Saturday, November 10, 2007
Some Brief Thoughts On Makeup
I have been going through a mildly pro-makeup phase, recently. Wearing lipstick, buying perfume, the occasional mascara experiment.
This is not, despite my stated goal of dressing neutrally, the first time this has happened. Every now and then I get this image in my head: some cream eyeshadow, a brick red lipstick, something that strikes me as tremendously appealing which I go out and purchase and play with.
Usually I give it up after a couple of weeks.
The main reason I usually wind up giving up is a feeling of self-consciousness about the whole experiment. I get overwhelmed by the sense that I am saying to the world: I look better this way. I smell better this way. I think this is a good thing to do. And I imagine a phalanx of people looking at me, shaking their heads, saying to themselves, "Is she out of her mind?"
If your clothes don't, at least on the surface, seem to be striving for anything, nobody can ever confront you with your failures.
It seems even harder, or more intimidating, to strive for femininity; I feel like I'm on the brink of exposure as a fraud.
(Written down it seems neurotic.)
You can avoid this fear, and sometimes I have, by making your clothes a deliberate provocation. You wear the brightest lipstick. You wear a hat. You wear elaborate jewelry. You tell the world that this is a light-hearted game, that you are in on the joke.
I am still not entirely sure what drives me into my pro-makeup moods in the first place. Another unknowable impulse.