Beloved just did a “reveal post” that reminded me of the culture of makeup. She lives in Vermont and wears makeup. When I was in college in western Massachusetts, most women didn’t wear makeup. In fact many women didn’t shave their legs. Doing either of those was yielding to false expectations of male-dominated society. If you had any self-respect at all, you didn’t need makeup (was the rhetoric).
One of my buddies from New England was interested in a woman from Atlanta. His biggest hesitation was that she was a Mary Kay rep and he was concerned she lacked self-confidence because she always wore makeup.
I replied, “Look, in New England if you are in public and wearing makeup, it means you have no self-respect. You’re hiding behind a mask. But the further south you move in the US, the more makeup culture changes. If you leave the house without makeup below Mason-Dixon, then you don’t respect yourself. Living in Baltimore, if I showed up for a client meeting without makeup, it showed I didn’t take myself seriously as a woman.”
I’ve noticed that in Korean culture on the east coast, makeup equals self-respect. Now that I’m on the west coast, the north/south rule seems to still apply. Seattle? No make-up. Bay Area, mixed. LA? Makeup (+ plastic surgery) or die! As a tomboy, my default option is no-makeup. I’d rather happily surprise when I wear makeup than disappoint if I get lazy… Fortunately, here at work, I’m surrounded by Asian women who mostly wear no makeup. Phew!
What do women do where you live? What do you think of makeup? Spawn of Satan? Groovy Fun? Necessary as water for survival?