Ok Women, how brave are you?
And Men, where do you draw the line?
Would you leave the house without donning even the tiniest bit of make-up if…
…you were just going to the corner convenience store to pick-up a late-night carton of milk for the morning cereal?
…you were driving your kids to school and would be dropping them at the curb and heading straight back home?
…you were doing your weekly grocery shopping?
…you were going to the dentist or doctor?
…you were going to work?
…you were going out for a romantic dinner with your mate?
…you were going to the theatre (live theatre, not the movies)?
How brave are you?
And is it bravery or is it confidence?
…or is it self-worth?
What would your reaction be to seeing your partner without make-up, out in the real world in the given situations above?
And how would you feel if she dressed ‘comfortably’, not sloppy, but in fitted (yet not snug) clothing which did not bare her shoulders or legs and she wore comfortable shoes in which she could walk long distances?
Now, how would you feel if a female co-worker was make-up free and comfortably dressed?
Would you take her more seriously or less so when she spoke to you?
I have often wondered why women spend so much money on products to conceal, even-out, enhance, disguise and brighten various areas of their faces not to mention the time it takes to sculpt and paint the daily facade while men enjoy the wash-and-go life.
Women do not think men are less handsome because their cheeks aren’t rosy, their skin colour isn’t even and their lips aren’t a particular shade of red.
In fact, quite often we find you men extremely handsome and we feel the need to adorn ourselves more in the hope of getting your attention.
And why in the rest of the natural world are the males the flamboyant ones with vibrant colours and showy displays to attract the female?
I wonder what would happen if women stopped wearing make-up.
I recently read an article by Lauren Shields describing her “modesty experiment” where she challenged the westernized ideal of beauty. For nine months, she lived entirely without make-up, revealing clothes and uncomfortable shoes. (Sounds rather freeing, doesn’t it?)
She examined the philosophy of various religion’s reasons for modest dressing and was surprised by what she found in both her research and her experience.
Does a year of living modestly appeal to you? How far would/could you take it? And what would you expect to learn or gain from the experience?
Share your thoughts below.
I’ve bookmarked that article link for later, thanks. It sounds like an interesting experiment.
Mind if I attempt to dispel some common (feminist) myths on this subject? 🙂
Studies have shown what we all know to be true already, that the vast majority of men would much rather their wives/ girlfriends spent LESS money on clothes, shoes and make up and LESS time getting ready to go out every time (saying they’d much prefer to spend the time saved actually BEING WITH EACH OTHER instead).
In the ‘west’ women control the majority of disposable income and men are certainly NOT the ones buying clothes and make up and then forcing their wives/ girlfriends to wear them, nor do men buy glossy magazines and then force women to obsess over the appearance of the photoshopped strangers pictured in them.
The fact is women are CHOOSING to behave like this, and nobody is forcing them to be this way – as many feminists suggest. Sure, womens’ obsessions are being exploited – but that is not the same as oppression. Men’s obsessions about virility, status and ‘pulling power’ are also exploited by Ferrari, but nobody would suggest Ferrari are oppressing men by selling impractical, expensive and generally ridiculous cars to them. We understand that men are responsible for their behaviour, but we still struggle with the idea that women are too. This suggest women are being oppressed is actually demeaning to women.
When women choose to alter their appearance in obsessive ways it is generally an attempt to gain social advantage, special treatment, status and ‘free stuff’ in society. In the most simplistic terms a lot of this is about competing to look the most fertile. Physical appearance has always been a good indicator of reproductive health (and health overall) and it’s no coincidence that ideas of beauty and signs of reproductive health are so closely matched – bright eyes, good skin, strong, long, think hair and nails, slimness and so on.
Objectifying yourself (when taken to extremes) also makes you look more vulnerable and less capable of performing practical tasks. This can often have a similar effect to being heavily pregnant (ie more vulnerable and less capable). Tottering about in high heels and restrictive clothing is a bit like waddling around with a big pregnant belly – it triggers something in men (and to an extent women as well) which makes them want to give you special treatment and ‘free stuff’.
