How Men Should Discuss Women's Makeup: Don't
But if you must, just be mindful of your language.
I was sitting in class one day waiting for our lecturer to show up. Like any productive, model student I passed the time by scrolling through Twitter. As I was scrolling, a male classmate of mine asked me to scroll back up, so I did.
He then pointed at a girl on my timeline who’d posted a selfie.
What I saw was a random girl with really bomb makeup and decent hair. I didn’t know her, but in the 3.5 seconds it took me to scroll past her on my TL, I’d assessed her makeup as cute and moved on with life.
But what my classmate saw was a girl with entirely too much makeup. He said her contour and highlight were trash because they were “too obvious”.
I was completely taken aback for 2 reasons.
#1 Why did he know about contouring????
#2 Why was he so disgusted by this girl’s makeup???
I personally thought it looked good, and as a member of woman kind, I felt like I was more qualified to judge her makeup than he was.
A couple of other guys in my class started commenting on her makeup too, and I instantly jumped to this girl’s defense like we were besties!
Here are some of the things that were said, and my thoughts on said things.
1.“She’s wearing too much makeup!”
Soo… is there a Global Makeup Summit (GMS) that meets every 10 years to vote upon what constitutes “too much makeup”. Who gets to decide what’s too much makeup anyway? Should it be up to men or the women who actually wear makeup? Should full coverage foundation be an offense punishable by death? If you can tell a girl contoured, should she be thrown to the wolves?
Just because you can tell that a girl is wearing makeup, doesn’t mean she’s wearing too much. It simply means you have eyes that work. At the very most, you get a cookie for your observation. As a girl who wears makeup, I can tell when another woman is wearing makeup, even if it’s minimal. Big deal.
The idea of "too much makeup" will always be subjective. There's no absolute answer as to how much makeup is too much makeup. So guys, when discussing women's makeup be sure to realize that everything that comes out of your mouth is an OPINION. It's not a fact. Climb down from your high horse and don't use the makeup discussion as yet another opportunity to bash women who may not line up with your preferences. We get enough of that from the media every single day.
Instead of saying, “She’s wearing too much makeup.”
“She’s wearing too much makeup in my opinion.”
“I prefer girls who don’t wear much makeup.”
See how unproblematic that sounds? There are plenty of bare face shorties out here ready to be scooped up by guys who appreciate a more natural look. So, let’s not shame the girls who prefer to add a pop of color here and there or who wear a full face of makeup consistently.
And when it comes to the debate as to whether contouring is "too much" , I’d have to say it really isn’t. Contouring is lowkey a necessary step when you wear foundation. Foundation makes all of your face one color and hides blemishes. At the same time it erases the natural shadows from your face, making it look less natural. Contouring adds that dimension back to your face. It’s that simple. Not to be demonized.
(A contouring before and after. You want girls to contour, guys.)
2.“She’s deceiving people.”
Yeah, I too thought girls were born with matte purple lips and a smokey eyes
Let’s try this instead:
“I’ve felt deceived by girls who look completely different when they take their makeup off, so I’m skeptical of girls who seem to be wearing a lot of makeup.”
Doesn’t that feel good to get off of your chest?
Sure, some girls look different without makeup. I look different without makeup haha. But not drastically different. I’ll even go as far as to say that most girls still look like themselves without makeup.
And if they don’t, you’ll live. I promise. If you’re not interested in the girl romantically then who cares? And if you are, it’s ok because at the end of the day you’re not only attracted to her looks, but also her personality, right? Right.
I get it. The whole notion of makeup can be scary to some guys because of the chance that the girl you're feeling might look like a completely different person underneath her makeup. But that's not enough of a reason to demonize makeup all together or go in on girls who wear "too much" in your opinion.
We're not putting on makeup to deceive anyone, I promise. We're not thinking about you. Just let us flex, ok?
Also let’s stop these jokes about splashing water on your girl’s face to make sure she still looks the same underneath the makeup. Ain’t nobody buying makeup that’s not waterproof in 2017!
3.“I feel like she’s hiding something or that she doesn't like how she looks.”
So… you read her diary? I swear after learning our ABCs and how to treat others like we want to be treated, we're instructed on like the 3rd day of kindergarten to never judge a book by its cover.
So how do we enter adulthood still thinking that we can gain insight into a woman's character by judging the way she dresses or what she decides to put on her face?
I don’t even have an alternative quote for this one because it’s just wrong.
A woman’s desire to express herself and enhance her features has no direct link to her inward condition at all. If you think it does then be careful not to pull a muscle while you’re reaching.
When a guy gets a haircut, I don’t think to myself, “Hmm, what’s he hiding beneath that edge up? Is that high top fade a cry for help? Are those cornrows a sign that he hates his life?”
(Actually, I’d probably ask the last question to myself, but you get the point.)
We all wake up in the morning, get dressed, and do things that make us look “better”. We wash our faces (hopefully), coordinate outfits, and put on cologne/perfume. Makeup is no different. It’s a part of many women’s morning routines. It’s not about deceiving anyone. It’s not about hiding anything. It’s about looking cute and feeling confident!
You might argue that women should just embrace their natural look and leave makeup alone. By that same logic, you could make the argument that we shouldn’t wear deodorant and that we should all just embrace our natural must.
If there’s an opportunity to enhance the way you looks (and smell) then why wouldn’t you take it?
So let us stop pretending that a woman has to hate how she looks or be hiding something to wear makeup.
It’s makeup. It’s not that deep.
When I first set out to write this post, I really thought that guys should just refrain from talking about makeup because more often than not the conversation eventually became disrespectful and filled with misinformtion. But in the middle of writing this post I changed my mind. Guys should be allowed to discuss makeup too.
Stay tuned for my next blog post about what changed my perspective.
Thanks for reading!