I just happened to be listening to a show on Radio 4 this morning in the car… all about how men handle makeup – not wearing it but in respect to their women. Two guys who were quite obviously not that keen on excessive use of makeup were non-the-less concerned that they felt they really could not contribute much when a female member of their family said “what do I look like” – as they felt they were onto a loser no matter what they said.
The interviewer asked how they’d handle it if their teenage daughter was over-caked in makeup – would they comment? No was the reply, it might be insulting – so the only time they’d comment was to say how GOOD the person looked.
The conversation then went on to what about kids – surely the fellow’s 5-year old was not trying to impress women OR men while putting on mum’s makeup… and of course they’re not – they are simply keen to emulate adults. I’m not personally a believer in the “blank slate” idea of kids, I believe a LOT of their temperament comes from genetics, but there can be no doubt that kids listen to and watch adults and emulate them – almost without thinking…
And that brings me to the BENEFITS of makeup – or not? Have you ever noticed that most adult men look WAY better in the skin department than women when put side by side without makeup! But have you ALSO noticed that male adult ACTORS generally look AWFUL without makeup? Could it be (and I’d hate to start a row here) that long-term use of makeup actually DAMAGES SKIN and by it’s very use makes itself essential – to the benefit of the massive companies set up to supply this stuff in the first place?
I think there is a wider point here… I look at beautiful women like Charlize Theron and wonder WHY ON EARTH she does those ads covered in gold car paint… she looks AWFUL and yet here is a woman who without ANY facepaint looks superb.
50% of the population spends every day of their lives in front of a mirror covering themselves in plastic – because they’re copying the generation before them – just as WELL over half of the world’s population believe in invisible gods of one form or another, without a shred of proof or even any hints of their chosen god being real, because they were, in the main brought up to believe… they are to a large extent merely copying their parents. In World War 2, large numbers of small children were drafted by the Germans to shoot to kill, despite being FAR too young to understand the moral implications…
Which brings me to the point… isn’t it about time we started to be a LOT more careful about WHAT we encourage our kids to do – about what we teach them and about what we let them see on TV? They are our future after all -and much as they may as adults go their own way, once indoctrinated as young kids, it’s very hard to change in later life.