Where did make-up come from? And why has it completely taken over the lives of so many women? It’s something I’ve been pondering lately, due to a number of factors.
Firstly, it would take a lot of persuasion to get me in to a large department store, especially in the lead up to Christmas, because quite frankly, they terrify me! However, having been kindly given some vouchers to spend in one such store in Geneva, I reluctantly popped in to the city en route to the airport this week to do some spending!
Now walking in to the first of the 6 gigantic floors, I immediately felt myself getting far too hot and flustered, as generally happens in places like this! The lights are too bright, there are too many people and there are far too many chinadoll-like women asking me if I would like some help! But aside from my personal fear of department stores, what really struck me was the amount of emphasis there was on make-up and glamour. There was a whole floor dedicated to make-up! And I would hazard that there were in fact more staff busying around than there were customers to serve. It was reasonably early in the morning, perhaps before many glamour seekers chose to surface… But I was genuinely shocked by the amount of slap on the faces of these women who were supposedly there to help me tailor my look and create a more beautiful me. At what point did we become obsessed with covering up our natural faces and creating a completely fake identity?
But what really brought this home for me recently is the latest Children in Need campaign, encouraging women to go ‘bear faced for charity’. Now of course Children in Need is a fantastic cause and they if they believe they can raise enormous amounts of money through persuading people to avoid make-up for a photograph, then by all means cash in. But what bothers me is that it just seems like a dreadful reflection on our society that one of the absolute worst things a woman could possibly imagine doing is being seen in public, or even worse, being photographed, without any make-up on.
I feel like I need a quick reminder of just some of the many challenges that have been done for charitable causes over the years, be it for widely publicised causes like Children in Need and Comic Relief, or smaller, more personal charities.
Swimming the English Channel
43 marathons in 52 days
Walking 108km across a Kenyan desert
These challenges have pushed people to the limit, tested their physical and mental strength and have left them with an enormous sense of achievement. Does being forced to not wear any make-up have the same effect? Are they really in the same category? Unfortunately I am being led to believe that the answer is yes, which to me is a truly horrifying reflection on the world we live in today.