Last week we were posting “make-up free selfies” on social networks to help raise cancer awareness, which raised heaps of cash. Brilliant.
Not so brilliant was that most of my friends labeled their pictures with apologies and jokes about putting people off their breakfast or struggling to find a room dark enough. I did too.
It’s shocking, isn’t it? That it’s considered brave or cruel to inflict our bare faces on our friends and families. The self-loathing of people I love was chilling. I took mine by lamplight so that I wouldn’t look like I really do without make-up in the cold light of day or under the harsh bathroom light.
People who suggest we’d all look “a lot better without make up” are often the very same people who when you don’t wear make-up say: ” You look a bit peaky/tired/poorly/worried/ill/unhappy/weak/different/pale/sad today”.
That has pretty much happened EVERY time I have gone without any make-up. And it reaffirms the view that my bare face, my unmade-up face is not acceptable. Is ill. Is not pleasant to look at. So I wear make-up.
But there’s more to this isn’t there? There’s the media. I made a joke a few months ago that I was looking more and more like Charlize Theron every day…. in the film “Monster”. On that film’s release the media let out an audible gasp at the state poor old Charlize had let herself get into in the name of art.
Was it just me who thought that Monster Charlize was probably closer to Actual Charlize than Red Carpet Charlize? Without make-up, airbrushing, the gym, skin care, lighting, she would not look like Red Carpet Charlize. Without make-up she might not look like a mullet-wearing, wild-eyed, jaw-gnashing serial killer either, but she definitely doesn’t look like Red Carpet Charlize.
But a lot of us, including Charlize, DO look like the trashy magazine’s ‘Stars without make-up’ pictures, often headlined with words like “SHOCK” or “WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO..?”. Nothing, that’s what. That’s what they look like when nothing has happened to them.
And we’re not really shocked are we? What’s shocking is that despite knowing all this, we still look at those pictures with relief and glee that our human face is a normal one, our made-up face is not.