Friday, 24 January 2014
A lick of paint
A strategic dab of make-up here and there can be beneficial. A smear of lipstick. A smudge of mascara. But piling it on with a trowel until it becomes a kind of obliterating mask - what's the point?
When I see photos of celebs, they're always thick with make-up. To see them au naturelle would apparently be unthinkable, shocking, repulsive. Who would want to contemplate such a dreadful sight?
Yet to my mind, on the odd occasion when they're seen without their cosmetic veneer, they usually look much more real, much more interesting. Lady Gaga, for instance. Or Julia Roberts. Or Halle Berry.
Employers often expect women to wear make-up. Supposedly they look more professional, more trustworthy, more reassuring. A natural-looking woman would apparently frighten off the customers with some sort of unwholesome aura.
Personally I tend to see an employee in thick make-up as less trustworthy, not more. I associate a slick, glossy appearance, be it make-up, a flashy suit or a fancy hairdo, with phoneyness and sharp practice. Perverse maybe, but I'm sure I'm not the only one.
There was a brief feminist fashion in the seventies for going without make-up, or at least wearing the bare minimum. Unfortunately it didn't last, undermined by the combined pressures of advertising, gender stereotypes and self-aversion.
One thing's for sure - the cosmetics business is laughing all the way to the bank.