A Brush Away

As I stare into the abyss that is my computer screen, the time reading 11:20 PM or so, I wonder about a particular principle in our daily lives. Or perhaps not daily, as I won't dare assume we all have the same sets of values and concerns--but I do wonder about the state of such a standard in our society (though, even that word varies in regards to culture and upbringing).

What I am concerned with, to be honest, was the result of a conversation I had with my roommate just the night before; not to bring up anything of personal merit, but our discussion did leave a seed of interest and a question as my day went on. I was at my desk, attempting to do some college school work, while she was in her bed reading, and the question came about involving the choosing of wearing makeup.

The conversation, though simple at first glance, involves a far more darker and innately concerning matter: what does it mean when one's character is simply judged by the act of wearing mascara or lipstick?

For instance, when a young woman chooses to make up her face, it's generally accepted as a common occurrence (speaking only in the United States of America). Now make the woman a teenager, an eight year old in a pageant, an older woman, or a defined 'man'--the lines begin to blur, and the narrative skews; but the tool remains the same.

So, I ask, what is makeup? The name itself involves cosmetics, change, and even personality and character. 'Makeup' involves more than just the appearance alone, but the very essence of a persona. With this in mind, we understand that the word 'makeup' comes with an actual consequence and result.

Not only is it a tool for change, or dare I say, improvement of one's visage, but an administration of another identity. It is with this desire for metamorphosis, that the innate will to define (judge) and clarify comes to fruition. One's style comes to trial of question and understanding. A style, intentional or not, interconnects race, sex, age, and class to a point where the lines are too blurred to separate and categorize. Yet, we go on--and attempt to do so.

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