“I’m not wearing ANY makeup today.”
“It took me, like, five minutes to get ready this morning.”
“I am so low maintenance, I take less time to get ready than my boyfriend.”
“I don’t know why other girls spend so much time getting ready, I just roll out of bed.”
First of all, these statements ARE true for some women, but generally, the women that these statements are true for are not the ones who say them. My low maintenance clients complain about taking five minutes to do something, not brag about it… And really, they rarely mention it unless prodded because they don’t care.
Usually when I hear these kinds of statements it is from people who clearly have spent some time on themselves, and often a substantial amount of time. I do consider myself low maintenance, so maybe it is just that what seems like a ton of work to out in daily to me is very minor to other women, but the statements I am referring to in this post are not relative statements, they tend to be fairly specific and so obviously false. Two things puzzle me greatly about this: first, that some women feel the need to lie, and second, that men believe such lies. Really, I think such statements are damaging to both genders and their relationship with each other. And yes, I am taking this issue far too seriously. The issue itself is fairly benign but it is a symptom of something more serious.
Why do women lie? I have many answers.
The first is something I mention often in my blog because I think it is the culprit of most of the damaging aspects of the beauty industry and that is the inherent competition between females. I wish that as women, and moreso as people, we could be united. I believe that naturally we want to be benevolent but that culture dictates feelings of jealousy and insecurity. I’m not sure how this started, but these feelings are powerful motives to buy, buy, buy, so that is why they are encouraged by the media in sometimes subtle and sometimes extreme ways. In the case of women claiming they have spent an extremely small amount of time on themselves, it is one woman putting herself in a good light through implications that other women do so much more and that such routines are shallow wastes of time. Usually there is an explicit jab at womankind thrown in there but not always. Some men will be inclined to believe this because they don’t know as much about makeup, they just know they’ve seen some girls with way too much on and they don’t like that. When asked, a lot of men will say they prefer women without makeup on, but prior to their first experience living with a woman, I think a lot of them don’t really realize just what women look like without makeup. To see a woman who claims to not be wearing any makeup, but is clearly wearing foundation, concealer, mascara, eyeliner, lip gloss and blush reaffirms an unreal expectation for what women look like. Some women are just naturally nearly flawless. If they are bare faced and proclaim it it isn’t a lie, but it still has an air of condescension towards other women. And really, even if a woman is not wearing anything that day, there is often a beauty regiment at work.
Another reason women lie about their beauty routine is because natural beauty is very in right now and many men prefer it. But these days it seems to me that natural beauty seems to just mean that you don’t need to do as much in the morning. Permanent makeup, tanning, laser hair removal, cosmetic surgeries and eyelash serums and extensions are very popular these days. I hear people claim to not care at all about their looks and that they are extremely low maintenance when all of these things are in play. I don’t have a problem with any of these things, and some I think are quite awesome, but why not call a spade a spade?
Which brings me to the final point I’ll discuss in this post, that women are defensive about their beauty routines because they don’t want to be viewed as shallow. Which is ironic because statements like those above encourage judgment! Some women wear a lot of makeup, some don’t and it is more apparent on some than others. It doesn’t matter and it doesn’t change who you are on the inside. It is perfectly fine and natural to care what you look like and playing with your hair and makeup is fun and that’s ok! If a woman doesn’t want to be viewed as shallow she should talk about other things, not other women or her “lack” of mirror time. Usually an unprovoked “I don’t do ___________” is cause for suspicion.
Some women like beauty and makeup, others don’t, and that is ok. And while I don’t endorse obsessive or unhealthy behavior, I believe there is nothing to be ashamed in with taking an hour or more to get ready for your day and it does not make someone (necessarily) shallow. Beauty and fashion give people a chance to express themselves and use their creativity and it is a lot of fun and it can be very empowering. I believe that women, especially strong, intelligent and capable women, have a very warped relationship with the beauty industry. They feel it will tie them down. They feel if image is important to them they are not strong, intelligent and capable. They drive a wedge between themselves and the “girly-girls.” They want to be different and better. But in the world and within them image is still important so there is a disconnect and that is where these statements sometimes come from. But there is no dichotomy. There are just people and each person, whether they repress it or not, has some feelings and connections to the beauty industry.
So don’t be afraid of makeup, or your hair. Just have fun with it, as much or as little as you want to, and then go out into the world without judgment and you won’t have to waste your time with lies and insecurity. I know these comments are not intentional or calculated by any means, but when that insecurity has vanished, just think how much time you have to talk about all the more important things in life?