It’s a common ideal in American culture that our women must have a certain look in order to be considered attractive. They must all be slim and curvacious and positively dead-sexy. Supermodels are the ideal, the standard by which all women must measure their own beauty.
I think that Christine’s jesting anecdote shows both sides of the issue. Women feel pressure to cover up flaws with makeup, hide blemishes, disguise signs of aging and fatigue – whether or not any of those things actually exist. Mike’s response is, I believe, the embodiment of the mindset of most men – we would much rather see our women “in their natural”, sans makeup. Part of this is simply the desire to see them free of that kind of stress, free of the chains of living up to a shallow cultural ideal. And part of it is simply that we love them just as they are. There’s no need to ‘get all gussied up’ for us, no need to hide behind all that stuff. We appreciate the natural beauty of the women we love, not the kind of fake beauty that comes from a tube. That’s just the way we are.
So, ladies, the pressure you feel to make yourselves more attractive is, by and large, your own. Any man worth his mettle is never going to pressure you to dress up and will, in fact, encourage you in quite the opposite direction. Take strength from that. You may even find that your makeup collection will start to shrink.
He loves you just the way you are.
Update: I just had to do it – I decided to give “Trailfire”:http://trailfire.com a whirl and see if I could find something on other blogs to validate this. “Here’s”:http://trailfire.com/stitzelj/trails/12400 what I’ve found so far.
Update: Christine has a great “follow-up post”:http://ckhnat.blogspot.com/2006/09/why-i-wear-make-up.html on this issue. I’m really not sure I’ve ever heard it explained from this perspective before. I learned something new, and it changes the way I see things. Thanks, Christine!