The Politics of Make-Up

Good morning reader (not sure there’s more than one of you but if there is, pretend I am talking especially to you because, no snark,  you’re fucking special)! 

Wow has it been a stressful week! After my nice long weekend with the people I really dig the most, the rest of the week really came at me hard.

“Hey, Christina! Oh, you had a nice weekend free of stress? Well guess what?”


My week not giving a single fuck about preserving my sanity.

I work in a non-profit that provides social services to needy people, so right off the bat I already know when I go into work it’s going to be a mess; we as a society have collectively decided that we really don’t really care what state our social service providers are in. I expect marco problems that come with working in the field I am in, but I was also lucky enough to be barraged with mirco problems as well. On top of this, I am also hashtagblessed enough to get to deal with the stress that comes with raising kids in the middle of a divorce.

What I am saying is, I need to talk about something that makes me happy: make-up! Or in this case, being a feminist kill-joy and all, make-up politics.

 The patriarchy has a very specific beauty standard and while it does include make-up, it must be the right kind and the right amount. It must make the wearer look naturally flawless, an air-brushed face that’s never seen the inside of a Sephora. Anything outside this standard is “fair game” for criticism. Since I am a person who wears make-up, I am going to speak to the criticism from that side, even though I am well-aware that women who choose to eschew cosmetics receive the same amount of flak. There’s really no winning. 

Since make-up is a hobby for me, I wear a lot of it as well as buy a lot of it. I have a vanity filled with foundations, powders, eye shadows, liners, mascaras, as well as weird things only make-up junkies seem to own, like special sponges,  oils, and sprays. Because this is what I enjoy doing with my time and money, an activity that’s considered feminine, I am deemed vapid. I will never forget one experience I had that really highlighted this belief; I was sitting at a restaurant with some now former co-workers and somehow the topic of getting ready in the morning came up. I mentioned about half of my morning make-up routine and was gawked at by some of the women at the table (the people at this table were all women, btw). One of my former co-workers, who I considered a very nice women who didn’t seem the type to criticize told me point blank what I did sounded like a waste of time.


An accurate representation of what it’s like to be a make-up junkie in the patriarchy

This is pretty much the standard reaction I get from strangers and people I don’t know well (because if you spout this garbage to me, I will never know you well). My hobby is a waste of time. Let’s just think about that for a second; isn’t that exactly what a hobby is? A way to pass the time? Why is mine worthy of criticism? The short answer is because it’s too feminine and we don’t care to examine our ideas of “masculine” and “feminine” or why we value one more than the other.

Since this is my blog and the patriarchy is firmly banned, I say fuck it. You do you. Wash your face with bar soap and call it a day? That’s amazing, keep doing that forever. Wear full beat face, complete with baking, a sharp af contour, winged liner to match, and false lashed daily? I love it, don’t ever change. If you like make-up, go for it. There are no rules, no boundaries, no expectations. Wear it however you want, no matter who throws negativity at you (unless that someone is your boss. I speak from personal experience). Make-up is for everyone but it certainly isn’t mandatory. It has no bearing on anyone as a person. It’s just another art form some people do because they want to. 

Hopefully soon my broke ass will have some new make-up to share and review. Fingers crossed!


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