Thursday, April 3, 2008

Double Standards.

Today I was on line at Target (my favorite store, unfortunately) buying a tube of lipstick for 97 cents. Not for me, but for a project at school. When the older man who was checking me out saw what I was purchasing,  he gave me something akin to a sickened glare. I appropriately ignored it (because I can't stand confrontation, or any interaction, with people) paid the dollar whatever (tax is ridiculous) and left. On my way home, though, I began to think exhaustively, like I always so. Why on earth did I deserve that kind of treatment for buying cosmetics? Because I'm a man? 

Now, before anyone gets up my ass about this, I am not trying to defend men in relation to women, especially white men. I realize we yield more power than anyone (even though I have the "disadvantage" of being gay, that is not something that is quite long as I don't speak or move) and I'm not trying to deny that. This post is more about the twisted mores and folkways of society, a topic that is very near and dear to my heart.

Anyway. I couldn't help but notice that almost every woman I see wears make-up, and almost every man I see does not. What are the reasons behind this? First I would say tradition, because that is usually the main suspect in cases like these, but that's not the case; there are several precedents of men having wore make-up. What else? Well, I'm not positive, but I would probably have to say that, in our society, it's not exactly "butch" to care about what you look like. Sure there was that whole stupid "Metrosexual" fad but that fizzled away quickly. It's just not common for men to wear make-up, and I find that somewhat appalling. What's the big deal if I wear green eyeshadow or pink lipstick? Maybe it wouldn't be flattering on my skin tone, but I don't see why there should be any other reason. Women can put all kinds of color on their faces, but men cannot. And whose fault is this? Well, everybody's. Everybody who's not the least bit progressive in attitude, anyway.  You're told it's not right, and you believe it. It's not something you see commonly, so it's weird. 

I'm not sure what I can do about it, really. I don't really have a desire to wear make-up (because my skin is flawless and I think it's horribly fake to wear make-up) and if I do, people will think I'm transgendered (which I'm not). So I guess I will reserve myself to coping with the inequities of society. 

Damn. I wish my first post wasn't so superficial and pessimistic. But, hey, go with what you know, I guess.


Anonymous said...

Glad I can comment now. I hope lots of people find your blog. I can only imagine it's lonely out there ;-)

You've given me something to think about with the makeup for men. Although I'm also a liberal Democrat, I'm a woman who's never given that any thought, I gotta confess I'm a wee bit uncomfortable with it and for the life of me can't tell you why. The gay men I've known I've found to be extremely creative, funny and charming, but none of them wore makeup. I guess I live in a narrow world, as I honestly don't know any men who would.

I look forward to checking back in on your blog.


Lilithcat said...

Followed you here from Project Rungay!

And nail polish. A clear polish seems acceptable, though there are those who consider manicures for men effete (which is silly). But I remember as a college student, down at the Film-makers' Cinemathèque, at a showing of an Andy Warhol film, being a bit startled by a guy sitting next to me putting on nail polish. Of course, my surprise may have been because it was green - and this was in the mid-60s when green was a fairly uncommon color of nail polish for anyone!