Re: All That She Wants

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Becks is passing!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:27 PM
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"You can cover, say, 80 percent of light skin tones with six shades of foundation," says Sarah Robbins, Bobbi Brown's global vice-president of product development and marketing, as she explains the complexities of light, medium, and deep coverage to me. "As skin tones get deeper, they get much more complex in tonality, so six shades don't cover that complexity in depth. It takes longer to get it right." She's clearly empathetic, but there's also business to consider. "What's difficult is to rationalize making SKUs [stock-keeping units] when you don't know how many women you're going to be able to service. We want to service everyone, but the reality is that it's very difficult to do."

I found this part interesting, because while I had suspected that "market" was going to be one of the explanations as to why there aren't as many darker shades, I hadn't thought of it as essential a problem of basically the tail end of shades you can mix with the pigments you already have.

I don't usually wear foundation. But I do wear the third-lightest MAC shade when I do!

In terms of shopping frustration resonating, as a teenager, bra shopping and swimsuit shopping always drove me to tears.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:34 PM
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Interesting. The world of makeup is so foreign to boring dudes like me that I sort of assumed that every woman felt equally comfortable within it, simply because men are so excluded.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:37 PM
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My first thought when I saw her picture was, "Prescriptives!" And it turns out that she did go there and have success. I used to like their foundation a lot. I wore off-the-rack foundation, but I got the powder custom-blended.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:42 PM
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Makeup varies a lot by region, class, and income. And age. At my high school, teenaged girls went crazy with makeup, but their mothers rarely wore more than a little mascara and lipstick.

Whereas my impression is that Dallas runs on eyeliner and acrylic nails.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:43 PM
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4: Mine was "You have gorgeous skin and a deep enough skin tone that while you can't find foundation, you can probably rock all of the beautiful eyeshadow shades that I covet but can't wear."


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:44 PM
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Also, dark skin doesn't show blemishes the way pale skin does. So I have little sympathy.


Posted by: Pony | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 12:52 PM
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7: Really? All the black women I know are very conscious of blemishes, just like lighter-skinned women.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:00 PM
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7: She's describing a market failure that can make black women feel humiliated and overlooked, and you're unsympathetic? Regardless of whether black skin needs coverup or foundation as much as white skin* I think she's describing makeup shopping as a fun, self-indulgent exercise that is denied to a lot of black women, which pretty much sucks, I think.

*I also don't think it's true that "dark skin doesn't show blemishes the way pale skin does." A lot of people of color have problems with lasting hyperpigmentation that follows a blemish.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:00 PM
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She looks a lot better in the first photo in the lineup of three, the one without makeup. Maybe it's just different lighting, but in the second and third pictures her skin looks weirdly silvery.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:03 PM
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Also, uneven tone becomes a bigger issue as darker-skinned women age.

A friend of mine (very dark-skinned) and I went to Sephora together to shop for foundation and it was really obvious that these are big problems. I just grabbed my usual cheap-ish Sephora powder in the number I'm used to, but she never found anything. She'd gotten used to having to have powder mixed for her, and the expense is pretty outrageous. She asked the employees for help, and all they did was dust her up with a bunch of bronzer that made her look five shades lighter and super-shiny. She ended up washing it off in the bathroom because she was too embarrassed to walk around in it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:05 PM
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Alright, alright, my anecdata are skewed. Apologies to the world's blotchy and acne-prone people of color.


Posted by: Pony | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:11 PM
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6 is not meant in support of 7, in case it wasn't clear. Just that I love bold eyeshadows and they are not meant for people like me, and the author of the article has beautiful eyes.

The fun of places like Sephora is being able to wander in and try new things, and it would suck if trying new things entailed having to have to spend an outrageous amount to have something that might work. Would of the pale Unfoggedtariat be happy with only four shades of foundation available?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:14 PM
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I don't do makeup (foundation and lipstick both feel weird, and I don't have the patience for eye makeup) but that article is harrowing.

It's all part of the bigger thing that you can't be both black and beautiful - especially not really dark skinned. The "nappy hair" thing that Pam's written about at Pandagon/Coffee House.

There's a columnist at the Guardian in the UK who writes fashion tips for black women. It's the most interesting section of the fashion/beauty pages, at least for me.


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:18 PM
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Several years ago I found the most perfectest lipstick ever at Sephora, a Sephora store brand. It was almost my own natural lip color, but richer and more glowy. And it was $10! Then they discontinued it, and I had to pay like ninety dollars to get it recreated by the custom lipstick people.

I try to avoid developing a taste for expensive things, but this time it was totally inadvertent. Now I am stuck forever with a dependence on ninety dollar lipstick.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:20 PM
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And Becks is dead-on about the emotional issues this article raises. If you're within a certain "acceptable" range of skin-tones, weights, and shapes, you have a lot of options, such that shopping for clothes and makeup is about choice. When you're slightly outside that norm, salespeople say things like, "Let's see if we have anything that could work for you." As Mangum suggests, this is meant well, usually, but when you hear it all the time, it starts to sound like, "You and I both realize you're not normal in X way. You can hardly expect the normal world to cater to your needs, but maybe we can work around it." And then you think, "But I see tons of people who are overweight/dark-skinned/differently-shaped! Seriously, we're all supposed to just work ourselves into the 'normal' options somehow?"

She mentions how, the darker-skinned you are, the more complex skin tones are to match. And the same is true of, say, body shapes. My mother shops for clothes at plus-size stores, and even there, she finds there's little to match her particular body. Lane Bryant seems to be made for zaftig 5'10" Amazons, not 5'1" ladies. It's not just a matter of finding some specialty store that will cater to her; it's a matter of having to try on every single fucking 2X shirt in the hopes of finding one that doesn't make her look ridiculous. It's very difficult for her to find enough clothes to work in an office, and so she ends up avoiding higher-paying office jobs where she'll feel like she's wearing the same three outfits all the time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:21 PM
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That is, I don't think this problem is limited to a "boo hoo i'm a rich lady who can't even enjoy the pleasures of shopping that are my due" thing. It's also a small part of the emotional blocks that keep not-white and not-thin people from feeling comfortable in professional work environments. If your clothes never look as "right" as other people's, and your makeup doesn't match the "right" way, it limits your class mobility through subtle reminders that you don't belong.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:26 PM
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I had a VS saleswoman (well-intentioned, I'm sure) condescendingly ask me if I'd lost a lot of weight recently (that apparently being the only reason I'd have the figure I do.) I had a beauty salon stylist, tell me that she felt sorry for me due to my awful hair while she was styling it for prom.

I cannot imagine having to deal with that at fifteen different makeup counters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:27 PM
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17: And other people's unconscious judgments, too. Doesn't she know how to dress up? Her work is good, but she seems less polished than X.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:28 PM
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19: It's hard to know how much of that is real and how much is imagined. My mom assumes that everyone is thinking that all the time about her, and although she may be right sometimes, it's the paranoia that keeps her feeling tense about it.

I was looking for a dress last fall for my reunion and ended up going to Brooklyn Industries, because I saw they had some cute ones in the window. The counter girls (who were both very thin) kept saying, when I decided not to buy the ones I tried on, "Well, yeah, 'large' is as big as we get them. I'm really sorry everything was too small for you." And it made me really mad, because the dresses fit fine; I just didn't like the shape of them, and they were too short. And I don't think they were actively trying to be hostile to me; they just didn't know that their clothes would fit someone of my size. I'm pretty comfortable with my body, generally, and I don't tend to assume that strangers think of me as impossibly fat, but that kind of treatment is really frustrating. When you're a bigger woman, shape is even harder to get right than size, and something not looking good can't *always* be blamed on me "needing" to lose weight.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:36 PM
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I had a beauty salon stylist, tell me that she felt sorry for me due to my awful hair while she was styling it for prom.

Jesus Christ.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:37 PM
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I have a story to tell along the lines of 19, but concern for respecting the interests of those it involves, heightened by the fact that they may be known to other commenters here, prevents me from doing so.


Posted by: Warren G | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:37 PM
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Presidential anonymity is one thing, but West Coast rapper anonymity?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:40 PM
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How do you know that's not the real Warren G?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:42 PM
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Please tell it, I'm at an all day Continuing Legal Education on securities regulation and having trouble staying awake. So much trouble that I'm reading about makeup.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:46 PM
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I'm Warren G to my friends, but you can call me President Harding, Ned.


Posted by: Warren G | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:47 PM
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I thought the YSL rep came off quite well in the article. I liked that that she didn't stop with saying that the darker shades aren't their best sellers, but goes on to say that it's because "Women are just now beginning to trust us." (Also a gracious touch that she said "women" there instead of "these customers" or something.)


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:51 PM
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20: No doubt part of it is imagined. (I know that I was knee-jerkily sensitive about my hair until I was, oh, 25 maybe, and while the idiot stylist was not the only hair-related annoyance, I'm sure I overreacted.) But it can have real effects, like your mom not enthusiastically going for jobs where she'd have to deal with the hassle of finding business clothes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 1:57 PM
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I think it's mostly just insensitivity, an inability to recognize how it must feel to hear that kind of thing all the time. What your hairdresser said was mean, especially given the context, and she should have realized that a girl getting ready for an important special date really doesn't need a lesson on how to manage her "problem hair."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:01 PM
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22-26: You're going to have to work a lot harder if you want to man up the makeup thread, boys.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:05 PM
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Just that I love bold eyeshadows and they are not meant for people like me

Come on, Cala, you can't be that much paler than, say, Amy Winehouse.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:06 PM
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Maybe we should focus on manning up the real estate thread instead.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:06 PM
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Um...makeup is largely...um...composed of substances.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:08 PM
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31: It's not the paleness, but the rest of the palette. My skin tone, plus my hair color, plus my eye-color means that I just look clownish in the colors to which I am drawn like a magpie.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:11 PM
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The really annoying thing about plus-size clothes is that the mid-price manufacturers all seem to be thinking "fat girls want to rock the leopard-print stretch pants too". Which, I guess, maybe, when they're fifteen. But if you want to look professional you almost have to go way upscale.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:12 PM
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Ah, working the chemistry angle. Good strategy, Ned. Anyway, makeup sucks, and it's a waste of perfectly good, um, substances that could be used for, um, something else.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:14 PM
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34: Yes, me too, actually. Taupe, beige, grey. Yawn.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:14 PM
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I did discover that a certain dark browny green eyeliner overlaid with a gold shadow (which makes the eyeliner glow) works really well if I want to look like an anime escapee.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:16 PM
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I will man it up! In like 1984, when CA was in high school, he got contact lenses better to rock his eye makeup. He looked so fucking adorable.

