It’s funny how your tastes change with time. When I was younger, I’d turn the radio off when the Eagles’ “Hotel California” came on; today, I turn the radio up. My relationship with makeup has evolved in the same way. As a teenager who wasn’t allowed to use cosmetics, I’d pore over the colorful pages of teen magazines, dreaming of the day when I could dabble in my own makeup fantasies. However, in my twenties and the better part of my thirties, I decided I really liked my face “as-is” and, today except for the occasional special event or job interview, I eschew wearing makeup as a part of my daily regimen.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with wearing makeup–it just isn’t for me. My rejection of the long-lashed, red-lipped version of womanhood is rooted in a growing satisfaction with my emerging self, a recognition that without adornment I am enough. But it’s never that simple, is it? Studies have shown that women who wear makeup often have higher salaries and receive better treatment in the workplace than those who don’t. As an ambitious woman who wants to be successful in her career, I often find myself sitting at a crossroads, vacillating between conforming to established sociocultural conventions and giving expectations of women the proverbial middle finger.
So I’m eager to read Autumn Whitefield-Madrano’s recently published Face Value: The Hidden Ways Beauty Shapes Women’s Lives. According to the author’s website, the book “brings that same level of critical energy and rigorous thought to aspects of beauty that are more beneficial to women. It’s a thoughtful treatment of a topic often written off as frivolous—but that so many women know is anything but.” Color me intrigued.
What’s your approach to wearing makeup? Yea, nay or something somewhere in between?