Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Whatever happened to good old fashioned face paints?

Spotted this on the BBC website. Interesting statistics on the % of children who wear make-up regularly. Amazing their response to this is not to ask searching questions of the government about whether young children are being exposed to too much unhelpful advertising (a bugbear of mine, expect a lot more blogging about this on here) but instead to propose installing lipstick vending machines in schools!

Personally I don't wear make-up except for the occassional fancy party, I gave it up about five years ago having at one stage been a can't-leave-the-house-without-it gal. And I'd never go back now. I've tried asking a few of my friends who do wear it daily why that is and they say things like "I have terrible skin", "I look so old without it" and "I just feel weird without it". No-one said that they thought they looked particularly glamourous or more professional WITH make-up. Surely somewhere back at the dawn of time, make-up was about making yourself look good, rather than disguising the terrible secret fact that you look ghastly without it.

I guess the advertisers cunning ploy has got us all fooled. These days we "need" make up rather than feeling that its a luxury we can enjoy but also live without if needs be. Which reminds me of the recent TV show (which I deliberately missed) on the beauty school in Kabul. Now I can appreciate that any money-making scheme for Afghan women is likely to be a positive step and frankly anything is better than nothing. Still you can't help thinking we've started to treat perceived, conventional, market-dictated beauty (i.e. not the real stuff) as a necessity. And we're helping to push the idea along to the world's poor and the under-10s.

Proposed action:

1) Lets all stop wearing make-up. Actually its good for you too, I have much better skin since I stopped.

2) Lets stop buying those magazine that are full of that sort of advertising. Little girls only want magazines like that cos they see grown-ups reading them. So lets stop, the rest of the content is usually rubbish anyway.

3) Lets lobby parliament to ban advertising which is aimed at children. This law does exist in parts of the world, lets join in.


Andrew said...

It's a bit like communism - it would work if everyone agreed to do it. But one person will break the rules, gain advantage and soon the whole system would collapse.

Cruella said...

Whoever broke the rules would be taken to court and have to cough up an amount suitable to redress the imbalance caused.

Just because it might be difficult to implement is no reason not to bother trying to protect innocent children.

As I mentioned it does exist in other parts of the world - e.g. Sweden. Mayhem has, as far as I know, yet to break out.

Thanks for joining in the blog though...

Andrew said...

Actually, I meant agreeing not to wear make-up, not banning advertising to kids. Sorry, should have been more specific.

Cruella said...

And you think we would all have to do that at the same time for it to catch on? Only if we believe two things: One, that we look better with make-up on and two, that we're in a competition with other women and we would lose ground if we didn't wear make-up.

In the first case I disagree. As I mentioned in my original post I think most women who wear make-up these days do so because they believe they are covering up something or hiding behind something, not because they believe it enhances their beauty.

In the second case - what is the competition for? It can hardly be for the best jobs since all the best jobs are held by men, most of whom don't wear make-up. So perhaps its a competition for the "best" men/husbands? Being good looking in that situation can only lead to attracting partners who are more superficial. I think I saw statistics on it once, but of course I can't find them today, basically saying that spending more than an hour a day fussing about your appearance significantly increases your chances of being physically abused or cheated on by your partner. Anyway so I am quite happy to be first. There are plenty of women who don't choose to wear make-up and on an informal survey of the ones I know, lots of them have really fantastic partners and lots of others are quite happy on their own and don't feel like they need a man around.

Andrew said...

Absolutely. My wife doesn't really wear make-up at home - only if we're going out - and it doesn't make a blind bit of difference to me.

Advocating that the sisterhood rises up and casts off the shackles is living in fairy-land, though. Lots of women like wearing make-up.

And like it or not, if there are two identical women in a bar (or wherever), in terms of personality, etc..., but one who looks better than the other, the better looking one will get more attention. Fact. That isn't ever going to change.

Cruella said...

Maybe some of us have bigger things to worry about that getting attention in bars! I can think of little worse than random half-drunk blokes trying to chat me up at the bar. That's usually about the point where I leave the bar and go somewhere quieter.

The sisterhood has risen up any number of times before and done away with (variously around the world) corsets, crinolines, chastity belts, "ownership"-branding, bound feet, seven and twelve layer clothing which is impossible to move about in, lead face powder, etc, etc. We now wear trousers, sports clothes, shorts and vest-tops, tights rather than stockings, flat lace-up shoes, etc. None of which are well known to make us more attractive to men but all of which are better for our lifestyle and save us effort.

If you think the sisterhood isn't capable of rising again, you better watch your back!!