Cro-Magnon women, Medusas and Nosferatu: beauty tips for the uninitiated

I read The Guardian. Really. In a sea of “subtle as a brick” newspapers, The Guardian is slightly more informed, a bit deeper than “Fox News shallow” and certainly more varied in view points. So this morning, as I am scanning my newsfeed, I came across this beauty advice article, Slap shtick: How not to put on make-up and seeing how this is a more or less progressive newspaper, I thought to check it out. Well, progressively patriarchal as it seems to be the case.

Just before I continue, I want to come out of the beauty case: I do wear make up. In fact, I love make up. I love colors, eye shadows, palettes, etc. Also, and I know this is not a very orthodox approach to make up, I was taught how to apply it by a bunch of performing drag queens from burlesque shows when I was a teenager in Buenos Aires. So yeah, at times, I have a penchant for the theatrical. I know better than to inflict the world my love of fake eyelashes at 9 AM or liquid eyeliner extending all the way to my eyebrows for a lunch meeting, but in general, I just find make up to be an extension of self expression, particularly on my free time (i.e. in non professional related hours). But that’s neither here nor there, my point is: I do not read beauty tips from a place of disdain or dislike. I read them hoping I will find something I did not know about. Reading the article at The Guardian, though, what I found was spoonfuls of derision, heaps of self esteem undermining and reinforcement of the old tired beauty cliches. A few gems from the article:

  • Wash your face. Clean, mud-and-dried-ketchup-free skin is the cornerstone of being more bonkable. (Because we all wear make up to be more bonkable, AMIRITE?!)
  • And remember, you can always stop plucking (your eyebrows) altogether and let nature run amok, if you don’t mind looking like a monobrowed Cro-Magnon woman lurking in a pit awaiting the invention of Superdrug.
  • General rule of thumb: ladies, try to be less hirsute if you’re in the market for straight men.
  • Never wear false eyelashes during the day, unless you want to look like a day-shift lapdancer popping out for a pasty. (Oh look how smart I am! I take jabs at lapdancers in an effort to portray a negative stereotype!)

There is more at the article. Every bit of it as patronizing and sabotaging of individuality as you might expect. Because, truly, we only wear make up to get laid. That is, apparently, a fact. And now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go do my smokey eyes because the guy at the farmer’s market likes it when I order my bell peppers in full regalia.

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