Saturday, February 07, 2009

The Thicker the Make-up, the Thicker the Drama

This is the third women-watching aphorism from Mark Mallman.


Anonymous said...

Come now, this is getting a bit excessive. High heels, short skirts, heavy make-up... can we stop bashing women for attempting to meet the unreasonable standards of beauty our society has set for them and start considering ways to free them from these shackles?

I'm glad that the guys are sending a message by choosing mates who don't comply with these standards, but it still feels a wee bit like an idle, barbed judgment. Can we try for positive rather than negative aphorisms? ....

The baggier the sweat pants, the bigger the hugs?
The bigger the backpack, the brighter the babe?
The flatter the footwear, the funner [sic] the date?

In my experience, it's nicer to be told that I'm sexy when unshowered and wearing sweat pants than to be told that I'm a harlot in the heels and make-up I wear to work. Just a hint for their future relationships....

I like Shmuley Boteach's book, Hating Women, on this subject.

Anonymous said...

I'm a word nerd, so here's one that sounds like a 1950's throw back:

"The homelier the handbag, the handier the homemaker"

Oddly, I thought of it while making dinner AND reading my Virginia Woolf homework.

Gruntled said...

I like all of your suggestions.

I don't think the concept of "the unreasonable standards of beauty our society has set" is helpful. Your own alternative aphorisms demonstrate that there are other ways for women to choose to dress.

Can you generalize about which kinds of women dress which way?

Anonymous said...

Hmm... You're right that, to some degree, we have a choice of what we wear. Or, at least, we have a choice of what situations we put ourselves in, and the situations are what dictate our range of clothing options. (e.g. graduate student vs. lawyer, movie night vs. fancy restaurant, etc.). And perhaps the appearance serves as an indicator of which of these paths the person is apt to choose.

Nonetheless, I'd say that not all graduate students are low drama, low maintenance (by a long shot). Nor are all lawyers high drama, high maintenance. Can you still generalize about them to some degree? Certainly, but you'll end up rejecting on sight a great many viable options.

The make-up generalization, though, is a bit much. I'd say most women wear heavy make-up not because they're waiting to ruin the lives of unsuspecting men with their high drama. Rather, we do it because we're insecure. The best remedy for that is a partner (or father) who says he loves you just as much when make-up free.