Sunday, 16 October 2016

On Beauty and Fashion

Often, when people find out that I have a blog, the first question they will ask me is 'What do you blog about?' and I'll reply 'Oh, just make-up and books and stuff'.

It's that one little word, that 'just'. I wish I didn't include it, but I do. Because of course makeup, and fashion for that matter, isn't 'just' anything. I love makeup. It might sound silly, it might sound naive, and it might sound vain, but I really do. I love the act of putting it on my face and I love the way it can manipulate the way I feel as much as it can the way I look. I even, sometimes, love the act of removing it. I use coconut oil to remove my makeup and I enjoy smearing black eyeliner and red lipstick all over my face in an oily, gory mess, before rinsing it all down the sink. I love the feeling of nakedness with it off just as much as I love the feeling of togetherness with it on.

My use of the word 'just' has as much to do with my playing down of my love of makeup as it does playing down the importance of makeup itself. Like it or not, makeup is important. It is just seen as silly because it is virtually exclusive to the world of women. It is much the same with fashion.

(As an aside, I am writing this after watching Inside British Vogue, a documentary made for the BBC by a rather condescending man who scoffs at clothes and the-women-who-work-at-Vogue's investment in them, before getting completely played by Vogue's editor in chief, Alexandra Schulman. It made me so angry that I had to let it out.)

I have never put on makeup because of a boy. I only put on to feel good (admittedly, I might want to feel good in front of a boy, and makeup is a part of that). I often put on makeup for other girls, and I often make my clothes choices for other girls - nothing makes me happier than when another girl compliments my clothes or makeup because I know how invested those girls are in clothes and makeup.

Loving makeup isn't silly, naive, or vain. It should be treated no differently than loving books (which I do) or films. Makeup can be a cultural and political statement, as much as it can be 'just for fun'. It can be both and liking it for both is just as valid as one or the other.

So, with that in mind, I shall carry on wearing, and blogging, about makeup and fashion. I shall try not to downplay my love for them both. And I shall fiercely defend them against anyone who says they are unimportant.

1 comment:

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