Everyone loves a pretty face. But fake is the new gorgeous. You’ve seen them all around you, young women, not just made up but faked up. It’s impossible to tell if they’re good-looking through the layers of make-up in unearthly hues, sometimes sickly yellowish tints. They don’t want anyone to see what they really look like, do they have really bad skin, are they secretly ‘ugly’? What is the attraction of the artificial, of fakery? Do the men in their lives like it, must we assume that they do? Perhaps it’s egalitarian, democratic, a template on which the face is drawn. Better to be judged on your cosmetic skills than your genetic make-up, or minor imperfections. No more freckles; plucked and polished, ‘real’ women are hairless, yes you can be ‘perfect’.
What drives it? Why is the fake desirable, is it literally desirable? Or is it conforming to a celebrity, airbrushed standard? Don’t *real* men prefer *real* women? Though sooner or later, perhaps it’s already happened, men will be faking themselves up.
Perhaps it’s protection – you can’t see or judge me, what business is it of yours what I look like? But in the process surely they lose sight of themselves, only unadorned while asleep, taken in and imprisoned by their own ‘improved’ appearance. Hopefully, it is entirely their own choice, it would be better that way. But is it down to men? What are men’s expectations, what do men look for – individuality or conformity? Someone real, or who resembles a mannequin? Or is it the fashion industry and airbrushed images of women in magazine? Where even the old look young. Though it’s rare to see pictures of older women, and they too have made themselves into impossible versions of themselves.
Yes, we must avoid reality, there is no place for getting old, saggy, wrinkled, spotty, blotchy, all the inconvenience of being real! Why be real when you can be fake? Someone has a lot to answer for! Is it one person or yet another example of market-forces. The market serves no one but the market, it has no care or concern, it doesn’t exist to make you better, or ‘prettier’, it just has better and more compelling ways of extracting money from you. Tempting as it might be to wash off all that pointless and counter-productive make-up, change needs to be made elsewhere. The Campaign for Real Ale worked, perhaps it’s time for the Campaign for Real Women. Maybe the ‘fakery of the face’ is the market fighting against feminism, crapping all over those important messages of self-worth – there is no ugly, you look OK, gorgeousness is inside, not a face powder.
We’re all responsible, we all contribute to market forces. But, the market has a runaway momentum. We need conversation instead of commerce, dialogue not dollars, freedom not fakery. Can we stop the rot? National No Make-up Day? What do men need to do? I can tell you what to do but you need to embrace the real for yourself, seek the real, be real, look for real and say ‘Fuck to fakery’.