Marie Claire South Africa by Hellen Wallace
Last week I was harshly reminded of the ridiculous standards placed on women. I read an article about a man who wanted to sue his wife after seeing her without make-up, on the grounds that it was deceptive. What? This has to be the most antiquated and sexist thing I’d read in a while. It still made we wonder whether wearing a lot of cosmetics could be considered misleading, especially if you look very different without it. Did he have a point? (Spoiler alert: no, he didn’t!)
Think this guy is the only one who feels this way? Think again. Two years ago this tweet went viral:
His pea-brain is obviously not familiar with the concept of waterproof make-up.
What Men Think
These two male specimens are, sadly, not alone in their thinking. Sixty-three percent of men who took part in a survey in the USA believe that women wear make-up as a way of tricking people into thinking that they are attractive. While they could argue that historically women did wear make-up in order to attract a mate, times have changed. Looks and fertility are not the only things that women have going for them any more.
Yes, make-up is a kind-of mask, but it’s minimal when you consider the double lives that people lead on and offline, or the roles they play to get approval. We’re all pretending all the time, in different ways.
What Women Know
Considering the pressure to look our best at all times, it seems as though we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. This leads to another question: do we have to present ourselves bare-faced to the world in order to be authentic? Of course not! Make-up is something for us to have fun with, cover things we don’t like and enhance what we do like, if that’s what we feel like doing. People, men and women alike, use many things to present a certain image to the world. Should we be insisting that men with beards are being misleading? Because who KNOWS what’s under that thing.
Wearing make-up is, by no means, false advertising. So for the men out there who think that some women were born with glistening gold eyelids and a permanently red pout – shame. And for those who wear make-up, whether it’s to trick the gullible public or simply because you enjoy the art of contouring, more power to you.