodnessmadness.com. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.