So, I was on vacation with my dad and I got the flu. When I came down to breakfast one morning, he said, "You have your color back, Doll! You must be feeling better!" "It's makeup, Dad," I stated:
And it was: that magic, scientific makeup that does something to customize itself to your skin-tone and give you a realistic flush. My father had not known such artful makeup existed. Indeed, few men do. But many claim to dislike makeup. By this, of course, they mean recognizable makeup: heavy eyeshadow, bold lipsticks, various forms of sparkle (and I recuse the men-children of Jersey Shore from this generalization). It's very annoying, because all those guys (one in ten according to a survey quoted in the Daily Mail) who claim to prefer a "natural look" with no makeup are probably thinking of, at least, a tinted moisturizer, a little mascara and maybe a dash of color. The complaints against makeup have always smacked of a certain internalized puritanism, a retrograde horror of display and lily-gilding, and an unrecognized conviction that, as my great-grandmother would say, "nice girls don't paint their faces." (Indeed, on the other side of the family, one great-Grandma Ida got a reputation for being "fast" in the Warsaw ghetto when she reddened her cheeks with damp crepe paper.)
I'll just say it once: men don't "hate" makeup. Men don't know what makeup looks like. Maybe they don't like Tammy Faye Baker maquillage, but guess what: neither do we. It's like my saying, "I hate hair products on men" because of DJ Pauly D's dubious coiffure. The notion of cosmetics becomes problematic when people feel unworthy without them, when a woman feels a need to hide or disguise or change. But by the same token, it's a very unfair standard to demand that women be "naturally" beautiful - as beautiful as a youthful princess gifted in the cradle - without their aid.