Some of the questions and feedback I have had around I say a little prayer for you relate to working with, or using make up as a medium to generate responses or conversation. It’s divisive and difficult, it seems to draw out vulnerabilities, it seems to stir up feminist angst, women I have talked with, or who have voiced thoughts on the work hold conflicting feelings and some, very strong opinions on makeup.
Curious to hear from more women on make up and feminism, reading and writing in my bedroom of all places, I did a bit of a search for TED talks on youtube that may broach this subject. I was a bit bored by the, ‘we are all beautiful’ ‘be grateful for being alive’ and ‘how the beauty industry harms us all’ talks, and found this talk by artist Marie-Pascale Lafrenière to be more nuanced in the conversations about makeup, gender and performance of the self. Lafrenière talks about makeup and social media, touches on mental heath, self confidence and well being.
She touches briefly on the history of makeup, for [self identified] men and [self identified] women its history connecting to adornment as well as a protection. Interesting! She raised concerns around its prevalence in media as a tool for promoting conformity rather than self expression, and the difficulties that arise when expectations do not meet with reality. And ‘who you are is so much more important than what you look like’. She also states that makeup can be a social experience, I think she means in connecting, playing and as a tool for self expression. Thinking about faces I see, daily, and whether they have on make up or not…as a user of social media I see made up faces everyday, even if not in my real life communities.
I think there is still more to talk about with regards to makeup, and I enjoyed a younger (than me) woman talking about makeup, particularly around play and self expression.