Gaultier makes a men's line now, actually. But CA was working more of a Ronnette/Maybelline black liner thing.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:17 PM
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I'm not sure that counts as manning it up.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:19 PM
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35: Mid-priced stuff doesn't work for petite people either. I haven't found a lot of leopard-print stuff, but I do find myself having to go upscale-ish more than I would like.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:19 PM
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I cover my face in mud and spray wolf urine into my eyes. This way I look my best as I kill.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:20 PM
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CA is very butch, w-lfs-n.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:20 PM
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the other day i saw a young man very conventionally dressed, nothing unusual
applying lipstick, just something colourless medicated to prevent lips from drying may be,
very casually while he was walking just like girls do
so may be it's normal around here too, i mean makeup and men
in Japan when i sometimes wore skirt people asked what happened, b/c always jeans, jeans


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:22 PM
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We should keep in mind that the high-end skincare and makeup industry profits from pathologizing everyone. Everyone has "problem areas" and "problem skin" to an aesthetician on commission, and they make a lot more by convincing you that your problems are so unique and special that of course you have to spend loads of money having a product or service designed just for you. We had training sessions at the spa about how to look at a woman's face and diagnose her with a totally unique skin condition that would take multiple treatments to solve.

Anyhow, that's what makes this, insofar as it is, a "women's" thread, because all women are put in a race to identify their special problem that only a lot of money can solve, and these companies make profits by narrowing the range of off-the-shelf products so more people will have to get custom stuff made for them.

I never really minded when people came into the spa to buy products for fun or get services done because they liked them. It was the women who'd literally cry right in front of me because their aesthetician told them they'd been walking around with their skin all fucked up and they'd never noticed, and could I please help them find some special product or service that could help them? They were really stressed about it. So I'd say, "Well, you could invest in some La Mer moisturizer for $275, or you could, like, drink lots of water and eat a balanced diet and gently exfoliate. Or there's a capillary-zapping process we could do for $300 a session, or you could drink more water and exfoliate..." They always went with the La Mer and the cap-zapping.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:23 PM
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She should give up foundation because no matter how you use it and no matter what you get, it looks horrible. I know lots of women think it only looks horrible _on other people_ but that _they_ do it right, but no, it looks horrible on everyone. No one should use it.


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:23 PM
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44: could've just been lip balm, read.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:23 PM
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39: Not exactly what I had in mind, oud. Guess I'd better get back to work—but not before registering my displeasure that Manny Ramirez has switched agents to Scott fucking Boras. Gah. Granted, that's not as bad as entire industries devoted to exploiting women's self-image issues, but it's still pretty goddamn bad.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:24 PM
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Sifu Tweety is Brock Samson?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:24 PM
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yeah, just he was applying it so skillfully
that's why i noticed


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:27 PM
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could've just been lip balm, read

Tweety, a man who needs lip balm gets the Carmex in the little glass jar and applies it with his finger, so as not to convey mixed messages about his sexuality.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:28 PM
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If you vote for Barack Obama there will be better foundation shades available for darker skinned people. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton is pleased with presently existing foundation options. So as a feminist, one is compelled to vote for Barry.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:29 PM
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AWB: My mom assumes that everyone is thinking that all the time about her, and although she may be right sometimes, it's the paranoia that keeps her feeling tense about it. reminds me of the very useful way a friend puts the problem with regard to not-always-visible disabilities, like my transitory not-exactly-seizure and disorientation moments. It's not that everyone is, but that some random people are, some of whom will go on to be rude, cruel, or worse (like the guy who spat on me in mid-seizure, he thinking me just another drunk or junkie), and being prepared for it at any random moment is tiring. In some ways it would be simpler if everyone were hostile all the time, because it would at least be consistent and there'd be a guaranteed point to prepared defenses. Constantly gathered energy that may never get used feels worse even though objectively it is of course vastly preferable to have threats seldom materialize.

I get the impression that this isn't wildly far removed from the kind of tension that gets piled onto beauty issues.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:29 PM
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51: I buy chapstick, stick it in the fly of my pants, and autofellate it. Because I'm a man.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:31 PM
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53: That's awful, Bruce. Seriously, the first thought wasn't "Holy shit, that guy probably needs someone to call an ambulance"?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:31 PM
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45: And it's worse even if you do have a skin problem. Two of my sisters are prone to severe acne. Bad luck of the genetic lottery, in that they took after my dad instead of my mom. Not much to be done about it. Acne is never fun, but it's harder when it occurs once you're no longer a teenager and excusable on the grounds of puberty. So many expectations of having a beautiful face.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:31 PM
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JMcQ: Come on. You know you want it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:32 PM
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Apparently not, AWB. I will say that that's my single worst moment of public response in 25 years of living with this stuff, and that I've run into a lot more well-intentioned public goodness and some genuine heroism. I was just thinking about the kinds of harassment that can come out of the blue, and it's the one that's most compact to tap into for comparison.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:33 PM
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Not sure you can autofellate things that aren't part of yourself. You could mimic autofellating such things though. Well, one could. I don't really know if you can.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:33 PM
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Your link's not working for me, oud. Something tells me that's for the best.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:35 PM
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As a matter of general usage, I'd tend to say that if it doesn't generally depend on my body for circulation, nerves, muscles, etc., then I can't auto-fellate it. Just fellate it. Of course my definition may suck, too.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:36 PM
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46: You probably don't notice the skillfully applied foundation. I don't mean to doubt you, but I know a lot of guys who insist they don't like makeup in discussions, who compliment me when I am wearing (minimal) makeup because I look so radiant that day* and worriedly ask if I'm tired when I'm not.**

*True story.
**Or hungover. But that was what the department secretary asked.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:37 PM
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Um...makeup is largely...um...composed of substances.
+
Ah, working the chemistry angle. Good strategy, Ned. Anyway, makeup sucks, and it's a waste of perfectly good, um, substances that could be used for, um, something else.

A common ingredient in makeup is kaolin, a mineral related to quartz, the principal uses for which are coating white paper and making toilets.



Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:40 PM
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Cala, I remember vividly getting the lessons in that from the first person I actually slept with. "Oh. Okay." It contributed very materially to a general assumption on my part that people are up to things I don't see.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:40 PM
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But that was what the department secretary asked.

Would this be the infamous Pa/t?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:41 PM
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62 has been the response to me when I say things like that too.

It did seem that when I hung out with leftists I got used to the girls not wearing makeup very quickly, and when the baseline was "no makeup" rather than "some makeup" they looked equally attractive on average.

It seems to be an arms race situation. Individual disarmament does not help the individual.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:41 PM
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Kaolin makeup also tends to make you a better martial artist.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:41 PM
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Keep telling yourself this, Cala. Lots of people think they "skillfully apply" foundation but they still look like garbage, at least when you get close. Go natural! It's much better. (This doesn't mean you should never wear make-up- when it's done to look interesting or the like, eye shadow or lipstick can be nice. But foundation is terrible, people always think they are in the group who can "skillfully apply" it, and they are always wrong. It always looks bad, though of course there are shades of badness.)


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:42 PM
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I tend to think that the "I don't like makeup" thing can end up sounding (to someone like me) like "I like women who happen to have naturally perfect skin that never has blemishes and has perfect pigmentation." I don't like wearing powder, and I don't wear it every day, but when it's a contest between me with a blotchy pimple and under-eye circles and me with a light dusting of powder, I'll go with the latter. And no one on earth could convince me that I look as good without mascara and at least a little lip gloss.

The day I hear someone say, "You know what? Women just look better with obvious pimples and circles under their eyes than they do with a little powder," I might believe they don't like makeup.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:43 PM
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Now that we've moved on to autofellation, I think manning up has been achieved.

On preview, perhaps not. But while I concede the possibility that I have been deceived by judiciously applied small amounts of makeup, I'm still agin it. You know what's icky? Lipstick. I know it's designed for lips, but the prospect of kissing someone who's wearing lipstick, blech.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:44 PM
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Lots of people think they "skillfully apply" foundation but they still look like garbage, at least when you get close.

Well, sure, when you get close it's noticeably odd-looking. But to the 99.9% of people she encounters every day without "getting close" to them, it makes her look better.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:45 PM
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Upon inspecting Wikipedia, I think I can agree with 69 and say that perhaps Concealer Good, Foundation Bad.

that's all I can say.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:47 PM
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68: I usually don't bother with foundation (last time I bothered was for the wedding), so it's not so much 'telling myself' as it is recognizing that a lot of people look better with foundation than they do with blotchy skin. I agree that flawless skin will always look better than foundation, but that's not often the relevant comparison.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:48 PM
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Non-famous Matt, are you aware you're telling people they look like garbage?


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:49 PM
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I tend to think that the "I don't like makeup" thing can end up sounding (to someone like me) like "I like women who happen to have naturally perfect skin that never has blemishes and has perfect pigmentation."

To me, too. Bah.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:49 PM
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Some garbage is quite attractive, w/d, you racist.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:50 PM
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Foundation looks weird to me too, but especially on the very young women who wear it. I see high-school girls on the Upper East Side wearing a thick, caked-on kabuki mask with drawn-on features, and it makes me sad. I keep thinking, "But you're at the age when you still look radiant without it! And you're ruining your skin! YOU LOOK 65."


