Join TSR now to have your say on this topicSign up now

Make-up and Feminism Watch

    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Incompatible?

    The vast majority of women wear make-up. The vast majority of men don't. Why is that?

    Do female feminists on here see any awkward contradictions between wearing makeup on a regular basis and their support for an equal society where women are not objectified or their appearance made a defining feature of them as people any more than it is with men?

    Is it a healthy practice when looked at on its own? Does it encourage a healthy body image and self-esteem?

    Food for thought:

    'Concealer'













    • Reporter Team
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    I would assume a logical feminist (bear with me, I know that's hard to imagine) would say that makeup is yet another item that falls under autonomy. Women have the freedom to choose to either wear it or not, and either choice is perfectly acceptable and that choice should be respected. Makeup is not necessary, however, as it is just an item designed by a parasitic industry to make women feel as if they need to look like the pinup version of 'beautiful'.

    On the other hand, Tyrion_Lannister, the spokesperson for feminism on here for a long time, used to say that she needed makeup, and wore it all the time, and that anyone who didn't wear it, or felt she was contradicting herself, was just insecure.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I'm sure many feminists would say girls wear makeup for themselves, not for the guys, so all's good
    But I don't (yet(?)) identify as a feminist -> I couldn't tell how much they dwelve on the makeup topic
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    It's impossible to say because there are so many factions of feminism and some women have their own interpretations of what feminism actually means that it's going to come entirely down to the individual. I know feminists who are happy to wear make up because it's their choice. I know feminists who do not wear it for the reasons stated above and deem that men should accept them for who they naturally are. I know feminists who will happily state that they'll wear short revealing skirts because it allows them to express themselves as the wonderful females they are. Equally, there are feminists who will lambast these types of women and would rather dress more modestly to avoid being objectified by men.

    Feminism has become so distorted that its lost its true meaning. I am fed up of the word if I am being honest. Lets all just accept that women, as people, see things through their own individual ways and trying to blanket this under one ideology is just illogical. No woman needs feminism because feminism as a prefixed ideology doesn't really exist with a set of rules women abide by and depending on how you flip the coin and see things it can mean whatever you want. Women live by the morals they hold and values they hold on the basis of individualism just like men.
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Of all the lesser concerns brought up by third wave feminism this is the absolute non-issue taking thew biscuit. If you are straight and of course that's a crucial point.

    If you are straight, you do not wear a pretty dress or apply make-up to feel good about yourself alone, you're still conforming to the notion that you are valued more if you support your own objectification. Garments and cosmetic tools designed specifically to accentuate physically attractive and feminine features cannot be used as a tool against dat evil patriarchy. It's the same as me saying I'm not buying a penis extender to gain women's approval. If a 5 inch penis was considered hot then I wouldn't be buying one I'd be buying a frigging video game.

    At best make-up/clothing is to gain the approval of female peers, who are still engaging in a 'who is the prettiest' competition ergo objectifying themselves ergo conforming to the notion their value is determined by the values of the patriarchy ergo seeking validation of attractiveness from Men if not specific men they seek to attract.

    And if you are just dressing up for yourself or women, then why not just do a dressing-up party in the house rather than in the mass orgy that is a nightclub?

    Gah that was mouthful.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    Fake eyelashes really creep me out. '100% human hair' :afraid:
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Smash Bandicoot)
    Of all the lesser concerns brought up by third wave feminism this is the absolute non-issue taking thew biscuit. If you are straight and of course that's a crucial point.

    If you are straight, you do not wear a pretty dress or apply make-up to feel good about yourself alone, you're still conforming to the notion that you are valued more if you support your own objectification. Garments and cosmetic tools designed specifically to accentuate physically attractive and feminine features cannot be used as a tool against dat evil patriarchy. It's the same as me saying I'm not buying a penis extender to gain women's approval. If a 5 inch penis was considered hot then I wouldn't be buying one I'd be buying a frigging video game.

    At best make-up/clothing is to gain the approval of female peers, who are still engaging in a 'who is the prettiest' competition ergo objectifying themselves ergo conforming to the notion their value is determined by the values of the patriarchy ergo seeking validation of attractiveness from Men if not specific men they seek to attract.

    And if you are just dressing up for yourself or women, then why not just do a dressing-up party in the house rather than in the mass orgy that is a nightclub?

    Gah that was mouthful.
    I would agree with this. It is a clever but specious way for these types of feminist to justify having the best of both worlds (though I imagine it actually causes them a lot of self-loathing and stress, not to mention financial expense).
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by iama)
    I'm sure many feminists would say girls wear makeup for themselves, not for the guys, so all's good
    But I don't (yet(?)) identify as a feminist -> I couldn't tell how much they dwelve on the makeup topic
    Smash Bandicoot has said much of what I was going to say in response to this. In short, I don't buy it.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    Smash Bandicoot has said much of what I was going to say in response to this. In short, I don't buy it.
    :dontknow: I don't buy it either, because I'm a girl and I know I don't only/mainly do it for myself, but that's what people say and maybe there's someone out there who actually feels this way and would wear makeup even if alone in the world
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    I think if a girl needs makeup to feel secure then that's worrying.
    I believe they wear it for themselves but they also wear it to attract guys esp in nightclubs or any social gathering
    Offline

    5
    ReputationRep:
    They do it to attract guys, and feminists hate men so...
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by iama)
    :dontknow: I don't buy it either, because I'm a girl and I know I don't only/mainly do it for myself, but that's what people say and maybe there's someone out there who actually feels this way and would wear makeup even if alone in the world
    I'm sure there is...I doubt this applies for the vast majority of them though.

