Putting Your Face On

How often do we hear women talk of putting on their face when they are actually referring to the application of make-up? With women in magazines, on television and in the film industry all showing only blemish-free, fully painted, and often photo-edited faces, it is no wonder that women (and even young girls) consider their natural faces less than acceptable for public display.

Hats off to the marketing force behind the idea of make-up being not only normalised, but socially acceptable. They certainly had their work cut out for them, since women who wore make-up were considered to be morally questionable before the 1920s – somehow these advertising men (I’m fairly confident that no woman would have been involved in making the ritual of daily face-painting almost mandatory!) managed to rewrite the definition of painted lady from promiscuous to glamorous.

As American writer, Cynthia Heimel, put it: “Wearing make-up is asking for approval. Wearing make-up is an apology for our actual faces. Wearing make-up makes it seem as if a woman has something to hide. Wearing make-up makes a woman look older than she actually is.”

Perhaps if we didn’t have the option of creating the illusion of perfect radiant skin, complete with bagless eyes, rosy cheeks, and a perfect pout we might in fact be more inclined to put more energy into our wellbeing. Nothing creates a radiant complexion like a healthy balanced diet, drinking plenty of pure water, exercising regularly, getting quality sleep (parents of young children are expected to look somewhat sleep-deprived!), and taking time out to soothe your soul – be it through meditation, a walk in the park, or curling up on the couch with a good book.

The true superwoman is one who resists the urge to be everything to everybody and to put herself at the top of her personal priority list. When your physical and mental health comes first, your inner glow will be rekindled!


2 thoughts on “Putting Your Face On

  1. Guess what. I love wearing makeup. I only wear it for special occasions so it feels like extra pampering for the all too rare night out. Thanks for the attack on something I enjoy – I’ll be sure to remember I look older and as if I am apologising for my face next time 😦

    • Hi Bec – Guess what, I love wearing make-up too. Like you, I wear it on the odd occasion and enjoy doing so. This piece is simply written to trigger thought, not to criticise or attack. The comments you refer to regarding face apology and looking old are part of a quote by Cynthia Heimel which made me think more deeply about why much of modern society deems make-up necessary for a woman to look ‘finished’ or even appropriately dressed for work. I have no problem whatsoever with individuals doing whatever they see fit with their faces or bodies – as long as it is not hurting others. In your case, you state that you only wear make-up for special occasions – so you are clearly already happy in your own skin and not of the opinion that make-up is mandatory. That is the deeper issue I intended to address with this blog post.

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