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:50 PM
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You know what, AWB? Women just look better with obvious pimples and circles under their eyes than they do with a little powder. I love perfect skin as much as the next person, but blemishes I can relate to.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:54 PM
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W/D- I'm telling people that using foundation makes them look like garbage. I don't think it makes people look better- I think it makes them look worse, usually much so. While of course "flawless" skin would be nice that's not what I'm comparing to here at all. I've never known anyone who had it, but I've also never seen anyone who looked better with foundation. That stuff is awful and really does look like garbage.


Posted by: Matt (not the famous one) | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:55 PM
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My sister does the kabuki mask thing. Partially because she's very self-conscious about her skin; her attitude towards zits is to escalate hostilities with even more makeup, which I suspect underlies at lot of teenage makeup disasters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:55 PM
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Back to what AWB said about beauty-based rejection leading to insecurity, I totally understand that. When I went for The Job Interview last week, one of the things that turned me off about the company was that it is a very formal suit-every-day kind of a company. I noted that when I was telling people about it afterwards, saying that I considered that a negative because I don't like wearing a suit every day. When, really, I don't mind wearing a suit every day -- it's that my body type just doesn't look good in any of the suits that are for sale these days (pant suits? fuck you. pencil skirts? you too. I managed to find the one and only A-line skirt suit for sale in the entire world for my interview.) and the idea of having to shop to find enough suits for a week's worth of work is so overwhelming that it makes me want to crawl into bed.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:56 PM
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Keep telling yourself this, Cala. Lots of people think they "skillfully apply" foundation but they still look like garbage, at least when you get close.

That doesn't mean that group with skillfully applied makeup you don't notice doesn't exist.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:56 PM
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Non-famous Matt, are you aware you're telling people they look like garbage?

Only the people he gets close to.

Personally I would say that "blotchy skin" is extremely hard for me to consider a big deal. Pimples, sure, conceal them, become more symmetrical. It's up there with "ankles that aren't sufficiently narrower than calves" as things that, if I were a standup comedian, I would make fun of women for caring about and judging each other on.

My fiancee periodically gets upset because her acne appears and disappears. I never notice, even though she doesn't use foundation except on special occasions and therefore it should be noticeable. I guess my standard image of her face is sort of halfway between acne-with an acne-without.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:57 PM
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Yes, WHY are a-line skirt suits so rare? It is a holy mystery.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 2:58 PM
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Especially because A-lines look good on everyone.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:00 PM
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I managed to find an a-line skirt this winter, but the A shape is so exaggerated that it manages to look stupid, too. (Ends up with the same bottom heavy look that gathered skirts give a short-legged person like me.) I bought it and took in the seams to make is less a-line. Sheesh.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:00 PM
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83: I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a lovely ankle. Rowr.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:01 PM
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81: Dumb question. How do people who work at busy jobs schedule job interviews without having people at their current job know that they're looking?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:02 PM
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An ex-girlfriend of mine -- I say that as though she were not my best friend and far and away the most important woman in the universe to me -- has always been painfully vexed by the imagined imperfection of her skin, which is Nordicly pale, smooth and clear to match her Aryan bones. It was always painful to watch her critically assess her complexion in a department store cosmetics counter mirror while the whittled-and-daubed middle-aged women of the metropolis looked at her like a cake they'd like to scrape and eat the frosting off of.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:03 PM
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My fiancee periodically gets upset

SEXIST


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:05 PM
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I'm very lucky, in that, if I'm getting enough sun, my face evens out, I lose the circles under the eyes, and I stop constantly having blemishes. But all winter long, I look dreadfully pale and weary and I get some awful Morgellons-of-the-chin problem. I look forward to being employed somewhere where it's feasible to be outside all year.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:05 PM
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I got what you were saying, it might even be true (I'm not observant enough about this aspect of appearances to know), but in the context it seemed to me it was being said in a needlessly personal way.


Posted by: washerdreyer | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:06 PM
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That doesn't mean that group with skillfully applied makeup you don't notice doesn't exist.

Precisely. The fact that you would notice someone's foundation automatically disqualifies them from the skillfully applied cohort.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:07 PM
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Morgellons-of-the-chin
Awesome.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:09 PM
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The fact that you would notice someone's foundation automatically disqualifies them from the skillfully applied cohort.

I perceive a private language argument.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:09 PM
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Dumb question. How do people who work at busy jobs schedule job interviews without having people at their current job know that they're looking?

Not a dumb question at all. If you're lucky, part of your busy job is to be frequently out of the office. It's tougher if you have to travel for the interview, which might cause you to have to take some vacation/personal/sick days.

Another alternative is to be open with your employer that you are looking for something else and need to take time off to interview. This might, depending on the circumstances, cause your boss to try to address the causes of your dissatisfaction with your current job.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:09 PM
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88 - Not a dumb question. Some people call in sick but I think that's a bit dubious, especially since everyone will figure out what you'd done if you then give notice later. I flat out told my boss that I had an interview with another company but I suspect that's a rarity. But on my current project, my boss has always told us that she'll be much less upset with us if we let her know we're looking for a new job/interviewing so she can start thinking about how she's going to replace us than if we hand in 2 weeks notice with no warning for transition planning.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:10 PM
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The fact that you would notice someone's foundation automatically disqualifies them from the skillfully applied cohort.

People like to think that, being humans, we can tell the difference between human skin and something else by looking at it. It's hard to accept that we can't.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:11 PM
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I generally look better w/o makeup because I don't have the $ to buy good stuff or the patience to learn to apply it skillfully. (I also actually might as well not wear eyeliner or shadow: I have very deep set eyes & it looks weird.) I suspect this is true of a fair # of people, especially young women, but it doesn't mean that "women look better without make up."

AWB is totally right about just about everything on this thread. I have a relatively easy time buying separates--average height, average weight, etc.--I can do the generic-Ann-Taylor twentysomething professional warddrobe with minimal effort. But I have very narrow shoulders & a pretty narrow ribcage compared to my hips & this makes buying non-knit dresses & bathing suits really, really unpleasant. And it was a much harder for my mother to find a mother-of-the-bride-dress for my wedding that she didn't completely hate than it was for me to find a wedding dress.


Posted by: Katherine | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:12 PM
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Further to 93, I just innocently asked Fleur, apropos of this thread, "You don't wear foundation, do you?"

And we've lived together for over 10 years. That, my friends, is skillfully applied makeup.

My evolving position on this issue is documented here.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:12 PM
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Foundation looks weird up close, but it's not meant to mimic flawless skin up close. (Come to think of it, flawless skin looks weird up close, too.)


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:15 PM
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An ex-girlfriend of mine -- I say that as though she were not my best friend and far and away the most important woman in the universe to me -- has always been painfully vexed by the imagined imperfection of her skin, which is Nordicly pale, smooth and clear to match her Aryan bones. It was always painful to watch her critically assess her complexion in a department store cosmetics counter mirror while the whittled-and-daubed middle-aged women of the metropolis looked at her like a cake they'd like to scrape and eat the frosting off of.

I recognize that it's offered up in the spirit of "cosmetics and the cosmetics industry are fucked up," but I don't know what to do with this story. I guess it's nice that your ex is a beautiful apotheosis of whiteness, but sad that she can't enjoy it. And middle-aged city ladies in makeup are creepy. I guess?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:18 PM
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Foundation looks weird up close

Also on high-def television. The pancake makeup that is customary for studio appearances really shows up on the widescreen. I think this favors people with flawless skin and disfavors middle aged women and geriatric men. Implications for the 2008 Presidential race are left as an exercise for the reader.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:20 PM
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102: I guess "sad that she can't enjoy it because the beauty industry inculcates its preferred anxieties in all women" was what I was going for. Sorry if the whiteness offended. Whiteness is one of the things that white people like.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:20 PM
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We should get Will Baude involved. He's got strong opinions on this subject that, IIRC, float free of epistemic concerns.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:20 PM
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Stories like Flip's do serve the purpose of reminding us all that no matter how blessed you are, it's never socially acceptable for a woman to be proud of her natural looks, because any woman who doesn't have a "self-esteem problem" is told that she's a vain bitch. There is no middle way.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:24 PM
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(I mean that I'm guessing that has something to do with Flip's ex's paranoia about her face.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:25 PM
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(Come to think of it, flawless skin looks weird up close, too.)

At least skin without foundation on it looks like the regular human skin I am familiar with from my own body.

The thread linked in 100 is pretty good.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:26 PM
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Also on high-def television

HD reveals how makeup is like stage sets. From several rows back in a big hall, they look fine, but get close, and it's obvious they look like crap.

Whiteness is one of the things that white people like.

Not so fast. This white person professes catholic tastes.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:28 PM
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I hear Matt looks like garbage, too, so he really doesn't mean anything bad by it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:31 PM
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White people are always saying, "ooooh, I love you so much, are we going to a movie?, you are so beautiful as a flower..."


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:31 PM
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107: That, or the fact that having an orange tan has been what the beautiful people do.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:32 PM
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I perceive confusion in myself as to what Flippanter thinks about the private language argument.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:33 PM
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Pretty in touch with yourself, eh?


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:36 PM
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My beetle. Let me show you it.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:37 PM
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White people like beetles, insofar as god is a white person.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:38 PM
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111: I think "No one is going to marry you girls anyway. You're too short and you talk too much." is more appropriate for Unfogged.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:39 PM
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The site linked in 111 is awesome, especially the kindergarten reviews.

frances: i think it sounds bad. it hurts my head like a hundred dogs.
The other night, I asked Siobhán to smell the Zinfandel I was drinking, and she said, "It smells like a thousand rotten strawberries." I am infinitely pleased that one of my daughters is a born wine critic.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:41 PM
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Yeah, I TOTALLY get what people are saying; the wrong shade of foundation makes people's faces look like... huuge lumpy bags of sand...