    For the tiny number that do it entirely for themselves, are they not still succumbing to the brainwashing of the enormous global makeup industry? And are they still not doing so in the knowledge that the vast majority of men don't feel the need to significantly change their face on a regular basis to enhance their sexual appeal? Are they not still embracing what they otherwise describe as the patriarchy's command that they spend lots of money and time making themselves as sexually attractive as possible, when this isn't something men are expected to so? Are they not still hypocritically embracing an element of gender inequality because they fear the social effects on themselves if they abandon it?

    Unless you seriously believe women are genetically wired to wear lipstick and all the rest then the answer to these questions is surely 'yes'.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by UniMastermindBOSS)
    They do it to attract guys, and feminists hate men so...
    What?
    Offline

    20
    ReputationRep:
    A girl wearing makeup to feel good about herself is no different from a guy dressing fashionably with good shoes etc. Or keeping himself in shape.

    Sure one of the reasons I do exercise is that it keeps me in better shape which improved my chances of attracting a mate. We are sexual creatures so by our very nature a lot of what we do can be underpinned with that in mind. But I do not specifically do exercise just so I can attract the opposite sex. Whilst one of the criteria of looking good is the ability to attract the opposite sex it isn't the only reason why you would try and make yourself look good. It just gives you more confidence.

    But to suggest the fact we are all sexual beings, with all the consequences of being so, somehow makes gender analysis and pro gender equality movements void is just moronic.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Birkenhead)
    I'm sure there is...I doubt this applies for the vast majority of them though.

    For the tiny number that do it entirely for themselves, are they not still succumbing to the brainwashing of the enormous global makeup industry? And are they still not doing so in the knowledge that the vast majority of men don't feel the need to significantly change their face on a regular basis to enhance their sexual appeal? Are they not still embracing what they otherwise describe as the patriarchy's command that they spend lots of money and time making themselves as sexually attractive as possible, when this isn't something men are expected to so? Are they not still hypocritically embracing an element of gender inequality because they fear the social effects on themselves if they abandon it?

    Unless you seriously believe women are genetically wired to wear lipstick and all the rest then the answer to these questions is surely 'yes'.
    I think that everyone knows that feminism isn't exactly not contradicting itself and it isn't about equality. Some things will simply not add up and hypocritical is an often used word. Not sure if making a general point or talking to me in particular (probably the first), but my answers are also yes.
    Even so, I think that everyone wants to look their best, I have days when I apply makeup even if I don't go out just to feel prettier. Applying and wearing it has many pshychological benefits (I don't even know why I'm talking when I'm not a feminist, but whatever)

    In the end, I don't think there's an absolute, people do it for a combination of reasons.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    im a feminist and i wear makeup. being pretty and considering yourself equal to men don't clash in my books lol
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    I think there is more to make-up than simply looking 'attractive' to males or females. For example, I love wearing purple lipstick, I don't think it makes me look more attractive at all (doesn't make me look worse either). It is an aesthetic I am going for, a style choice that has far less to do with appearing sexually alluring and a whole lot to do with creative expression. There are a lot of different reasons why women wear make-up, people forget it can be an art, it can be a booster of self-confidence when someone's skin is really bad, it can be an expression of personality (which is how I often use it), it can also be used to simply enhance beauty.

    I am a feminist, I don't see make-up going inherently against feminism. There is a difference between wanting to look good and wanting to be reduced to your looks by others. Admiring a woman's beauty does not mean you are objectifying her. Objectification happens when you see her as nothing more than her body. Hope this helps!
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by themoldypeaches)
    I think there is more to make-up than simply looking 'attractive' to males or females. For example, I love wearing purple lipstick, I don't think it makes me look more attractive at all (doesn't make me look worse either). It is an aesthetic I am going for, a style choice that has far less to do with appearing sexually alluring and a whole lot to do with creative expression. There are a lot of different reasons why women wear make-up, people forget it can be an art, it can be a booster of self-confidence when someone's skin is really bad, it can be an expression of personality (which is how I often use it), it can also be used to simply enhance beauty.

    I am a feminist, I don't see make-up going inherently against feminism. There is a difference between wanting to look good and wanting to be reduced to your looks by others. Admiring a woman's beauty does not mean you are objectifying her. Objectification happens when you see her as nothing more than her body. Hope this helps!

    AMEN
    Offline

    16
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Arkasia)
    I would assume a logical feminist (bear with me, I know that's hard to imagine) would say that makeup is yet another item that falls under autonomy. Women have the freedom to choose to either wear it or not, and either choice is perfectly acceptable and that choice should be respected. Makeup is not necessary, however, as it is just an item designed by a parasitic industry to make women feel as if they need to look like the pinup version of 'beautiful'.

    On the other hand, Tyrion_Lannister, the spokesperson for feminism on here for a long time, used to say that she needed makeup, and wore it all the time, and that anyone who didn't wear it, or felt she was contradicting herself, was just insecure.
    Yeah, Tyrion also used to argue that she should have the autonomy to stay at home and live off her lawyer boyfriend. As spokespersons for feminism go, she struck me as a bit of a paradox.
    • Thread Starter
    Offline

    3
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by carstairs)
    im a feminist and i wear makeup. being pretty and considering yourself equal to men don't clash in my books lol
    I'm going to take the liberty of re-posting the questions asked in the OP.

    The vast majority of women wear make-up. The vast majority of men don't. Why is that?

    Do female feminists on here see any awkward contradictions between wearing makeup on a regular basis and their support for an equal society where women are not objectified or their appearance made a defining feature of them as people any more than it is with men?

    Is it a healthy practice when looked at on its own? Does it encourage a healthy body image and self-esteem?
 
 
 
Poll
If you won £30,000, which of these would you spend it on?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Quick reply
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.