If you’d like to have a really interesting conversation, tell a female that she just looks great without makeup and she should stop wearing it.
You will be buried in an onslaught of whys, wherefores and nonsequiturs of a most entertaining nature, but be very careful, for you are fondling the teets of a sacred cow.
The fleeting look of fear you see in her face as you broach the subject is real, and not at all removed from the oriental concept of “losing face” for you are suggesting the unthinkable.
To a very substantial degree when humans apply these beauty power, war paints and appliances, they are creating an AVATAR…an alter ego driven, red carpet warrior. In American society, women are, for the most part, the official bearers of a long list of magnetic symbols (more about this below).
I am talking about using foreign substances to construct a virtual identity. I want to make some distinctions in order to understand the dangers of relying on the “not self” to participate in the social context:
1. Grooming…is the use of soap and water, scissors, nail clippers, combs, and exercise equipment to clean, trim, arrange, develop and maintain the natural substances of the human body. It is the every day business of being neat and clean.
2. Cosmetics…is the use of foreign substances such as colored powders, pigmented grease and oils, including bleaches and dies which come into intimate contact with one’s flesh including rings, bracelets, false eyelashes, hair extensions, toe and fingernail paints and even clothes to a certain extent.
3. Mutilation… in the case of gauges, studs, piercing rings, bags of saline, silicone, which are pierced through the skin including the tongue, breasts, hind quarters etc.
For purposes here we will, for the moment, not include really extreme mutilations including split tongues, cat’s eyes, neurotic amputations, forehead bone nobs and spikes or cones threaded into the skull, which represent unrestrained behavior approaching the anti-social.
In James’ Cameron’s, “The Avatar,” our hero is crippled in his human form and rides around in a wheel chair. It is only when he is “projected” as an Avatar looking identical to the natives that he is freed from his affliction. Here is the meaning of Cosmetics.
As a woman stands before her mirror she sees a “crippled” being. Her eyebrows, lips, cheeks, breasts, legs, etc. are not up to snuff according to Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, Cosmo, and her peers, not to mention the endless parade of bikini clad sirens on the covers of grocery store checkout magazines. How is she to develop self esteem, attract a husband and inspire the admiration of others with this substandard vehicle she has been given with to compete in the human race?
Her only recourse is prosthetics. She is like our hero in Avatar who elects to inhabit an alternate physical being (the ultimate prosthetic) in order to reach his full potential.
Unlike the soldier who gets the ultimate makeover, she must settle for chicanery and artifice. And, as some contend that marijuana is a gateway drug to the harder stuff, makeup for many leads to surgery, implants, botox and all the other appliances reputed to bring fame, fortune and security. There is also an age appropriate issue here if you have ever seen an 85 year-old-woman who is still chasing the illusion.
Read some cosmetic ads. The words “perfection, flawless, young, vibrant”, abound. Women are advised to “strike a pose” as if they are a statue of perfection to be admired and seen in vapid movies and sitcoms.
Many cosmetic ads feed into the concept that their products even have a magic or transformative capacity. The eyes must be dark and “mysterious.” The lips must be puffy, pouty and brilliantly colored. The breasts “perky” or huge suggestive of the female’s rump therefore putting the male in mind of copulation.
Alas, the author is a “leg man” so all of Victoria’s Secret[s] in the bra business are wasted effort with him. The fact that my mother had impetigo when I was born resulting in immediate bottle feeding probably saved this writer from a mammary fixation.
The mouth is a most interesting center of magnetism after the eyes. It is highly animated during speech. It serves as a breathing apparatus during heavy exercise and it is the place where she puts food which gives great pleasure…and speaking of pleasure there is kissing and…well…other activities… With all of these potentials, it is no wonder that they are made flashy and obvious.
Essentially, women are in a cosmetic prison which is pretty much as smothering as a Muslim woman’s full body Burqa including the mesh face veil. Islamic females are remanded to live in a cloth cage whenever they are in public. Many say, “I wouldn’t go to the mailbox without my makeup.”
If you think there is no pressure on women to wear the clown face, just read a few comments to be found in articles under the heading “Femail” on the Mail Online site. This tabloid site will cloud up and totally dump on any of their cherished starlets who dare to appear in public without their makeup.
A string of pejorative comments follows any infraction of the makeup regulations which must be rigorously followed by Katy Perry, Lady Ga Ga, Amy Winehouse, the Kardashians, and 50 or 60 of the other regulars who end up in the MOL domain.
God forbid two of them should show up in the same dress, but they assiduously seek to follow the facial conventions listed above where they all pretty much tend to look alike in their homogenized set of attractiveness symbols.
In nature, for the most part, it is the male who must strut, extend colorful plumage, and sing an enticing song. But for humans, it is the female. Guys who embellish themselves are thought of as being narcissistic, or worse yet, “light in the loafers.” Even gold chains and excess bling can sully the male purity expected of men, and hint at a disturbing androgyny.
The “beauty baggage” women must carry can be pretty taxing. The message, however, is very clear. As a young girl wends her way into the social framework, she is taught that she is insufficient as God made her. Somehow the Creator left her physically disadvantaged in terms of her attractiveness…crippled if you will,in the competition for attention, affection and acceptance.
Here lie the poisonous seeds which later in life may lead to dangerous eating disorders, withdrawal and clinical depression.
Next time…some very interesting interviews with some of these bastions of beauty.
Part One – The Kabuki Effect- Cosmetics Are Addictive