It's tough to argue with Cala's 62/AWB's 69/RFTS's 75, and yet I remember thinking during my senior formal that every single girl looked more attractive (to me personally, at least) on a normal day than doll-style. Controlled testing plz!


Posted by: Dr. Zeuss | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:42 PM
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AWB's 69

I can has?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:43 PM
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120: Do not want! One or the other. I'm very narrow minded.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:45 PM
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And we've lived together for over 10 years. That, my friends, is skillfully applied makeup.

Actually, that's an incredibly clueless husband, but I'm sure it's also skillfully applied makeup.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:45 PM
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121: Oh, sure, it's better if you have the time to spread them out like that, but some of us are very busy!!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:46 PM
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between 121 and 123 I was trying to figure out what spreading out one's mind might have to do with *lingus, and coming up with some really disturbing ideas about brain-licking.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:52 PM
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119: Special occasion make-up, like proms and weddings, tends unfortunately towards trendy rather than what looks ideal on the woman. And it's also an occasion where women who don't normally wear a lot of make-up feel a lot of pressure to wear make-up, so it can turn into amateur hour. My prom make-up was probably pretty awful.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:53 PM
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My prom date's hair was awful, in that it smelled terrible and was glassily rigid. I assume she was wearing makeup.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:54 PM
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125: So it went well with your hair then.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:55 PM
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For my prom, I smeared mud on my face and sprayed wolf urine into my eyes, so I would look my best when dancing to "Summer of '69".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:55 PM
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I'll just echo the standard complaints about prom attire, with the added reminiscence that it was very odd to not be able to tell who all my friends and acquaintances were from the back.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:56 PM
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129: Keep it clean, Ned.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:57 PM
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129: your High School didn't go for the assless trousers look, eh?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:57 PM
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Ned comes out as a bottom.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:57 PM
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They all had weird curly hairdos. And their posture and walk were all different because they were wearing heels for the first time in six months.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:58 PM
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It's a wonder our heads didn't bang together scrambling for the low hanging fruit.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 3:58 PM
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134: Niyuk, niyuk, niyuk...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:00 PM
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The trend where I was (and discussion with friends suggests this might be universal) was that the height of prom fashion was everything matching. Not complementing, but matching. Dyed shoes to match the gowns. Hair ornaments that matched the gown. Nail polish that matched the gown (this trend has died.) Eyeliner that matched the gown. Your date's vest or cummerbund must match your gown. Your corsage much match. Hair curled every which way.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:00 PM
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Hair curled every which way.

To match everyone else's hair.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:01 PM
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136: a couple of girls at my high school dyed their pubes to match their gowns.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:03 PM
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I had pretty low-key hair and makeup, but a pretty red-shimmery tea-length dress. My date was so fucking cute, though, that the pictures are the sad kind where you think "pity date" and you'd be right.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:03 PM
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Prom for me = jewel tones.

Ugh.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:03 PM
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Your date's vest or cummerbund must match your gown.

My date to the junior prom wore a pink dress, and I wore a color-coordinated pink tie and cumberbund with my white rented tuxedo.

Before I picked up my date, I stopped by my buddy's house for a joint, and ended up dropping the burning ashes on my white trousers, setting the polyester fabric ablaze. We managed to cover up the charred hole (and my skin underneath it) with liquid paper. If you look really closely, you can see it in the prom portrait (the two of us standing under a vinyl trellis covered with fake flowers).


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:11 PM
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Huh. I don't wear makeup except on very rare occasions (I was thinking that I should, as a tenth wedding anniversary thing, throw out the makeup I bought to get married in. It's probably gone bad by now, no?), but that's lack of skill and attention, not that I wouldn't look better in it. Other women wearing foundation, once they're past the teenage not knowing what they're doing at all thing, seem to me to look much better with a little something evening out their skin tones.

But when I put on foundation, it looks like spackle, and I've never quite bothered to figure out how to get past that.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:12 PM
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Try wearing spackle for a few weeks, and then switch back to foundatoin. It will look very natural.


Posted by: Coco LeBoobs | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:13 PM
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I had a truly bizarre shiny green satin "I am the Statue of Liberty out for a night on the town" floor-length strapless bridesmaid's dress at the prom. Shopping with Mom was a mistake, although I'm not sure if her ushering me into that thing was incompetence or malice. I was highly visible, certainly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:15 PM
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142: Paintbrush.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:15 PM
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142: I still have the Hello Kitty glitter eye-makeup sticks that I got in college. I take them out and make my eyelids glittery every once in while then decide both that I don't really like to wear eye makeup and that the glittery sticks haven't gone bad yet and should therefore be kept. I've also got some lip stuff for job interviews, but my face isn't the kind of face that looks good in make-up. It really helps to have large features and a wide mouth, and I don't. Lipstick actually makes my mouth look smaller than it is.

Luckily, I live in the Midwest where there's a very well-recognized type of make-up-less middle-aged middle class arty white lady who works in various genteel professions (Eileen Fisher clothes in black; arty shoes; "creative" glasses) and that's pretty much what I'm inexorably turning into. This also means I won't have to dye my hair.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:21 PM
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Hair curled every which way.
To match everyone else's hair.

Ugghhh! I cringe every time I think of my prom look.
I did okay with the dress and make-up, (no foundation- I had flawless skin back in the day), but my hair which is thin and straight was cut short on top and then that top part permed.
I realize in trying to describe the look, that I had a sort of
chic mullet.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:24 PM
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sorry, 147 was me!


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:24 PM
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147: Oh, mullets are coming back. Actually they came back for a while a couple of years ago, but that was the high-fashion renaissance. I'm sure they'll be back on a mass level in another year or two. Capitalism lets nothing go to waste.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:29 PM
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I object to the fascist of the beauty industrial complex that demands that all women fit into a range of colors (being Asian, I am glad that foundation/powder is finally yellow-based and not pink-based in tone) and rigid Euro-centric conception of beauty. Also, I hate the part that says that women should do stupid shit like burn off the upper layer of their dermis or inject themselvs with toxins or make their lips plumper by using irritants like liquid pepper.

But that said, I enjoy makeup as a part of the daily costume and ritual of dressing. I would hate being demanded to wear makeup simply to comport with feminine dress codes (there's a lot of cases on grooming and appearance as a "bona fide occupational qualification" in employment discrimination cases). But when I exercise the choice, I like to do it for myself, to make myself look and feel better according to my standards (which are hardly fashionable, I don't think I've changed lipstick colors in 10 years), and I spend all of 5 minutes on makeup. I would hate to be with a guy who demanded that I be high maintenance and super-primed out.

But I don't get the whole opposition to makeup men have--the demand to be "natural" is just as arbitrary and condescending as the demand to be dolled up. Both are laced with patriarchy. But I don't want to get into a fight here.

Although I will say that when I met Will Baude, I made sure to wear red lipstick, because I don't care about his standards for beauty any more than I care about Vogue's.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:30 PM
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Oh! Prom! I feel like we've done this before, but I wore a black Oleg Cassini art deco sheath and had my hair marcelled. I had black satin opera gloves, red lipstick, and dripped with (fake) pearls. I also was dosed out of my skull.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:31 PM
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OT Here's some good news. The decline of golf's popularity.

And nobody can really explainw hy it's happening.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:34 PM
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make their lips plumper by using irritants like liquid pepper.

This is my private makeup addiction. I wear it just for me, I love it so much.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:35 PM
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I don't get the whole opposition to makeup men have

When it doesn't look bad, it feels or tastes bad.

I think there's also some discomfort from guys about their sig-ot wearing makeup, because it feels like it can't possibly be for them, since they already know and like how she looks, so one's woman is putting on a performance for other people, which is kind of alienating.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:40 PM
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Part of me wonders whether the dudes-who-hate-makeup thing is related to the "self-esteem" issue. Some guys love to complain about how they beg their beautiful girlfriends not to wear makeup because they're so beautiful, just as they beg their beautiful girlfriends not to have self-esteem issues because they're so beautiful. But it's not as if there's actually a run on natural-faced girls or confident women. It's feminine to have self-esteem problems, just as it's feminine to wear makeup. But both are seen as compelling but tragic character flaws.

Otherwise, I just can't find the justification for the "compliment" that goes "Has anyone ever told you you're beautiful"? Tia and I have both written about this before, but that is some insulting shit right there. What answer can a woman possibly give? The choices are:

(a) Of course, you dumbfuck. I'm not totally hideous.
(b) All my life I've thought I was ugly, and now you've validated me and I feel beautiful!

What is the proper response to "I hate it when you dress up and wear makeup"? On this advice from an ex of mine, I did what he told me and stopped wearing cute clothes to meet him, stopped wearing makeup at all. And me "fixing" what he complained about made both of us really unhappy. I liked dressing up, and he liked complaining about it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:46 PM
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I am about to go out to a nice restaurant for my honey's mother's birthday. Am I going to wear makeup? Hells yeah, and even more so because some men on this thread are being persnickety and moral about it. However, I should be honest with myself: I'll be wearing the makeup to impress attempt to impress my honey's mother, who is always, but always impeccably turned out.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:46 PM
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Why would you have your hair lined with cork?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:47 PM
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154: What, like a 'she must be looking for another man' thing?

shivbunny seems to have no opinion on whether I wear makeup, except that he thinks lipstick tastes bad.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:48 PM
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What, like a 'she must be looking for another man' thing?

Nothing that dramatic or concrete. It's just something that displaces the guy from the center of the woman's universe.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:50 PM
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It can totally be for the SO (in addition to the pure personal pleasure)! Although I guess my SO has seen me in all of my plainness when we went camping. I have very fair eyebrows (for the fact that the hair on my head is pitch-black) and no features unless I add color, so I fill in the brows, add a little blush, mascara, and a lip tint that doesn't feel goopy (it's almost like ink, sinks in). I figure I am making myself recognizable to him as the girl he met on the first date. I look better, trust me, and part of it is wanting to be attractive for him so that I am not the pitied, plain girlfriend next to the way-too-cute-for-me guy.

