October 22, 2013

"It’s just wrong that men look just fine the way they are, but we women are encouraged to believe we don’t look good enough unless we 'fix' our faces."

Writes Roz Warren in her anti-makeup manifesto in the NYT, where the first commenter plumps her up with "You go girl!"

Which highlights my point: Women can use makeup OR not use makeup and people think it's just fine. Women are encouraged to believe we can be whatever we want, either glammed up beyond recognition or utterly fresh-faced or anywhere in between. It's true that the expression "fix my face" originated with women — women with a sense of humor, by the way. (And it wasn't just "fix my face," it was also "put on my face," as if — oh, horror, from the viewpoint of a Women's Studies major! — a woman without makeup is faceless!!!)

But the truth is, the woman could and still can fix her face as much as she wants or not at all, and most of the time it only takes a couple minutes and those who do more are having fun with it.



It is men who are deprived of the option to tinker with what they've got naturally. The quote I put in the title would make more sense rewritten as: It’s just wrong that women look just fine whatever they choose to do, but men are encouraged to believe they look however they look and they're not allowed to fix their faces.

Not that there aren't big brands like Marc Jacobs attempting to liberate men from their prison of fresh-facedness: "There's the Remedy concealer that has a really lovely palladium tip that really feels nice and cool to your undereye area, and God knows I can always use a bit of Remedy Concealer myself... Then there's the brow tamer which has a lovely soft application wand and the formula itself is soft and smooth feeling rather than sticky and gooey or hard... there's the Liplock which has a nice minty fresh taste. It's very important to have a nice moist lip so you're always ready to kiss and make out with that right person."

Yeah, you laughed at him? See how oppression weighs on the male?

68 comments:

SOJO said...

For the mist part I agree except when it comes to hair. A woman with any gray hair in my area of the world will be taken for a lesbian or senior citizen. Even if the woman can bear the brunt of bias in her personal life, both of those things will hurt her employment prospects and that is not always a choice.

My sister went gray very young...had grays at 17. She refused to dye her hair and didn't mind being taken as gay. However once she started being carded as a senior at 38-42 and being taken for her child's grandmother she broke somewhat and reverse dyed her hair purple and blue.

This was not a problem for my mother btw who enjoyed her Mrs Robinson streak. There is a generational element.

CJinPA said...

R.I.P. Metrosexual Movement.

I find mug shots of women over at Smokinggun.com to be intriguing. They are generally makeup-free.

I've said too much.

traditionalguy said...

I see Farrah Fawcett's eyes, not that most men looked at her eyes.

Rocketeer said...

You make me laugh, professor. That's sincerity, not sarcasm.

Freeman Hunt said...

If any of the male commenters here decide to break out of their oppression, pictures please.

Lauderdale Vet said...

Hmm. Remedy Concealer. Might have to try that.

"No, only two boxes of 9mm today please, I need to grab some makeup on the way home. Gotta fix mah face"

Yeah. Hrm. That does seem a bit awkward.

Rocketeer said...

It's almost like this woman never heard of shaving. I don't do it for myself, ya know!

Rocketeer said...

Bathing: yet another thing I do just because I'm oppressed by women.

Rocketeer said...

Also: wearing pants.

Rocketeer said...

Also: eating with utensils.

surfed said...

Being a male is of the utmost in convenience. The world is my bathroom, I don't even have to shave for the women to think I'm studly, and 4 pair of shoes get me through life. And as an added plus, at my age (60) 50% of the women look better than they did when I was 30.

El Pollo Raylan said...

If men wore makeup, could purses be far behind?

Larry J said...

Rocketeer said...
It's almost like this woman never heard of shaving. I don't do it for myself, ya know!


Shaving is an unnatural act, possibly punishable by God. Sorry, but it isn't worth the risk. As Bush '41 used to say, "wouldn't be prudent."

Rocketeer said...

If men wore makeup, could purses be far behind?

It's deerskin, I fill it with patch and lead shot, and I call it a possibles bag but let's face it: purse.

JRoberts said...

What about men's eyebrows?

I keep telling my barber that if my hairline recedes any more, I'll start doing a "comb over" with my eyebrows.

How's that for a new style statement?

Salamandyr said...

Men actually look good with a little eyeliner.

Rocketeer said...

Men actually look good with a little eyeliner.

False eyelashes, too. At least that's what me droogs say.

Inga said...

I've heard tell some notable former Althouse commenter from Brooklyn, or somewhere thereabout actually had his eyebrows threaded, lol.

Inga said...

I don't think it helped though.

tim maguire said...

Rocketeer said...
If men wore makeup, could purses be far behind?