Until recently there were natural, practical limits to how far a woman could indulge in her appearance. But as technology has made housework virtually non existent and most careers are now sat at a computer desk it’s possible for women to objectify themselves in extreme ways – like Geishas – to the point that they can hardly type on a keypad due to their long nails, let alone tend to an allotment or skin a rabbit!
A common feminist view (I’m not suggesting these are the views of this blog) is that men are oppressing women with all of these supposed ‘trappings of femininity’. But that view is IN ITSELF yet another tactic used by feminists to gain more resources, special treatment and free stuff…. not from men this time, but from the state (who in turn steal their wealth from everyone via tax, making the state the ultimate Alpha Male).
Feminism is – in this aspect at least – just an attempt to gain the most sympathy (and thus resources) by playing the role of the victim better than any other group in society. If feminists REALLY wanted to end this ridiculous and unhealthy fixation on appearance they would focus on the main cause of it….. their own parenting.
When we look at parenting we see that it is the mothers, not the fathers, who are the ones training their daughters to be appearance obsessed consumer whores. It’s the mothers who are the ones buying their daughters all of this pink materialistic corporate crap – Hannah Montana, Disney, Hollywood etc …… and in the process training them to be little princesses/ whores/ narcissistic vampires.
And thanks once again to feminism, millions of children today are raised almost exclusively by women….. single mothers, female primary school teachers, female daycare staff, the exclusively female friends of the aforementioned single mother. Many children barely interact with men until they are into their teenage years!
Men (ie fathers) are not the evil violent, smelly, obnoxious, evil bastards many feminists would have you believe – they are in fact fantastic role models for boys AND GIRLS because they teach children that your worth as a person is not determined exclusively by how successful you are at objectifying yourself and playing various sympathy cards and other manipulative tricks.
For many young girls today the idea that your self worth/ social status can be based on things like personality, honesty, integrity, kindness, imagination, intelligence etc (rather than being entirely based to your physical appearance/ fashion index) is a totally foreign concept. The damage caused by this attitude really starts to show up when a woman hits her 30’s and starts to visibly age (and become less fertile). Suddenly she realises she’s not secured a mate yet (because she’s spent the last 15 years being free and single), but now she’s being outcompeted by younger women in their twenties. This is when the botox and surgical procedures begin. It’s all very sad.
Not linking your self worth exclusively to physical appearance (and spending at least as much time working on your inner beauty as your outer beauty) is SUCH an important lesson to learn and it’s no coincidence that as fatherless upbringings have risen we’ve seen a corresponding rise in narcissistic, materialist, appearance obsessed behaviour in girls (and boys). These girls have now grown up and are becoming mothers themselves now. Until we stop playing the victim and instead focus on our stupid parenting this obsession will continue to spiral out of control.
Holy cow! Apparently I struck a nerve!
I am glad you clarified that the points in your discussion are not the views of this blog, nor was I intending to suggest that my topic was about oppression but merely one’s interpretation of (western) societal norms.
I believe that each of us interprets events based on our experience and our experiences are gained by our upbringing and social surroundings. Therefore, while you are suggesting that feminists think that men are oppressing them and they have only themselves to blame, it can also be our interpretation of other cultures that lead us to believe this, as the author of ‘modesty experiment’ discovered. Please read her article to find out what she learned from the experiment.
I would also argue that the media plays a HUGE role in how young girls (and boys) view themselves. While your blog is called “Abandon TV”, and I think that would be a great start to rebuilding family unity, most teens are bombarded by programming, movies, videos, online content, etc. that promote a certain way of life and an image that they feel they should imitate.
While I agree that parenting plays an integral role in the shaping of self-esteem, teens turn to friends and the media for their view of self and often turn away from their family values, for a few years at least, in an attempt to forge their own way, before solidifying their own views later in life.
I truly appreciate your views and am so happy that you took the time to share them here.
I wrote the piece to get people thinking and talking, so am grateful for your opinions. It’s from sharing differing opinions that we can grow and learn from one another. Thank you. I hope you come back to read more.
I like this post a lot. Great food for thought.
I do wear makeup most days, but I’m not afraid to go out in public without any, and often I do on the weekends etc. It’s almost like I wear it, because it’s what I should do. I don’t feel self conscious around my husband without it, and I know he still finds me attractive all natural.