I have pretty much given up perfume though, because he is sensitive to scent. But I can't blame him for that, and he's not forcing me to not wear perfume.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:51 PM
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What, like a 'she must be looking for another man' thing?

That's never made sense to me, either. Other people wanting to sleep with my boyfriend* is natural to me, because, like, yeah, he's super-hot. Other people wanting to sleep with me should be natural to my boyfriend, because he thinks I'm pretty attractive, too. Is it that you actually fear your partner wants to cheat on you?

* - "Boyfriend" here being nonexistent, but, you know.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:51 PM
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In fact, fuck yeah! I'll wear foundation! Now, where the hell did I stow that?

(I have a bottle of Shiseido foundation---very nice stuff--that I bought, lessee, in the fall of 2004. I've never been able to figure out how one could possibly use more than a drop or two per application.)


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:51 PM
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I think there's also some discomfort from guys about their sig-ot wearing makeup, because it feels like it can't possibly be for them, since they already know and like how she looks, so one's woman is putting on a performance for other people, which is kind of alienating.

I'm not sure exactly what's being said above, but I think the issue of performance is at the root of my discomfort. The use of make up silently suggests that I'll be required be required to perform some role or roles as well, which will--like that of the makeup wearer, who looks fine--be motivated by I know not what.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:51 PM
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I used to think I'd hate kissing a woman wearing lipstick, or a woman who smoked tobacco: then I met this really hot woman who wore lipstick and smoked, and I did not waste any time discarding my previous prejudices and yes, she was a great kisser. Really. Great.

*sigh*

I'm so glad British high schools don't do prom night. How come more American teenagers don't rebel?


Posted by: Jesurgislac | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:52 PM
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It's just something that displaces the guy from the center of the woman's universe.

Definitely not what I thought you meant.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:56 PM
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It's just something that displaces the guy from the center of the woman's universe.

I can see that, but I haven't experienced being on the receiving end of that. Most guys I've dated have been indifferent to it (like shivbunny) or have seemed to like the attention they get from having their girlfriend dolled up.

*This sounds bad, as if shivbunny doesn't notice. He notices. It's just not a big deal to him at all.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:57 PM
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There's also the fact that guys (good liberal guys, anyway) are trained not to be superficial, and to like women for "who they are," so they feel like they have to reject makeup as both oppressive and false: they're going to like you for who you are, etc.

Then there's what I think SCMT is saying, that the makeup wearer enters a social world where a lot of guys don't know how to follow, so it can be intimidating.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 4:59 PM
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Ogged, if you couldn't really perceive the makeup (that natural-but-better look thing) or taste the makeup (there are lipstains that simply sink into the skin), would the makeup bother you? Would you still feel displaced?

This is a tree falling/forest hypo, but whatever.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:00 PM
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Everything Ogged said is true. Especially that it tastes bad.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:02 PM
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167: You know, I almost asked if you thought of it as a liberal shibboleth (my girlfriend is not arm candy!), but I dismissed that on the grounds there was already a thread on that.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:02 PM
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Then there's what I think SCMT is saying, that the makeup wearer enters a social world where a lot of guys don't know how to follow, so it can be intimidating.

It's not "don't know how" or "intimidating," so much as "don't want" and "irritating." The friends I like most are the ones with whom I have to do the least self-tailoring.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:03 PM
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SCMT gets it right.

Also:

When one is single and looking for a partner, one makes oneself attractive in various ways that appeal to a large number of people.

Then when one actually has a partner, one finds out what that partners specifically likes, and keeps doing that.

I used to wear a small amount of cologne and keep my hair short and organized, because most girls seemed attracted to that, but I don't do it any more because those aren't things my fiancee has ever complimented me on, and she specifically thinks my hair looks better longer, although this is objectively untrue.

So I keep doing the things that she compliments me on, to look attractive to her.

I've never complimented any of her makeup, so why does she feel compelled to wear it when we go out to dinner together? I'm neutral to whether it is there or not. This is the thought that goes through my head. But I know it's for her sake, that she wants to feel objectively attractive.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:03 PM
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Does dressing up trigger the same feeling, SCMT?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:05 PM
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Ogged, if you couldn't really perceive the makeup (that natural-but-better look thing) or taste the makeup (there are lipstains that simply sink into the skin), would the makeup bother you? Would you still feel displaced?

Especially then! She is sending out secret signals to everyone but me? What's her angle?!


Posted by: Not ogged or anyone else | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:05 PM
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I get very confused by guys who claim to be alienated by makeup, just because it's so pervasive. It's not that anyone gives me a hard time about not wearing it, but among people I see, the overwhelming majority of women are wearing at least some makeup, and I've literally never been in a social environment where wearing makeup would have been positively unusual. This "social world where a lot of guys don't know how to follow" -- if it's defined by makeup, that's everyplace I've ever been.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:05 PM
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It could be for her! I'm self-conscious about my fair eyebrows and pale, undefined features!


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:06 PM
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the demand to be "natural" is just as arbitrary and condescending as the demand to be dolled up. Both are laced with patriarchy.

If it's a demand, it's inherently patriarchal, but as a preference, no. I was thinking about how I like someone who looks the same camping as they do on a dinner date (in different attire, perhaps, depending on the restaurant), so I was delighted that you wrote "Although I guess my SO has seen me in all of my plainness when we went camping." As the father of young girls, I really hate the idea that they will some day feel that they have to modify their looks any more than I do.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:06 PM
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This "social world where a lot of guys don't know how to follow" -- if it's defined by makeup, that's everyplace I've ever been.

It's as if I should be follow her by making myself also look like I'm dolled up for a special occasion, but I don't know what to do. This emphasizes the asymmetry forced upon us by the patriarchy, which makes us feel guilty.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:07 PM
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just because it's so pervasive

I think we've talked about this; depends on where you are, social circles, etc.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:08 PM
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Does dressing up trigger the same feeling, SCMT?

Depends a bit on the circumstances. If it amounted to dressing up for reasons I could not begin to fathom, and when at least some not insignificant set of people wouldn't be dressing up, then yeah. But for An Occasion? No. And with makeup there seem to me to be few occasions that demand it. You look fine!


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:09 PM
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176: Indeed. When I wear makeup to go out, I'm bothering with all of that to make up (hehe) for the fact that my features look like washed-out grad student on their own and I want to look cute. It's like putting on nicer clothes.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:09 PM
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I get very confused by guys who claim to be alienated by makeup

Sorry, your mascara distracted me. What were you saying?


Posted by: Idealist | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:11 PM
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In fact, fuck yeah! I'll wear foundation!

Knecht and I are going out for dinner soon. In the same spirit as Jackmormon, I pulled out the stops tonight. The Laura Mercier foundation primer, the T.LeClerc foundation, etc...
I made sure that I blended especially well tonight.

I don't do this for Knecht. I go out to dinner all the time with out him when he travels and I still wear make up. I do it for me because I like it, for me it's expressive and fun. It's not always about looking good for the man, guys.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:11 PM
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Well, that's true, Jesus. I tell my nieces, all four of them, that they are beautiful the way they are. I also resign myself to the fact that they will get sucked into the beauty industrial complex too. Lipgloss is marketed to little kids now. God, they love that glittery stuff.

I know that he still likes me even sans eyebrows and with pale lips and skin. Yet I can't help thinking myself that I look better with makeup, and that it makes me feel better too. So I do it for me, and part of that personal pleasure is the pleasure in the fact that when we go out, I look nice for him, too, even though he doesn't care one way or the other. That makes it even better, that I can do something for my personal pleasure and his (because I do want to be attractive to him, even if he says he doesn't care what I wear/do), and he is largely agnostic to it, but I like making that gesture anyway.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:12 PM
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I think it's nice when someone I'm dating dresses up a little to see me. It's not something I'd ever require, but down the opposite path be dragons.

Seriously, if you're meeting somewhere for dinner and you both put on a slightly nicer sweater than usual and a slightly nicer pair of shoes than you'd wear around your neighborhood, you're making a tiny show of the value of ritual and theater in a relationship. It's not like one has to doll up to the nines; there's a vast array of choices in the middle.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:12 PM
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I look fine in jeans, but often like to wear a skirt or dress. And for me, wearing a skirt isn't dressing up, because it's just what I wear (plus I look pretty frumpy either way!). But I could see that it would seem like dressing up to some, even though it's just what I feel like wearing. At the same time, I have felt self-conscious about, say, going out to dinner and finding that one person is significantly more done up than I am. It's tricky.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:13 PM
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183: I think I wear more makeup when I go out with the girls. Social pressure. That does annoy me a little, esp. if one of them tells me I'm not wearing enough. Then it's back to the industrial complex.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:14 PM
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That does annoy me a little, esp. if one of them tells me I'm not wearing enough.

!!! Bad friend!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:14 PM
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I do it for me because I like it, for me it's aggressive and fun.

That's what scares us.

That's not what you said? I misread, I guess.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:14 PM
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175: That's so regional and class-linked, though. It would be unusual for a woman academic in the sciences or most of the humanities at my university, or even a senior librarian or administrator, to wear much make-up. Wearing significant make-up would suggest that you're in an low-status, non-intellectual or more right-wing (financial end of administration; business program) part of the school. I don't spend a lot of time around women who wear much make-up, to the point where I really notice it if I encounter someone at work who is wearing lipstick.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:16 PM
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I'm sorry I scared you, John.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:16 PM
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190: Aren't you eliding the difference between not much and none? Lots and lots of people don't wear much makeup, but none at all is less common. IM (coastal) E.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:18 PM
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190: A well-meaning engineer/administrator/social maladept told me that it was so nice that I wore lipstick, not like so many other academics. He's someone I get along well with otherwise, and it really took my breath away. He was gone before I recovered enough to tear his head off. For the best, probably, but christ!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:19 PM
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To follow on 180: It depends how much it feels like "Dress Up." I like playing on occasion. Going to an 80s party with the OP-wear or a narrow tie seems fun. I have always wanted to go to a party that required a zoot suit. (I seem to recall pricing one in faint hope, once.) But if I started wearing a zoot suit a lot, I think any SO would think I was acting strangely, and I'd be hard pressed to disagree.

