Some time ago some of my Facebook friends were spreading a text titled something like "What do you tell your child when she asks you why you wear make-up?" I read it to find out it was about how wearing make-up means you are shallow, insecure and unintelligent. It's not the only text with the same message I have read.
I know the intention of the text and my friends sharing it was to question the beauty industry, demands of being beautiful all the time and so on. Indeed, no one should wear make-up just because someone else wants that. No one should feel she's not accepted if she doesn't have make-up on.
Still, I find texts of this category disturbing. Maybe it's because I wear make-up myself. I started it in my teenage when I was 14 or something like that. Together with my best friend we would spend hours exploring the cosmetic departments at supermarkets and reading girls' magazines to learn how to use them.
There have also been years when I didn't wear any make-up at all. The main reason for this was the company. At first it was a religious group (I was never a member myself) and then a political group of young people. In the religious group make-up wasn't banned but not recommended either. In the political group make-up was more or less openly disapproved. Not wearing make-up was considered as a brave statement of self-confidence. I still liked cosmetic departments and women's magazines. I was a bit like an anorectic in a grocery store: I desired everything but couldn't buy anything.
A few years ago I started to wear make-up again. Not every day, only when I feel like it. Not in Summer because the heat would ruin the make-up. Not when I travel because I don't want too much luggage. I don't do it to attract men - I'm faithfully married and I know my husband feels I'm beautiful anyway. I don't do it to hide who I really am - I know I'm pretty enough. It just happens to feel good. Like a hobby. It certainly doesn't do any harm to me.
Am I more shallow now? Less intelligent? Less descent? Less secure? If that's the case, I've became too stupid to understand that. I haven't noticed any increased popularity or compliments, either. But that wasn't my goal in the first place.
What disturbs me most in many of the texts that judge wearing make-up is that they claim to be feministic. To me, one of the great things about feminism has always been the idea that everybody should be able to govern their own body and supporting each other. Judgemental texts don't represent those great ideas too well.