It's deerskin, I fill it with patch and lead shot, and I call it a possibles bag but let's face it: purse.


Mine is a U.S. Army surplus ammunition bag, but my insistence that Private Ryan carried one when he hit the beaches at Normandy won't convince my wife it's not a purse (she's brutally unreasonable that way).

Every urban male carries a purse, he just doesn't call it that.

El Pollo Raylan said...

I've heard tell some notable former Althouse commenter from Brooklyn, or somewhere thereabout actually had his eyebrows threaded, lol.

The way I heard it, the metrosexual TV people insisted he do it. When's the last time you were told to "fix" something for the camera?

Larry J said...

tim maguire said...

Mine is a U.S. Army surplus ammunition bag, but my insistence that Private Ryan carried one when he hit the beaches at Normandy won't convince my wife it's not a purse (she's brutally unreasonable that way).


Private Ryan never hit the beaches at Normandy. That's one of the odd things about the movie. He was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne. He jumped in the night before those men hit the beach.

mikeski said...

@El Pollo, Rocketeer & Tim M.:

It's not a purse...it's European!

It's not a man purse; it's called a satchel.

tim maguire said...

You assume I meant Private James F. Ryan. He had a brother, you know. And that brother died on the beach just up the sand from Tom Hanks. Besides, I was being facetious.

Broomhandle said...

Neither my wife or I wear make-up or dye or hair. She's 45 but is often said to look 30. She's not a lesbian either. Yet.

rcocean said...

Interesting the Tojo's Japan, the and Nazi Germany both frowned on Women's make-up as unnatural and decadent.
And both felt the same about Tobacco.

jacksonjay said...

Inquiring minds want to know!

Does Meade recommend the Brow Tamer Grooming Gel and the Beauty Lip Lock Moisture Balm?

David-2 said...

Althouse said:

"It is men who are deprived of the option to tinker with what they've got naturally."

What makes you say that?

surfed said...

@jacksonjay - Meade is studly. I'll bet a Hamilton he uses none of that shit. I could totally hang, if not match wits with him (salt water is a brain cell killer). You can tell from all the postings of him being a guys guy.

El Pollo Raylan said...

It is men who are deprived of the option to tinker with what they've got naturally.

Tinkering, tailoring, soldiering, and spying leads to Chelsea Mannings. We need less, not more of that.

elkh1 said...

Problem with Roz is young girls are obsessed with fixing up themselves for boys.

Doug said...

"It is men who are deprived of the option to tinker with what they've got naturally."

Really? You've seen this prohibition formalized somewhere? Because I think it's just that men don't yammer all the live long day about how life is unfair to their sex. Not like some sexes I could mention ....

Sea Urchin said...

Not necessarily, elkh. I guess maybe the YOUNG girls, but these days, when I put on makeup, it's for a ladies' night out.

(OK, I put it on for dates with my husband, too, but I don't feel bad if I don't have time to put it on. With the other women, I'd rather be late than show up with absolutely no make up.) Don't know why -- they obviously see me without makeup when we get together for playdates with the kids.)

DCS said...

Just looked at Roz Warren's photo on Google images. Sad.....She needs makeup really bad.

n.n said...

Every species has their aesthetic gender. The peacocks have their male with beautiful plumage. The humans have their female with wonderful curves.

That said, there are reasonable compromises which do not entail or sponsor gender confusion. While the minority can often be tolerated, their behavior cannot be normalized.

colleen cafferty said...

Even lesbians are susceptible. I know a lesbian couple one of whom let her hair go gray. She went right back the first time she was given a senior citizen discount. She was Asian, too, so looked young in nearly every other way.

tim maguire said...

A satchel? Hmmm...that's just crazy enough to work!

Thanks for the tip mikeski. I'll try the satchel dodge and report back when I get results.

Alexandra said...

The cosmetics industry makes almost $40 billion a year by telling women they aren't good enough as they are.

When men put on makeup they look clownish. I wonder why women don't realize that it does the same to them?

And hair dyeing makes women look older not younger: skin, face and everything else is aging accordingly and then a jarring helmet-head of unnatural color.

Wilbur said...

I do hate to carry my wallets in the back pockets of my britches.

So, I wear a jacket (sports or suit) when possible, and it acts like my purse. I carry wallets, keys, lip balm and glasses in it.

I used to carry a pocketknife, but they frown on that at screened entrances.

chrisnavin.com said...

n.n. said:

'That said, there are reasonable compromises which do not entail or sponsor gender confusion. While the minority can often be tolerated, their behavior cannot be normalized.'