So yeah? Why the heck spend so much time and money on it is a great question. I’m not quite sure myself.
I’ll need to ponder this. I think I’d like to try one whole week with no makeup and see what comes of that. It would be interesting to gauge my overall feelings and possible insecurities etc.
Thank you so much for your comment!! I’m glad I gave you food for thought.
I’d love to hear about your ‘week au naturale’. If you do it, please come back and let us know what you discovered. I, for one, would really like to know!
“Feminism is – in this aspect at least – just an attempt to gain the most sympathy (and thus resources) by playing the role of the victim better than any other group in society.” Aside from the absolute misogynistic aspect of this comment, the original post above never even mentions feminism! The post is about challenging a societal norm through a fun and interesting experiment.
Yes, my intention was to get people thinking about themselves and why we choose to do the things we do and by looking at this woman’s experiment, it challenges ourselves to look inward – which is also the underlying theme of my blog.
Thanks for your comment, Christine.
From a man’s point of view, I would prefer that my wife and my female coworkers go without makeup. I would also prefer that they wear comfortable clothes. High heeled shoes, mini skirts and expensive lingerie seem to me ridiculous and impractical. I have been trying to convince my wife to let her hair go gray instead of spending a hundred dollars or more to have it colored and streaked.
I have no obsession about these things, I see no immorality in the clothes that some women choose to wear. I feel uncomfortable seeing the pantied crotch of the woman sitting opposite me on the bus. Since she seems to be frequently pulling at her skirt, I can only assume, that she feels uncomfortable as well.
In short, if I understand your post correctly, I agree with you completely.
I completely agree with your clothing comment. I feel that the current style of shorts skirts has gone a bit too far. Sure mini skirts aren’t new, they were around in the ’60’s, but some trends, in my opinion, just shouldn’t come back. Most women seem uncomfortable in them, as you say, frequently pulling at them. And personally, I don’t think they are very flattering to most people.
I really appreciate your comment. It’s always interesting to get a man’s point of view on topics such as this. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.
And….you got me thinking:) I read the first comment and I was nodding for the first half and then it just went downhill…feminism …I do honestly believe many interpret it differently…heck I believe I don’t agree with a lot of persons who identify as “feminist” and yet I consider myself feminist…go figure. There are amazing points that have come out from your post and I think THAT is the point…to have people think and discuss. I have a difficult time with generalizations especially of mothers being the root cause…thought that went out the window with Freudian slips (oh, gee a joke).
I choose to wear some makeup some of the time; I choose to dress a certain way because it makes ME feel good; when I worked from home, I would put a dab of mascara (my eyelashes are very light) and put on a skirt and T and brush my hair…because I felt like a slob if I didn’t. My daughter (30) wears very little makeup and she knows she’s gorgeous with or without…When she was about 14, we both went bra shopping (hate to try on but love the mother/daughter bonding) . I had the dressing room next to hers and we would swap back and forth items to try. I asked her, “Why the fancy lacy ones…is there someone you want to impress?” Response: “NO MOM! I SEE what I wear and it makes ME feel good.” Good point…she reminded me.
Truly enjoyed your post…ty. Whispering Insights
I am so glad you took the time to comment. You have brought up a very valid point – one which I have been thinking about too since writing the post. How much do we dress to impress and how much do we dress to please ourselves? …I feel another post coming on!
I too think of myself as a feminist, yet “feminism” seems to get a bad rap, ie: if you are a feminist, you must take it to the extreme. To me, I feel that it means that I expect to be treated equally, with the same rights and pay scale as men and be treated with respect in all circumstances. What’s so extreme about that?
Thank you for sharing your examples too. I’m glad this post has open up a discussion. As you said, THAT was the point of the post. To get people thinking and sharing their thoughts. I hope you stop by again.
I sure will stop by…some blogs inspire ME to write OR get on my soap box where I “voice” my opinions that are mine only. I feel a blog coming on as well…you see what you have done!:) WI
My post in response to your triple award nomination will be up tomorrow (Wed.) morning, in case you would like to see it. And thank you again for awarding it to me.