Last updated: September 27. 2013 12:10AM - 1974 Views
Judith Victoria Hensley Plain Thoughts

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“Even and old barn looks better with a new coat of paint.”

I’ve heard that old joke throughout my lifetime. Modern women seem to think that if they slap a little paint on their barn as it ages, no one will notice that they are getting older. That just isn’t true. It is a commercial tactic that cosmetic companies use to lure women into dedicating a significant part of their wealth into trying to look artificially beautiful, or deceives them into thinking they can appear to stay perpetually young.

No amount of makeup can hide a person’s age. In my opinion, cosmetics are only useful if they enhance natural beauty or help cover a flaw that can’t be helped. Young women first learning to use make-up try to cover up blemishes, not realize that packing it over pimples and clogging their pores is a significant part of what causes the problem in the first place.

Children should not be wearing makeup on a daily basis. Sending little kids to school in full face make-up is absurd. Real life kids do not look like those Toddlers and Tiaras on a daily basis. Let’s let them enjoy their childhood and being carefree, unburdened by the ridiculous idea that their worth as a human being only depends on their outward looks.

American society went through a phase of valuing “natural beauty.” That didn’t mean that a woman wasn’t encouraged to wear makeup. On the contrary. It was a “look” that required a great deal of time and makeup with the ultimate goal of looking like no makeup had been used and the person was naturally that flawless.

Young women who constantly compare themselves to magazine beauty don’t realize that the person in the photos had a whole team doing their hair, makeup and dressing them to look the absolute image of perfection. Once the photos are taken, if there is any bit of undesirable “human imperfection” it is airbrushed away in the photo before it is ever published. These images create an impossible goal.

Last week I saw an untouched picture of a supermodel who had recently delivered a baby. Guess what? She had major stretch marks and some loose tummy skin. Does anyone know why the American media has set about to glorify the unattainable perfection of the American women? Real women are beautiful. They may be imperfect, but they are beautiful just the same. It seems to me that it makes a lot more sense to see people as they are, not airbrushed, not photo shopped, not slathered in make-up.

There is a commercial on television right now that cracks me up. Two children are waiting for their mom to serve them cereal or give them lunches – some mundane every day task. When she turns around, she has so much eye makeup on that it scares her kids. They both gasp in shock and the mother says, “It’s called the smoky eye.”

The whole thing is a spoof of middle-aged women trying to be something they are not. But honestly, after that commercial aired, I have seen several women in Harlan doing the same thing! Apparently they didn’t get it that the whole thing was poking fun at the woman and not a good look!

Looking like a raccoon is not cool. It is not pretty, nor is it attractive. It never has been. Maybe that look works for Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean. I don’t know if real pirates wore black eyeliner or not. If they did, I’d dare say it was to make them look more formidable to their enemies.

Wikipedia defines eyeliner like this: Eyeliner is a cosmetic used to define the eyes. It is applied around the contours of the eye to create a variety of aesthetic illusions. It is usually used by women and girls.

Watch out guys! If the cosmetic industry can convince you to spend your cash on makeup, they will start all kinds of crazy, bizarre looks that require men to wear cosmetics! It’s not about your beauty. It’s about getting your money into their bank accounts! PERIOD.

The Egyptians used eyeliner as a black line around the eyes. The purpose of this is not known for certain. There are speculations that it was to protect them from evil spirits, to make them look distinct from the slave class of people, and maybe to reduce the glare of the desert sun from their eyes. It first appears in artwork thousands of years before Christ. When Tutankhamun’s tomb was discovered, the face on the sarcophagus notably showed eyeliner on the young dead pharaoh. This brought the use of eyeliner into the attention of the media and cosmetic makers, who were striving to change the look of the modern American woman in the 1920s. A civilization that had never encouraged women to get attention by wearing a lot of make-up suddenly wanted women to feel like the very act of breaking away from the old norms of modesty in dress, hair, and make-up was a good thing. As in all fashion trends, the bottom line was money in the manufacturer’s pocket.

When I was a child, I remember the fad of black eye-liner when the liquid version first appeared, coupled with white eye-shadow and lots of mascara. It really did make the eyes stand out, but in a bizarre, unnatural way. This look didn’t last long, but women were hooked on accenting their eyes. Eyeliners began to be made in different colors. Eye shadow began to appear in every color of the rainbow. And women didn’t know how to use it well. We went through a decade or so back then of women with too much makeup on looking like Bozo the clown. Their faces were drawn on so artificially, the new look wasn’t fooling anybody. There wasn’t any part of natural beauty about it.

Black eyeliner became a mainstay for the young people, male and female, who were going after the “Goth look” or “punk fashion.” Just like this fad for kids, adults with too much make up, especially with it caked around their eyes like some wild beast, are making a fashion statement that screams, “Look at me! Look at me! Somebody, please look at me!”

Overdone, caked on make-up usually has the opposite of its desired effect. It doesn’t make people look at the wearer favorably. It either causes people to look away or to have a negative impression of the overdone individual.

Eyeliner’s purpose, according to Wikipedia is to create the look of a wider or smaller eye. It says that eyeliner placed on different parts of the eye gives different looks, but is intended to be used at the waterlines of the eyes. Eyeliner was created to enhance the beauty of the eyes and to make lashes look thicker. The site notes that smudged eyeliner under the eyes is often used in photographs to create a look of “depression.”

(That means no Jack Sparrow black ringed eyes, no raccoon eyes, no Egyptian eyes – unless you are going to wear a costume with it!)

I may need to use more cosmetics than I do. My barn is getting older, but I reserve the use of cosmetics for special occasions. At 61, I don’t think the overuse of cosmetics is going to fool anyone. My hope of preserving my complexion is the opposite of what the media would have us believe. In my mind, less is better. If I am going someplace special that calls for a more “dressed-up” look, I can put war paint on with the best of them. Maybe I’m fooling myself. Maybe this old barn would look better with a new coat of paint.

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