Same with makeup. Among the women I know and like best, use of makeup is usually not the rule. So it seems strange.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:20 PM
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I guess I've never really dated anyone who wasn't capable of putting together a nice outfit for a date. Not that they always *do*, but that I can notice a register shift when they want me to notice one, and I can say, "You look really great tonight." Don't most men have the "crap I'll wear just to go to work" clothes and then the slightly-nicer "something I think flatters me" clothes?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:24 PM
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192: I wanted to leave open the possibility that some women were wearing make-up but so little that I wasn't noticing it even though I look for stuff like that. I can safely say that even the "minimal-but-made-up" look isn't really all that common in the circles in which I move. And thank goodness, honestly. I would hate it passionately if I had to always be fussing with make-up in order to fit in. I am not skilled at anything that requires substantial fine motor coordination.

That's a question: O women of Unfogged, how did you learn to apply make-up? I never really did and as a result I feel that when I do it's more as a gesture, "see, I recognize that I must put on make-up for this situation", than any actual effective change in my appearance.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:24 PM
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I am not a whiz with make-up, but I learned how to be better at it by asking my little sisters, who learned from their girlfriends, and by going to the make-up counter at Macy's and watching what they did to my face.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:27 PM
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I was in charge of makeup for my theater group in high school. It's really interesting to learn how to do the exaggerated style first, because you get a really good sense of the shapes, and then you can dial that back almost all the way to zero for real-life human use. I tend to find that women who've only done light makeup their whole lives don't really get where everything goes.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:28 PM
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195: Yes, but we think of it as wearing something that she will think looks nice, not something that looks nice to casual observers and strangers even if she doesn't notice.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:28 PM
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That does annoy me a little, esp. if one of them tells me I'm not wearing enough.

Wha? Is this sort of thing common? And is this meant as "For your sake, I think you'd look better with more makeup," or as, "For my sake, I think I'd look better if I were with someone who looked better, which means you should put on more makeup"?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:29 PM
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I think the main thing that creates dissonance for me here is the sentiment on the part of some women that they just flatly look better wearing some makeup: no, you look the way you look wearing some makeup, which conforms to a specific conception of what looks better (defined eyebrows, not washed out, even skin tone, and so on).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:30 PM
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Is anyone else reminded of the passage in one of Robertson Davies' novels -- World of Wonders? -- in which the stage actors' makeup rituals are described, and one older actor's routine, in particular, involves dragging the back of an old lead spoon across his powdered cheeks to shape his jawline/cheekbones?

No? Just me, then.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:31 PM
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My ex-roommate said that she learned from her sorority sisters. She also told me to wear more makeup. I like her a lot, but there were compatibility issues in that living arrangement.

I learned by reading women's magazines in my high school days before I got some feminist mojo (although occasionally I'll read one and get really irritated and remember why I stopped, that loving fashion doesn't mean loving fashion magazines). Also, the ladies at makeup counters. Bobbi Brown, Laura Mercier.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:32 PM
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201: A distinction without a difference? Yes, it's a specific conception, in that I would be a natural beauty whose face sank a thousand ships or somesuch did we live in a world where pale eyebrows and lashes and being washed out were the height of fashion. But under a very minimal standard of what counts as better-looking in the culture I actually live in, I look better with some make-up.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:33 PM
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Amen to pretty much everything said by women above. Sucks to feel like you have to wear make-up; fun if you want to; and I've never learned how to wear it right.

One of my current reference points for how the beauty-industrial complex fucks with our heads is (embarassingly?) Survivor. *All* of the women I've ever seen on the show look better au naturel, even after a month on Random Pacific Island, than they do when they're dolled up. (Save for blemishes, clear skin being my most entrenched impossible standard.) And they're on TV! Close-up!

I want to tell them that if they're the type who feels pressured to always wear make-up, I have documentary evidence they needn't.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:34 PM
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200: When going out to a schmancy bar or restaurant with your girl friends as a part of a girls' night out (an issue in itself, I kind of am more of a pub girl than a club girl), invariably one will always say that you would look better with lipgloss, or that you would look better with eyeshadow. I never wear lipgloss or eyeshadow, so I usually get this.

I like eyeliner and lipstick and dressing up (but being comfortable), but hell, if I wore eyeshadow every day that would no longer be my natural inclination and thus not fun. I also hate goopy lip gloss. It tastes bad to me, too.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:35 PM
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Colleen Haskell, baby.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:35 PM
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202: World of Wonders. Didn't he have a skin like a lizard in real life as a result?

No, I wasn't. But I was reminded of the scene in Margaret Drabble's Radiant Way where the left-leaningest of the women is putting on the expensive foundation that she seldom wears and at that only applies sparingly. She reflects on the mendacity of cosmetics manufacturers then accidentally globs out a big blob of the stuff and puts it all on in order not to waste it...then notes with some alarm that if you cake on enough it actually does appear to work as described, and what could the catch be? Does she actually look really strange? Will it smear off and leave her looking worse than she does plain? The results of her make-up are not described in the text, however. But that particular scene does kind of describe many of my worries about cosmetics.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:36 PM
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invariably one will always say that you would look better with lipgloss

I don't know if you meant this to sound universal by using "your girlfriends," but it sure isn't.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:38 PM
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oh no, not universal, or at least that wasn't the intention. I should have said "my girlfriends." Sorry!


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:40 PM
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Resolved: I'll start wearing makeup more often. I'll look better, there's no doubt.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:42 PM
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211: I like that Bare Minerals stuff. Good for the skin, doesn't break out, doesn't look unnatural. Just evens the skin, and I do not have completely clear skin, even at this age.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:44 PM
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212: I have a feeling that 211 might have been a bit sarcastic.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:47 PM
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Pwned. I need to read whole threads.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:47 PM
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209: Well, then tell your girlfriends the Mineshaft says to back off and let you wear what you want!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:50 PM
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ooooh, I love you so much, are we going to a movie?, you are so beautiful as a flower.


Posted by: white people, again | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:50 PM
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This is sort of like the porn thing, Parsimon. You don't get why all these crazy aliens seem to enjoy something you don't, and so you act like anyone is trying to convince you to watch porn or wear makeup. No one is judging you. But it's not fair to characterize anyone here as some kind of pornolyzed fembot covered in spackle. I believe the general tone of makeup wearers here is "Very occasionally, when my skin is looking unhealthy" or else "For fun, for myself, because it's a choice." Not one person here said everyone, including you, would look better with makeup.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:50 PM
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Oops, 215 ==> 210.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:50 PM
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And another thing . . .

Like many women I know who rarely wear make-up, I've accumulated a ridiculous amount of it over the years. I walk into a drug store or past a make-up counter and get that feeling that "oh, *this* shade of lipstick won't make me feel like a clown when I wear it"; "maybe *this* brand of eye shadow will somehow last more than an hour without getting creased and gross"; "surely *this* . . . ." You get the idea.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:52 PM
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BTW, I totally for real passed an honest-to-god pornolyzed fembot going down to get my laundry just now, and it heightened the contrast for me. Six-inch tiger-striped heels, a giant hairy white fur coat, a crotch-length miniskirt belted with gold, gigantic hair, and a good quarter-inch of makeup with bright red lipstick. For all I know, it was a costume. Costumes are fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:53 PM
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Short-hop flights in Eastern Europe are AMAZING for people-watching of the pornolyzed fembot variety. Holy shit, man.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:56 PM
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Yeah, my first thought was "Russian prostitute." But then I heard the friend she was visiting with giggling about how great her shoes were, so I assume costume, either of the casual fun-going-out kind or the costume-party kind.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:57 PM
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Six-inch tiger-striped heels, a giant hairy white fur coat, a crotch-length miniskirt belted with gold, gigantic hair, and a good quarter-inch of makeup with bright red lipstick.

I bet it was a man.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:59 PM
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219: My mother has a whole collection of drugstore makeup like that. Stuff she bought once fifteen years ago or a sampler she was given at Christmas.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 5:59 PM
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211 wasn't sarcastic, it was sad. I know perfectly well that according to the existing standard, the vast majority of women look better wearing a little makeup. And that I would.

You don't get why all these crazy aliens seem to enjoy something you don't, and so you act like anyone is trying to convince you to watch porn or wear makeup. No one is judging you. ... Not one person here said everyone, including you, would look better with makeup.

Oh, I think people are saying that. I don't think it's a crazy alien thing; I understand it completely. God knows I've worn makeup, and more than just a little, at various points in the past. I have enjoyed it, and still do at times, except that it makes me sad.

I'd like to see the existing standard changed a little bit, so that pale to nonexistent eyelashes or eyebrows don't register as problematic (say). And I don't see how we accomplish such a thing if we continue to conform.

That said, I do (really) periodically resolve to wear more makeup -- usually when I'm single and looking.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:01 PM
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My grandmothers and aunts gave me so many of those huge eyeshadow samplers for Christmas gifts (in the hopes that I'd start being more girly?) that I started using them instead of pastels for art projects. I made all these hilariously shimmery portraits in college.

Sometimes I'd hang out with my girlfriends in high school and do everyone's face up like some kind of futuristic alien and we'd go to a convenience store that way and giggle. Immaturity was pretty fun, and I think we gave the kid behind the counter a weird little thrill.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:03 PM
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226: Oh, god, the eyeshadow samplers! Those things were amazing in how they never had a single shade that worked on the face of any person ever! And how they multiplied!

