1. Because it’s a façade.
We all grew up hearing the old mantra “honesty is the best policy” more than a few times. So why, somewhere along the line, did it become acceptable to ignore that? When women feel it’s necessary to plaster a pound of powder, cream, and other crap on their faces just to go out and take part in their everyday lives, it makes it seem as if they have something to hide. When you cheapen your own image by representing something other than your true self, your accountability goes down. By distancing yourself from your true appearance, you distance yourself from your feelings, personality, interests, and goals.
For example: say you love cake. If you wear a shirt every day that says “I love pie,” eventually you are going to stop explaining to people that you actually love cake because it gets tiresome. Makeup gives you an excuse to hide who you really are. It hides that beautiful woman who should be confident enough to show her face and smile without cosmetics concealing the marks on her face that every human has. Makeup isn’t attractive, it’s a lie, and lies are not sexy.
2. Because it’s a waste of time.
Everyone has their own routine to prepare for their day at work or school. Some people run, some people read the paper with a steaming mug of coffee, and most women take (at least) a few minutes to put on their makeup. Now, being a man, I’m not the most knowledgeable about foundation, blush, mascara, etc, etc. Basically, whenever women talk about makeup, I hear something similar to the monotonous “mweh mwahh mwehhh” of the teacher from the Charlie Brown cartoons. A man who understands the absurdity of concealants will look at those 10-15 minutes (or however long it takes you to put that infernal stuff on your beautiful face) and think about what you could be using that time to do instead. If you work/go to school five days a week, that’s roughly an hour you could spend expanding your vocabulary with a crossword, researching and applying for your dream job, or reconnecting with your partner via a little sexy ruckus. Whatever floats your boat. The point is that you’re wasting about two days each year doing something that genuine people couldn’t care less about.
3. Because social norms are stupid.
I’ve had this conversation with many of my female friends, and the most common thing I hear back is: (and cue the hyperbolic falsetto) “Well, makeup makes me feel better about myself.” Breaking news: it shouldn’t.
When you look at models or other public figures in magazines and say: “They’re so pretty,” you’re not talking about the women, you’re talking about the work of the photo editor who spent a few minutes trimming waistlines, toning arms, and enlarging breasts for the fabricated results you see in front of you. We’ve all seen the dozens of internet videos showing the process of making a photo billboard-ready, as well as a few kick-ass feminist journalists slamming our patriarchal society.
Take a moment to think about those and consider how utterly and undeniably correct they are. Now, if you wear makeup, remember this moment the next time you put it on. You probably won’t drop the face paint forever (although I obviously think you should), but maybe tone it down. If you render yourself unrecognizable under a sheet of plaster, the chauvinists win. And nobody wants that.
4. Because you’re better than that.
The next time something makes you feel insecure about the way you look, don’t use it as an excuse to look like Lady Gaga. Get mad! Get pissed! Don’t you think there’s something peculiar about someone or something that makes you want to change your appearance? Don’t let one person or group get you down just because they have a different expectation about how people should be presented. As sad as it is, women are still behind in our society. On average, they get paid less than men, and are less likely to ascend to a CEO position in any corporation.
Honestly, I think it’s because traditionalist views make people scared of powerful women. Sure, it can be emasculating to be shown up at anything. Men are competitive. We like to win. Throughout evolution and history, men have been stronger than women, usually resulting in them providing for their significant others. But that’s all history.
We have the technology and wealth now to throw all of that behind us. Women and men are exposed to public education all over the developed world. Don’t let yourself stoop so low as to cherish material things over your own ambitions and dreams.
Get your high school diploma. Go to college. Learn new skills. Get a job that you love. Read a book. Develop your own view and philosophy about life, about politics, about love. Be my senator. If you succumb to the idea that appearances are more important than what is in your head, and what is in your heart, you’re only holding yourself back. And you’re better than that.