But those minorities will never be satisfied either, often seeking normalization through Leftist ideology. Victimhood, 'empowerment,' and the absolutist take on equality can be appealing to any one seeking positive justice. Freedom is always imagined to be achieved from the rule of some imagined enemy like the patriarchy in the ideology.

Such folks hole up in academia and attach like barnacles onto politics and our institutions.

Not all seek normalization or protection under the law through Leftist ideology, of course, but it's the normalization of some behaviors that social and religious conservatives can't abide. This has created a lot of tension in our society at the moment. I myself have trouble with the liberal rationalist moral claims as to how we should think about the laws and homosexuality.

I still want minarchy, and/or nomocracy and liberals who'll leave me alone mostly if they happen to be in charge.

I also find Ken Minogues' argument that moral judgments are getting crowded out of the debate persuasive. It just comes with liberalism in Western thought, and many liberals don't realize it.

We can end up with a semi-educated, unmoored, depdendent morally relativistic polity, relying upon politics and endless politicians, secular moralists and ehticists building endless policies and ideas around them.

What do we conserve?

Peter said...

It's just terribly unfair that so many women remain more concerned about their appearance than men do.

Isn't it?

Julie C said...

Alexandra I disagree with your comment on dyed hair. Done correctly (by a professional) it does not age one at all. The problem comes when someone decides to make their hair unnaturally dark - usually that comes from a bottle. My hair is highlighted blonde (a lot like Althouse) so that the gray hair is not visible. The key to a natural look is to blend different shades. I started going gray at about age 30 and there was no way I was going to let that happen without a fight on my part.

Mary Beth said...

Salamandyr said...

Men actually look good with a little eyeliner.

10/22/13, 1:53 PM


That's guyliner. BB cream also seems to be used by men and women.

Illuninati said...

Who said men can't wear makeup? Behold the Wodaabe.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1997_276-18A_Yaake_demonstration.jpg

Titus said...

I love looking at women and the women I am most attracted to are women with minimal make up. I live in an area where the streets are a runway and these bitches out here work it-money obviously helps. Even the Harvard 19 year olds are all decked out. I don't like anything cakey on the face or much on the eyes. I also enjoy seeing women who are thin and pull their hair back so you can see the entire face. I also very much enjoy women in large boots with tight jeans tucked in and a tailored jacket (thigh or knee length) with a fab belt tight around the waist. I want minimal in their hair. I like the dying but I don't want anything that is fluffy or big or too dyed (see the republican women in Texas who ovulated over Ted Cruz). I want a minimal look in a women...even if they are trying hard for the minimal. The women in my office fit this look perfectly. The hair is required to be completely straight-no curling or any other shit.

I do love a great shade of bright red lipstick on their lips though-yummy.

Men should not wear makeup. They should definitely have some deva face moisty, shave cream and face wash-Dr. Hauschka is my fave and sometimes I will do some Kiehls.

Titus said...

I do enjoy looking at men who are in their 40's and above who still have a fierce waistline. I am 42 and have a 31 inch waist and dress fab. Chicken check me out all the time on Mass. Ave. and it feels good. Also 20 something women constantly complimenting me in the office is fulfilling.

If the man can stay thin in his older years its a win. Anything hanging below the belt it a complete travesty.

Put down the fork!

Inga said...

Titus:

" republican women in Texas who ovulated over Ted Cruz..."

Thread winner! Damn Titus, that was funny. :)

Big Mike said...

If we men are fine "just the way [we] are," then why did John Edwards get $200 haircuts?

n.n said...

chrisnavin.com:

First, this is not just about homosexual behavior. It is about normalizing dysfunctional behaviors in general, which is far more comprehensive and inclusive. Most behaviors, including dysfunctional behaviors, can be tolerated when exhibited a minority of the population. It is also important to distinguish between the individuals and their community behavior.

Second, I find it amusing that people decry religion, but then proceed to invent their own religions. They think it is about God or gods, but they are mistaken. Religion is a philosophy of morality. The addition of God or gods as supreme philosophers or enforcers, respectively, does not change the purpose or character of religion. It is about forming a consensus of principles.

Finally, I find it disturbing when substitute religions acquire cultish aspects. The distinction between religions and cults is their motivation, focus, and enforcement. The morality of secular religions are dominated by material, physical, and ego concerns, which are enforced through coercion, typically by state actors (i.e. government) or affiliates.

Alex said...

What's this about grey hairs? All of mine are white!

Ann Althouse said...

This post is about makeup, not hair. I don't mind that people are talking about hair, but hair is a different topic.

Obviously, men should get good haircuts, and if you're rich, why wouldn't you go to the kind of person who charges a lot. That's all a $200 haircut is.

