Monday, April 18, 2011

Trying to look like we're not or we don't...


     As evidenced by the above illustration, there was a lot that the '50s got wrong. However, as I was driving around the other day I started thinking about one thing that I think they may have gotten right. Let me explain...I've recently started wearing lipstick. I like it. It's fun and colorful and makes me feel like I am officially having fun when I am wearing it. It is decidedly makeup in a way that my normal chapstick is not. I don't wear it all the time, just when I feel like it. The problem is, though, when you wear lipstick it gets on whatever you are drinking---straws, wine glasses, etc. And then everyone knows you are wearing lipstick, which, of course they do because your lips are not naturally the color of tomatoes...but still, I started questioning my recent departure from nude lips, simply because it would produce tangible evidence that I was wearing honest-to-god makeup. And this made me think about how ridiculous it is for women these days. Maybe this is from my beach-girl, California upbringing, but I have a feeling that while lipstick may be an extreme example, other women do the same thing. We wear makeup but try to act like we're not wearing makeup. At least in the '50s a gal could rock some red lips at dinnertime and not get surprised looks from passerby's. So many makeup advertisements have some sort of tagline that has to do with giving you "that natural glow." Really? I'm fairly certain no one wakes up looking like they have iridescent, peach dew on their cheeks. I certainly don't. For all of you who may be wondering: I buy my peach dew at Target on aisle 14.
     Here's what else I hate: wearing underwear while trying to look like you're not wearing underwear...ALL THE TIME. Seriously? The lengths we women go to to look as though we are magically not wearing underwear when we are...why is it that we must do this? Why is it we must forego the right of comfortable underclothes in order to avoid any evidence that we are, in fact, doing the sanitary thing and wearing underwear?
     Also, nipples. This is one of my major pet peeves about American society. Women have nipples, and yet we must do everything to avoid that fact becoming readily apparent on a chilly day. I happen to like my nipples. Yes, I just said that on the internet. I like them. They are a part of my body and I have stopped trying to hide them, mainly because padded bras are uncomfortable, but also because I think it's ridiculous that this part of the female anatomy is so clandestine. I mean, obviously I'm not championing full on nip slippage, but breasts have certain shape to them and nipples have a mind of their own and I don't see why someone should have to feel they ought to tell me, in public, that I might need to put on a sweater because..."well, y'know (insert pointed look towards my chest)." The shapes of women's' bodies in general are sensual, and while I do believe women should not look like trashy call-girls all the time (yes, there is a time and a place), I think that there is something beautiful about a woman's body that cannot be undone by any amount or type of clothing (for the most part). On this note, I also hate those "dress for your body type" articles in magazines...how to dress so that women who have hips look like they don't have hips, etc. I guess my point is...I'm suddenly frustrated with all the things that women do or are expected to do that are also things we pretend to not do or to not have. I have hips and nipples, I wear lipstick sometimes...it's all true, and you heard it here first.

2 comments:

  1. From one California girl to another - I love this post. From the trying to look like I'm not wearing make-up to the making sure no one sees the evidence of chilly room upon my chest. Here's to ditching the padded bras every once in a while and wearing lipstick that is definitely NOT the color of my lips. Good commentary. =)

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  2. love it. seriously, so good! i wore my bright pink lipstick to work yesterday and thought of you:)

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