I gave them to my sisters.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:06 PM
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I suppose I didn't respond properly to the makeup effects of this woman I've been seeing, because she just applied the Ultimate Dumpifier to the nascent relationship.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:08 PM
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Gifts with purchase guarantee that you'll have bags of unusable makeup (because they always give bags too).


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:08 PM
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225: I can't see the standard going away, because at the minimal levels of make-up we're talking about, it's either about concealing uneven color or about playing up one's good features.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:09 PM
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AWB is right about theater makeup. I was actually horrible at wearing makeup in early high school, but after a couple years of doing stage makeup, something just clicked for me. I'm actually pretty excellent at putting it on now.

Anyway, people who think that MAKEUP LOOKS HORRIBLE have a poor sense of what minimal-to-medium well-applied makeup looks like.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:11 PM
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Now I'm going to reclaim my goddess power by choosing to put on eyeliner before I go out for a belated birthday dinner!


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:12 PM
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230: Men don't wear makeup to conceal uneven color or play up their good features. Perhaps instead of trying to fight the hopeless battle for a broader conception of beauty in women, it would make sense to advocate for makeup on men.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:19 PM
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I almost suggested that. I think that would be great.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:20 PM
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it would make sense to advocate for makeup on men.

This has been happening for decades. American Psycho notes the beginning of it.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:21 PM
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It's not widespread, of course, because that's just it. Men hate makeup. If they liked it, they'd wear it. But misogynists are sexually attracted to whatever they hate most, so they date women who wear makeup and then bitch about it all the time.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:22 PM
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228: Really? Just now? Ouch. That's--I presume--a shame.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:24 PM
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So because wearing makeup is what women do...and misogynists hate women...misogynists hate makeup!

It's hard to keep up with all the ways to be a misogynist nowadays.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:27 PM
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228: I'm sorry, Flip. But I guess you knew the writing was on the wall?


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:30 PM
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Non-broken link for 239


Posted by: Otto von Bisquick | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:31 PM
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238: No, misogynists hate femininity, not all women everywhere. Misogynists are perfectly friendly with non-feminine women. They just prefer to date the feminine ones.

That's it! No more definition to learn! So it's not too hard!


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:32 PM
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237: A little earlier today. I'm not at all surprised (differences in personality, particularly w/r/t conflict), but I sort of thought we had another month or two in us.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:32 PM
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I almost suggested that. I think that would be great.

Progress! I guess I don't, because I don't want to see a narrowing of conceptions of male attractiveness.

Men hate makeup. If they liked it, they'd wear it.

This just sounds weird to me, AWB. They don't like it on themselves because they don't have to wear it; it's a pain in the ass to have to try to conform to a standard of beauty that doesn't match your natural self. I'll be so bold as to say that women like it chiefly because they've been trained to want to look attractive according to the existing standard. So it feels good. (I know this, it does feel good.)

That leaves completely aside the wearing of makeup as as kind of play acting, the way children enjoy being theatrical.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:36 PM
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I DON'T EVEN OWN A MAKEUP!


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:38 PM
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And Flip, I am sorry.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:38 PM
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I was being a little glib there. I actually think it's true, but there are several steps missing.

(And I do know a few men who have makeup-wearing fetishes. They're not transvestites in full, but they do put on lipstick sometimes at home, alone or during sex.)


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:40 PM
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I feel OK, but I appreciate the condolences.

I think I'll go see where I left my World of Warcraft character before I slipped into the dimension of the relationshipped.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:42 PM
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during sex

*During*? That seems... awkward.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:44 PM
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I think I'll go see where I left my World of Warcraft character

You can pull a Leroy!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:45 PM
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241: AWB is right. I spent many years on an opera list-serv until the crazy and the misogyny (and the crazy misogyny) finally drove me away. But man alive, there was no greater hatred than that reserved for a conventionally pretty, conventionally feminine singer. Renée Fleming was sort of the white hot center of this.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:49 PM
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I think OPINIONATED GRANDMA should be a superdelegate.

Also, those makeup GWPs are a bit of a scam.


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:51 PM
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And I do know a few men who have makeup-wearing fetishes.

Heh, I don't know about fetishes, but per the question upthread: while I learned most of what I know about makeup from women's magazines, and yeah, theater, I probably learned most from a (male) friend in college who'd worked as a model. He'd make me up before we went out, pretty serious sessions, complete with me coveting something he'd used on me (turns out olive is a great eyeliner color for red/brownish blonds and dark blue eyes). Fun times. Another age.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 6:54 PM
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It's funny--I was brought up on very, very conventional (old-fashioned, actually) gender lines, but there was always the subtext that it was wrong and vain to try to look "your best" as opposed to simply blending in. Make-up, yes, my mother always wears make-up. But it's always been more about conforming to expectation than about beauty.

In retrospect, I think that this is because my mother doesn't particularly like fussing with make-up but feels she has to do it; when I was a teenager, though, I took it as some sort of hair-shirt-like rebuke to the flesh: "you will put in the daily effort of make-up but you won't actually derive any benefit from it".


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:03 PM
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I'm shocked there's not more praise for the heroics of Leroy Jenkins, as linked in 249.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:06 PM
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That was pretty funny, Stanley. But my knowledge of WoW is only second-hand. Maybe none of the WoWers are watching the makeup thread?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:07 PM
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'Cept Flip, of course.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:09 PM
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"you will put in the daily effort of make-up but you won't actually derive any benefit from it"

Oh, you see this all the time: women wearing a token dash of mascara or whatever, or with plucked eyebrows and a smear of lipstick but otherwise unadorned, because you're supposed to, part of being fit to be seen in public. It's disturbing.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:14 PM
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disturbing

That seems a little strong. Disturbing? Like incest?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:16 PM
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In my experience, the sort of man who makes most noise about really honestly sincerely preferring women without makeup is also most likely to post humiliating pictures of women without makeup in embarrassing moments and then claim it's all just a joke. There are exceptions - this is a generalization - but the correlation is suspiciously strong in my experience. What a lot of men want, after decades of environmental factors, is a kind of image that can scarcely exist in reality at all; it's as much Photoshop as anything.

I'm not exempting myself from this. I'm aware of having messed-up attractiveness cues, and hope simply to be making gradual progress on appreciating more of what the people I love actually have.


Posted by: Bruce Baugh | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:18 PM
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In my experience, the sort of man who makes most noise about really honestly sincerely preferring women without makeup is also most likely to post humiliating pictures of women without makeup in embarrassing moments and then claim it's all just a joke
Whoa there.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:23 PM
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257: I would almost agree with you if I thought that "fit to be seen in public" were the criterion. No doubt that's true of some places, but it wouldn't look particularly unusual any of the places I've lived to run out the door barefaced. To be well-dressed *might* involve a little makeup, but it probably also involves nicer clothing, too.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:25 PM
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the sort of man who makes most noise about really honestly sincerely preferring women without makeup is also most likely to post humiliating pictures of women without makeup in embarrassing moments and then claim it's all just a joke.

How funny/strange would it be if you and AWB unknowingly hung out with the same guys? You're not in NYC (IIRC), are you?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:29 PM
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261: Again, I think this varies a lot by class and region. Not to mention generation.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:30 PM
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It's not like there are five misogynists in the world, Tim, all of them in NYC. Ever read the comments on WWTDD?


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:33 PM
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258: Like incest? What?

No, it's disturbing because it seems so obvious that they're only doing it because it's part of some idea of what's required to be fit to be seen in public, so as not to garner attention. You brush your teeth in the morning before you go out, you slap on some mascara. But of course!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:34 PM
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264: Fair enough.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:34 PM
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I'm just saying that referring to a very minor aesthetic choice (one that has been described roughly similarly as a common practice of several people in this very thread) as "disturbing" (as opposed to, say, something you don't like) seems unnecessarily hostile to me.

I'm envious that you live in a world in which seeing a spectacle like a woman with mascara on still has the power it does. How must you feel about those women, like my mother, who really feels the need to put on a little foundation to go to the store? Horrified? Demoralized?

Whatever. I'm out of here.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:44 PM
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What parsimon is saying hardly seems radical: it's disturbing that the state of things for women is such that going out in public without messing with their faces feels uncomfortable and/or required for so many of them.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:48 PM
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I think I mostly agree with Parsimon. I don't have any real objection to makeup, and I understand that for some women, it's a source of pleasure, artistry and etc. But I do think it's sad when the norm becomes something like, You can't go out until you've camouflaged your "flaws" (while "making the most of your best features!", of course, which all the beauty mags suggest).


Posted by: Invisible Adjunct | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 7:59 PM
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267: AWB, you're out of here, but there's nothing hostile in what I've said. I completely understand the social circumstances involved.

I'm envious that you live in a world in which seeing a spectacle like a woman with mascara on still has the power it does. How must you feel about those women, like my mother, who really feels the need to put on a little foundation to go to the store? Horrified? Demoralized?

Not horrified, of course not. But I do really notice when a woman who's otherwise unadorned is wearing mascara or eyeliner. Sometimes it's charming (especially in older ladies who wear lipstick to physical therapy, say). Sometimes it just looks silly to me. But I don't mock.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:01 PM
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Oh, and I should add: sometimes I think "She looks hot."


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:14 PM
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may be i do something wrong but when i do some makeup i get pimples like for sure
though i envied in my time girls who did and looked flawless now kinda all indifferent to that stuff
that kids talking site is hilarious


Posted by: read | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:19 PM
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I stop bathing and doing laundry as soon as I get in a relationship, because she likes me for who I am on the inside.

