“Why worry about your hair? You have a man!” That’s an actual quote from one of my coworkers this week. She wasn’t talking to me but to another coworker who was fussing about her hair getting messed up it the rain. They both laughed & I, as a person with a sense of humor, understand that it was meant to be a joke. I also, however, understand that all jokes usually have a bit of seriousness behind them & that this particular joke speaks heaps about how my coworkers may actually view themselves.
My coworkers are older women (50+ & 60+) which means that they grew up in a generation that put a lot of emphasis on marriage & “finding a man.” I’m aware that not all, but many women in that age group probably have spent their lives dressing to impress the opposite sex. Media & advertising strongly encouraged it (great marketing technique). To see what I mean, take a look at this Maybelline commercial from 1956, paying careful attention to the jingle at the end.
I am very “girly” and have always been that way. As a kid, I loved playing dress up. I loved wearing my mom’s makeup & nail polish. All I wanted for Christmas was makeup to play with. When I went to yard sales with my grandparents, I always came back with lots of hideous clip on earrings & fake pearl necklaces. Those kinds of things have always made me very happy.
My love for makeup & for getting “all dolled up” has never came from a place of vanity & never came from a place of insecurity. I have never bought a new lipstick with the intention of impressing a man with it. I do what I do for me and because it makes me happy. Makeup is an art for me, a form of self-expression.
I hope, with all my heart, that my readers can say the same thing. If you are going to go through the time & effort to do your hair & makeup or to walk around in a dress & high heels, I hope you are doing it for you & not just to impress men. I like to believe that we, modern women, have grown out of some of the ideas that were impressed upon our grandmothers.
What about you? Who are you getting dolled up for? I’d like to hear your thoughts!