Getting healthy, working out, having a good appearance, hygiene, self-improvement, education, career, healing trauma, learning assertiveness and boundaries, are all aspects of what FDS teaches to level up. This includes wearing makeup, which can and will be a part of this process for many women in their journey to level up and attract and expand their dating pool of men.
But I wanted to make this post to articulate that although women, myself included, may in many instances choose to participate in wearing making (eyeliner, blush, lipstick, foundation, contouring, etc) and other cosmetic practices, wearing making is in no way liberating, a form of “self-expression” or an artform.
These are cultural practices that we as young girls are socialized into. We are bombarded, since childhood, with advertisements and cultural messages that make up is just a natural inclination for women. That women look best with some make up on. The advertisements we see are of women with dolled up, looking their best, with red lips and long lashes. These messages teach us that we should want to look like the women in these adds if we want to get attention or be of value. Wearing make-up becomes a bonding activity between mom and daughter or with friends. It’s so pervasive that any critique sounds like an attack on our identity or our person.
But make up is a multi-billion-dollar industry that feeds on the securities of young girls and women. That may have us investing so much time in that we may take 2-3 hrs just to get “our face on” before leaving the house. Women are exposed to literally pounds of toxic chemicals over their lifespan because of make-up. There are consequences for women for not living up to ‘beauty standards’ interpersonally and at work.
So this is not a post to persuade you to stop wearing make-up. By all meanings, if wearing some makes you feel good, go for it. We’ve had years of socialization to adopt this belief. If wearing make up gets you respect at your company, do so. If the profession you want to enter “requires” a professional look for women, follow through. If wearing make-up allows you to have more dating options, then I’m all for it.
But we don’t have to believe the argument from libfems or the make-up industry, that make up is ‘empowerment’ , that’s its ‘self -expression’. There are real consequences for women who don’t live up to these beauty standards and for women who are perceived wearing too much make up. Nothing so culturally pervasive, dominating, and carrying such negative consequences for women can be labeled ‘self-expression’ or an ‘artform’.
It's important we are critical of messages that label anything pushed on women as ‘empowerment/agency/self-expression/. We can’t allow messages that reflect the interest of men or of companies to take away our critical faculties on understanding power dynamics. We can engage in cosmetic practices while understanding completely that they are also collectively problematic but personally useful.