How to change the role of makeup in a woman’s life


TEXT: Maria Servetnik

IN 1969 THE SECOND WAVE FEMINIST CAROL HANISH ISLANDS wrote essay entitled later the publishers of the “Personal is political”, in fact the former is the answer of her colleague in the feminist movement Dottie Zellner. The Hanish Islands drew the attention of readers that the leftist movement was not taken to pay sufficient attention to “women’s issues”: the pressure of beauty standards, the right to abortion, separation of duties in the family. Political groups believed that women’s personal problems, for which there was a meeting of politically active women who discussed their experience of relationships (something like “group therapy”).

It was believed that if a woman talked about their problems with a friend and agreed with my husband that the dishes they will be washed at a time, the topic is exhausted. The Hanish Islands thought: what if the obstacles and problems women face in their lives, not the result of an incorrect personal choice of each, and follow from the way women nurture and perceive? Moreover — can the personal choice to be a consequence of the great social policy and to influence it? In this context, all means of expression, including makeup, can be a political statement.

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In the Edwardian age a lady of high society obvious makeup was not supposed to (this is what we now resemble at least the heroine of “Downton Abbey”); obviously painted Actresses and prostitutes. The rest was used except cream blush that painted her cheeks and lips, and matte shadows; about red lipstick and was out of the question. It is noteworthy that in 1910 it was her, the lipstick, the suffragettes, who fought for their right to vote, chose to demonstrate emancipation. The trick worked — in 1912, in protest March in new York has come so many women with bright lips that the state could not be ignored, and together with the right makeup suffragettes won and their votes. During these years, developed the production of cosmetics: invented the lipstick in the tube and the mascara, and in 1909 Harry Gordon Selfridge was open to sell cosmetics.

After the First world war, along with economic growth, the right of women to vote and jazz appeared flappery. Girls who were protesting against the old social principles, drove, smoked, drank, had his hair cut short — that is, did everything that was formerly allowed only to men. They wore knee-length skirts — on standards time is very short, and brightly painted, as if trying to dissociate itself from the Victorian girl with her natural, gentle face. Flappery lipstick and dark eyes, plucked eyebrows, painting your lips and eyebrows. They refused to pass my youth, sitting in his father’s house and waiting until they get married, behave modestly, “as expected of girls” — and expressed it in through appearance. With the onset of the great depression places of frivolity and rebellion left, but flappery managed to change the idea of what a woman can do.

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During the Second world war the idea of makeup as a way to Express yourself picked up by the state and used it to motivate women in the rear to work for the good of the country. Given that economic conditions did not leave the opportunity to adorn themselves with clothing, women began to make bright makeup and elaborate hairstyles of the many victory rolls. The us Office of military production is considered that the lip supports the morale of the nation, and Elizabeth Arden in agreement with the U.S. government released a series of cosmetics for women serving in the Navy, with the lipstick shade of victory red.

The fifties was insignificant from the point of view of the ideological make-up. After the war soldiers were returning home and women holding jobs of men, were not needed. Became popular concept of women-Housewives: she’s not working, but engaged with home and family. The cosmetic industry when it developed and grew rich, but any political subtext makeup — in any case, mass is not carried.

How to change the role of makeup in women's life. Image # 4.

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Significant for the sixties “London way” — in other words, the makeup style Twiggy — had more of a cultural connotation. Sixties fashion was not only under the influence of pop art and op art (optical art), postmodernism and Barth writes that the author is dead, Piero Manzoni sells his shit in jars. An excellent background for experimenting with the line, not only in clothing but also in makeup. But in those same sixties there were the hippies who had fled from the capitalist consumer society and welfare in all possible ways — including abandoning cosmetics.

In feminist discourse of the seventies and up to two thousandth of an important topic was imposed by the society’s standards of beauty. Naomi wolf, third wave feminist and author of the book “the beauty Myth”, wrote: “the Skepticism of modernity fades when it comes to female beauty. She still — more than ever — is described not as something defined by mortals, formed politics, history and a market system, and the like, there is a higher, divine power that dictates an immortal Scripture that makes a woman pleasant view”. Book Woolf in a sense, sums up a very long discussion about the myth of beauty: from the late 60’s and to zero (in other words, the entire second and third wave feminism), the girls, refusing to make themselves beautiful for the sake of society, completely ignored the makeup.

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In the seventies the main fighters for freedom of expression have become punks. It is not surprising that a subculture that grew out of fans of punk rock, Express themselves (and continues to do) with appearance. Deliberately dark or bright makeup — lots of eyeshadow, eyeliner, Burgundy lipstick — protest against boring, prosperous and peaceful society. What the hippies fought for love and return to nature, punk met heavy music, dark, heavier eye makeup and aggression. In the punk culture it is interesting that she has a lot of branches, each of which has its own culture makeup: from pastel punk hair with the obligatory “mermaid” flowers gothic punk with the maximum amount of black.

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In cultural studies and sociology there is the term “reappropriate” — the process by which the group takes back the words and phenomena that were previously used to oppress that group. So, gays and lesbians in the 1980-ies was reappropriate the words “queer” and “dyke” — in Russian they can be translated as “faggot” and “… pussy-loving dyke”. They loudly and proudly said, “Yes, I’m a faggot. Yes, I am … pussy-loving dyke. I have nothing to be ashamed of”. In modern society there is reappropriate cosmetics. Now girls are often painted in a neutral (almost like in the Victorian era), under the idea of “my face but better” (“my face but better”), emphasizing your own natural beauty and self-sufficiency. Modern feminists, on the contrary, continue the tradition of lipstick feminism and use makeup as a means of self-expression: “wrong” color, the “vulgar” make-up, all these purple lipsticks, green arrow, and exaggerated eyebrows is not a “my face but better”, it’s “my face is not your business”. We can say, the women return their appearance — if the feminists of the second and third wave refused to be beautiful in the understanding of a Patriarchal society, then equate beauty to individuality and beautiful name all that believe: bright yellow lipstick, unshaven legs or pink eyelashes. It turns out, the woman is beautiful, because it considers itself as such, because all people are beautiful, because beauty as an objective category no.

PHOTOS: cover image via Shutterstock 1, 2 Images via Wikipedia and The Metropolitan Museum of Art

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