Also, to whomever complained about how good the Survivor cast looks without makeup: it must be a strange existence to be so credulous about TV. Do you ever wonder how David Hasselhoff really got his car to talk?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:35 PM
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268/269
I totally agree that no one should feel like they can't leave their home with out make-up on, that somehow we are inherently flawed and need to conceal this, to show the world our "best." However, it does not make it simultaneously true that if a woman chooses to wear make up that she is doing it because she is caving into social pressure, or letting her fellow sister's down. It's a choice.
Like waxing your eyebrows, shaving your legs and/or armpits, coloring your hair, or wearing anti-aging face cream is a choice. Not good/bad. A Choice. A Preference.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:46 PM
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268: There's a fine line between thinking that a requirement to wear make-up to go out in public is wrong, and thinking that someone thinking she looks better with make-up on means she's... I dunno. A sad creature to be pitied? Horribly in thrall to a patriarchal society? Excessively vain?

I'm unclear where this conversation is drawing that line, mostly, because, and I realize this is just my experience, I don't feel like I have to bother with make-up to do anything in my life, except look like I have eyebrows. So saying 'how disturbing she feels like she has to wear make-up' is ringing here as 'how dare you care what you look like' because the 'feel like she has to' doesn't make a lot of sense.

I find the sort of minimal make-up I do most days to be about on par with shivbunny shaving. Minor daily maintenance that doesn't strike me as all that bad, as it isn't mandatory.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:46 PM
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My one concession to the arbitrary whims of fashion is to braid my nose hairs but honestly I just couldn't look at myself in the mirror otherwise.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:49 PM
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If you were truly fashionable, Sifu, you'd put some beads on the ends of the braids.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:49 PM
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277: then where would I keep my keys?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:54 PM
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Macrame your facial hair into a lanyard.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:55 PM
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perhaps on the ends of your ear hair braids? Like ear rings.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:56 PM
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Boy women really do know more about fashion.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:58 PM
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Boy women!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:59 PM
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thinking that someone thinking she looks better with make-up on means she's... I dunno. A sad creature to be pitied? Horribly in thrall to a patriarchal society? Excessively vain?

If this is an attempted gloss on things I've said, it's wrong. I have already said that according to the existing standard, most of us do look better with makeup on. I've merely said that I am sad that the standard for women's beauty is narrower than that for men, that I wish we didn't have to deal with this, but we do. We all do care what we look like, and it's completely reasonable and understandable to do so, and to take steps accordingly.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 8:59 PM
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Boy Woman and Man Lass! It could be a superhero team!

Help, Boy Woman! My nosebraids are caught in this deadly trap!

Here, Man Lass, grab my ear lanyard and swing to safety!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:00 PM
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Sabu the Jungle Boy, where are you?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:11 PM
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I file my teeth, but that's as much functional as decorative.


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:15 PM
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haven't had time to read this thread, is anyone else a toothfiler? Anyone wanna exchange tips & tricks?


Posted by: felix | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:17 PM
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is anyone else a toothfiler?

Filing them to points? That sounds dangerous. Like it could result in a loved one accidentally losing a chunk of ear or nipple.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:24 PM
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When Knecht and I started dating seriously he was living in Paris. I would go there and visit him for five or six days every month or so. On one trip, I decided to paint the interior of his apartment. My first day I was so focused on painting that I ignored my hunger until my blood sugar dropped beyond the point of no return. This is a huge problem for me, so with out thinking I went outside to grab something to eat QUICKLY.
As soon as I stepped outside, I realized the error of my ways.
No make up, messy hair, and paint on my jeans- people literally crossed the street to avoid me. Every passer-by on the street was scandalized by my appearance. For the next several days, I would paint, change my clothes, put up my hair, put on lip stick and mascara, and grab lunch. It sucked. I felt so resentful that I had to look "presentable" to grab a crepe.

I still like to wear make up sometimes, when it suits me. But I understand rallying against the feeling that one has to wear it to appear acceptable.


Posted by: Fleur | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:25 PM
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Tips: of teeth, pointy
Tricks: surprising people with pointy teeth


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:26 PM
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I'm not sure it's a good idea to surprise people with pointy teeth. Unless you're of the "Screw the Roses, I'll Take the Thorns" persuasion of course. Which, if you are, that's cool, whatever floats your boat, man.


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:31 PM
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It's a trick, not a treat!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:32 PM
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Right, but my point (heh, heh) is that the trick might be on you!

ISRPTFY!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:34 PM
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I need a drink.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:36 PM
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294: That's funny, I said exactly the same thing a few hours ago!


Posted by: minneapolitan | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:37 PM
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289: That's awful, Fleur. I'm sorry you had that experience! I wonder also if store owners and vendors would have been less friendly to you had you just rolled out paint-stained. There's apperance discrimination in American shops as well, to be sure (esp. as dressing well correlates to perceived ability to pay at fancy stores), but at least not at the hotdog stands.

Last year I hung out with the Frenchies in my international student dominant program. I felt like I had to wear "non-trainer" shoes and makeup and stuff just to hang out with them. They actually left-handed complimented me the first time I met them by saying that I didn't look like an American because I was wearing some sort of professional, put together outfit and makeup. My self-esteem took a dive until I stopped hanging out with them. Thereafter I adamantly refused to wear heels for a while, and took pleasure in wearing my school sweatshirts again.

Dating TD makes me feel like I can take pleasure in the personal act of makeup and dress and not worry about its performative aspect. He doesn't especially care, and so I want to do it again.


Posted by: Belle Lettre | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:37 PM
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I need a drink.

I recommend Moosehead. I'm having one right now.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:40 PM
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I recommend tea with honey, lemon, and Laird's 100 proof apple brandy.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:44 PM
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That right there's the difference between me and ben, everyone.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:46 PM
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That sounds lovely, but I have no alcohol and chamomile tea isn't cutting it.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:49 PM
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Come on over; I've got plenty.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:50 PM
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Kentucky bourbon sipped to the scent of the chili slow cooking in the kitchen is the fare of choice here tonight. Mm. Slow cooker.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:52 PM
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Hendiadys is the rhetorical device of choice there tonight, I see.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:54 PM
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303: You're just covetous of the chili (which doesn't even qualify as chili for the chili fascists, it being chili with no meat; but covetous you remain).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 9:58 PM
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I confirm, by the way, that this is an excellent way to roast garlic.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:04 PM
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Roasted garlic in your chili, then? Nothing is sacred.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:08 PM
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305: That garlic looks great. She's right about kosher salt, too.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:08 PM
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306: It's not even real chili. He can put whatever the hell he wants in it.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:09 PM
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308: Exactly. It's leftist chili, freed from the constraints of the liberal chiliarchy.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:11 PM
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I'm having a chiliasm so intense it's like the world is ending, over here.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:15 PM
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The photos in the link in 305 are some real nice food porn.

Chicken with 40 cloves also produces excellent roasted garlic, with the added benefit of chicken fat.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:23 PM
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Chicken with 40 cloves also produces excellent roasted garlic, with the added benefit of chicken fat.

How schmaltzy.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:24 PM
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The photos in the link in 305 are some real nice food porn.

Dude, that whole blog if food porn. Read some of the sidebar posts. I particularly enjoy her unwavering stance on butter (use it! yeah, I know. use it!).


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:28 PM
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310: That's, like, 1000 orgasms, right?


Posted by: Merganser | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 10:29 PM
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most makeup si pretty meh, and face irregularities aren't usually bad (and even wrinkles, prior to the skin-sagging age, don't seem unattractive), but eyeliner/shadow is awsome. i remember seeing the picture of my sr prom date when she went with my friend the year after, and almost laughed at how bad the makeup was. i sort of wondered if it wasn't intentional. i never asked anyone that though.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 11:30 PM
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oh, and it was foundation-lipstick related. maybe the eye thing is from running in hipster circles.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 11:32 PM
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some men definatly would look better with makeup. looking at a mixed sex group this can be really obvious. but maybe its my thing again because i envision depp-style eyeliner (even though other than that and lack of facial fat on his cheekbones he looks meh)


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-23-08 11:52 PM
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289: I guess there are ugly sides but i really appreciated the generally high level of selfpresentation of people i saw in france. is europe generally more *oppressive* about making sure people are putting effort in?


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:03 AM
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318
Given all the talk about it, I've generally been surprised at how little difference there is in how people react depending on dress in casual day to day situations. That includes France, where I've spent plenty of time, though only a little bit in Paris which may be different.

On the 'why guys claim they don't like make up' thing - speaking for myself, if a women routinely pays a lot of attention to her own clothes and makeup, it's a big flashing warning sign that she's not likely to tolerate my own disinterest in what I where and my all around extreme messiness. Plus it's at best a small plus in physical attractiveness and can be a big minus - heavy, intense powders and stuff - yuck.


Posted by: tkm | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 12:58 AM
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I call shenanigans on hendiadys?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:51 AM
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I call ! on ?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:51 AM
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Anecdata: I work with a guy who wears make-up, and let me tell you, it looks very nice. He has pretty eyes. And he's not one of those emo-boys who would look pretty even swathed in yards of burlap, either.

I'm not sure what this means for the patriarchy, except that at least it's not too much daily effort to apply eyeliner.


Posted by: Frowner | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:20 AM
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Don't make me put my one through your two, Sifu.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:47 AM
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I got some twinness right here, pal!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:58 AM
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i envision depp-style eyeliner (even though other than that and lack of facial fat on his cheekbones he looks meh)

This is blasphemy!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:18 AM
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He does have facial fat on his cheekbones?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:20 AM
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Johnny Depp and "meh" are opposites!


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:29 AM
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Johnny Depp = "hem"?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 11:31 AM
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It's just something that displaces the guy from the center of the woman's universe.

I'm surprised people didn't jump all over this. Dude, if wearing makeup is going to help me filter out guys who expect to be at the center of my universe -- I shall learn to slather the stuff on thick! Blech.


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 7:48 PM
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colored eyecontacts are much cooler for making eyels look pretty.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:04 PM
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Hem is a good band.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 02-24-08 9:06 PM
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Looks like I'm the outlier, then.

I think a lot of women look pretty great with make-up. It's not universally true that everyone looks great 'natural' [and, as has already been stated, 'natural' often means 'subtle makeup' rather than 'no makeup].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 02-25-08 12:57 AM
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