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Offbeat – 28 March 2013

http://pierremare.blogspot.com

 

Makeup is an aesthetic that requires the canvass of the right face. Most ideas about how to use makeup seem to come from fashion magazines. In fact, I suspect, it’s only fashion magazines, because there is a shortage of items on the topic in magazines about industrial equipment and finances.

Sometimes, I get stuck for ideas for these columns, usually because I have a lot of other stuff going through my mind, or because all my thoughts are inappropriate to the moment. When it happens, I hit a random noun generator on the web, which is kind of cool. I scan down the list of words and see if something lights up my mind.
Today, I found the word ‘makeup’, which seems kind of cool. Let’s see where it goes.
I think… I am glad that the Eighties are over. Makeup was all the rage for male youth then. There were kids who wore it, and they looked ineffably cool. Of course they also had the clothing and the hairstyles. Even here, in this small town, they managed somehow to look good to my adolescent eyes.
Of course, they had their challenges. Moms and dads were a problem. So were the impromptu attempts at ear piercings in the boys toilet at the school dance. A cold window handle does not make a good substitute for ice, when trying to press a piece of wire through the ear. That didn’t happen, although we all cheered him on.
I watched a You Tube video the other day. If you grew up in the Eighties, you will probably remember A Flock of Seagull’s ‘Photograph’. It was a great song. The video gave me pause to think back to then. The look of the lead singer was terrifying, somewhere between Bugs Bunny and a rather demented cat person. I would have thought it was cool back then, but in hindsight I am glad I switched from a school that listened to New Wave to a school that listened to RnB.
That relieved the pressure on the makeup thing. I can safely say that I maintained my rumpled overweight credibility, and don’t have the image of me trying to be cool with eye shadow to cringe about. In spite of my leftish, liberal bent, there are still some things I am very conservative about.
Conservatism. That’s an interesting concept in relation to makeup. Strangely enough, conservative people usually build makeup into their world views, as long as it is not for boys. One would half expect conservative people to be somewhat dour about flamboyance, and, generalising here they often are, when it comes to fine art choices. Not so when it comes to makeup. Women seem to be expected to wear it, in addition to stockings and accoutrements and outfits and all those other things.
The funny thing is that some people just can’t wear it. Sometimes eye shadow looks completely inept, and the lipstick produces what look like two red slugs crawling across the face. There’s a subtle art to makeup, and a reason why makeup artists exist.
Makeup is an aesthetic that requires the canvass of the right face. Most ideas about how to use makeup seem to come from fashion magazines. In fact, I suspect, it’s only fashion magazines, because there is a shortage of items on the topic in magazines about industrial equipment and finances.
So what happens if the canvass isn’t right?
First impressions count in many circles. You have to look a certain way if you want to impress certain people, and makeup seems to be the way to go for women. Unfortunately, as far as I can gather, that sort of superficial approach, seems to endure with the idea that makeup should be worn every day. No doubt the people who judge others by that standard have the attention span of meerkats, if every day requires a good first impression.
It doesn’t work much for me. I’m not one to be swayed by the qualification of ‘third runner up in the 1989 Miss Pineapples Beauty Contest’. Over-reliance on makeup and looks can show that something else is lacking.
Here’s another way of looking at it. Brains and hearts are not essentially pretty things if you take them out of their casings. Yet those are the items that you have to live with every day, once you become inured to the look.
The best looks are the way that friends and lovers look. As the web meme says, the most beautiful person is someone’s nightmare.
Personality and the quality of the mind rule the day. You don’t have to look good to be wonderful.

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