As for coloring the gray, it needs to be done well. I had some white hairs even when I was a teenager, and as the white hairs increased over the years, it wrecked the vibrancy of the original color. What had been vivid red looked mousey. It made me look ridiculously older. I was otherwise young-looking. I didn't want to take the trouble, but I just did it. I have an excellent colorist, and it's a matter of adding color, including not highlights but lowlights.

At this point, if I went natural, it would probably be completely white. Maybe that would look pretty. I don't know. I'm so used to the blonde now that I identify with it. Hard to go to something I've never had as if it's somehow the "real me."

paul a'barge said...

R U Sh*tt*ng me?

http://oursalon.ning.com/m/profile?screenName=0clj1wp682wya

Alex said...

I'm still coming to terms with being middle aged at 37.

Carl Pham said...

Tush. Women need something to complain about. Make-up is a spiffy subject because you get to complain if you feel compelled to put it on and if you feel compelled not to put it on and if you can't decide. It's well-nigh perfect.

Julie C said...

There's that tribe in Africa where the men put on all kinds of makeup and try and attract the women - the Wodaabe.

Most men I know care enough to put a little effort in. Moisturizer, deodorant, hair product, aftershave. Pluck any of those nasty hairs that crop up after you reach a certain age. My two teenaged boys spend quite a bit of time in the bathroom taking care of their skin. No kid wants bad acne.

I don't judge women who don't wear makeup but I prefer subtlety. No harsh eyeliner please - it makes you look hard and it usually isn't done with a steady enough hand.

Julie C said...

Sorry Illuminati - didn't see your Wodaabe reference!

Titus said...

Tinkering, tailoring, soldiering, and spying leads to Chelsea Mannings. We need less, not more of that.


Sorry chick limp dick and obviously suppressed homosexual it's here to stay.

And it's only going to get gayer.

Now get on your knees and submit already. You know you want a big hog in your mouth Mary. And then chripit the experience of you chocking on dick-it will be fab!

Titus said...

I believe when a woman walks out the door she should try and look nice...men too.

You can look "decent" even on weekends with just a little amount of minor details.

What I don't care for and "disgusts" me is someone whatever their shape or apperance does absolutely nothing.

You can wear a sweatshirt and jeans but still do some details.

And if you are fat, no amount of work is going to help.

You just can't be fat. Fat is a game changer no matter what is on your face, businees card or body or in your coif.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Titus wrote:

Men should not wear makeup. They should definitely have some deva face moisty, shave cream and face wash-Dr. Hauschka is my fave and sometimes I will do some Kiehls.

Titus is into getting facials.

Inga said...

Thread winner! Damn Titus, that was funny. :)

Heh. When's the last time Inga ovulated over anything?

El Pollo Raylan said...

Oh and Titus? You can stop spamming my blog. Thanks.

Big Mike said...

At this point, if I went natural, it would probably be completely white. Maybe that would look pretty.

Probably. But if you're happy and Meade's happy who cares?

But just for the record, I'm not sure I spend $200 on haircuts in an entire year. What did Edwards' stylist do that my barber doesn't?

Big Mike said...

But speaking of the psychological need of women to "fix" their faces, there are a whole lot of fashions that make women look like they need fixing, not that they are fixed. I'm talking about eye shadow that makes a woman look as though her boyfriend/ husband/ significant other punched her in both eyes. I'm talking about the sunken-eyed, pale skin tones, and ultra pale lip gloss of the 1970s (or was it the 80s?) that made women look deceased. That sort of thing.

jaed said...

But that is obviously makeup, hence obviously fake. No one thinks a woman wearing white lipstick is actually newly risen from the grave; they just think she's (possibly foolishly) fashionable.

The "fresh-faced" look Althouse talks about is the hardest makeup to do. And usually requires more products and a more careful hand, since there's nothing garish on the face to distract the viewer from mistakes or flaws.

Douglas said...

What does Camille Paglia have to say about this?

Sam L. said...

Puttin' on the war paint, as was said in years past.

Anthony said...

Women have more options is a better way to put it. Consider:

At the gym: Women can wear long yoga pants, medium yoga pants, long spandex shorts, short spandex shorts, spandex tights to the knees, spandex tights to the ankle, sweat pants, long nylon shorts, short nylon shorts, tennis skirts, t-shirts tanks, spaghetti strap shirts, etc.

Men can wear long baggy shorts r sweat pants and a t-shirt; maybe a tank top.

Jedag said...

Maybe men are being judged by characteristics that are, socially and technologically, less amenable to tinkering, like height. This could conceivably be called more efficient, but unfair and only "fine" for a lucky few!

Titus said...


Heh. When's the last time Inga ovulated over anything?


When is the last time chick had a hardon or ejaculated....likely forever.