All Bound for Muumuu Land – Body image, bare face and red lipstick.

 By Tindara

I’ve gone out of the house with no
make-up on most of this week. This is not by design, simply down to
the fact that I’ve been busy and pushed for time. Also, I have
taken to carrying a small and beautiful orange satchel which doesn’t
allow for carrying much make-up with me. It got me thinking again
about that naked face for charity nonsense a while back where people
were talking about women as ‘brave’ for showing what they looked
like with a bare face. It was all a bit silly really, wasn’t it? I
often go out bare faced. The first couple of hours I feel a bit
unfinished, but then I get used to it. I see my pink cheeks and small
bright eyes and it’s all fine. I recognise that face, the old
faithful. Why would it be brave? 

It makes wearing make-up fun again
rather than a chore that’s part of your morning rush hour, a few
bare faced days and putting on a full face again is thrilling. I love
my pots and brushes and sticks of colour, I see them as an extension
of my creativity and a means of self-expression. For me it’s a
statement of intent; confidence, passion, a commitment to myself, who
I am, not just what I look like. I realise that sounds overblown,
you’re probably thinking “Get over yourself love, it‘s only
lipstick.” But in a world where people are constantly telling my
fat self to pipe down and get in the shadows I feel it’s an
important statement. I could just wear a muumuu all the time and sit
in the house, I suppose, but I’m not ready for my muumuu yet.

Recently, I attended one of the
Selfridges Beauty Project events where a panel were discussing body
image; they spoke about beauty being democratic in a world where
fashion leaves a whole lot of people out. This is definitely my
experience. But also, people see the world of make-up as a masking of
imperfection rather than an exuberant female rite of passage. Yes, we
all wear foundation and concealer, and strive to deal with the
problem areas that irritate us. I will be reporting back on my
experience of non-invasive procedures on my double chin shortly, so I
know how it feels. 

It’s the other
stuff that gets me going, though, the purple and pink waxy matt
sticks, palettes of rainbow powders, the slick of red or fuchsia
satin lips, an inky black calligrapher style pen for eyelids. People
say these are brave too. As though the only acceptable box for women
is that marked beige and perfect. No more, no less. Don’t stand
out or get too big or too small. Don’t be bare-faced or scruffy,
don’t have tattoos, piercings, or be different in any way. Maybe
it’s best if we remember we’re all in this together whatever our
bodies or faces are like, whatever lipstick we choose to wear,
whether we favour bikinis or muumuus. Actually, I’ve just looked
some up on google images; I think one could work with a belt and some
gladiator sandals. What do you think?

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1 Comment

  1. June 8, 2014 / 11:00 am

    I know the feeling, I've also had to leave the house make-up free this week due to lateness. It wasn't that bad, I got used to it too. If I'm taking the train into London, I usually have my make-up bag to apply make-up but no foundation, which isn't too bad now we're in summer. And there's less to remove later, eh eh!

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