Friday, 9 November 2012

Applying make up in public. A few thoughts.

Lately I've read a few posts/articles discussing women who apply their make up in public. I'm kind of fascinated by the fact people have such strong feelings regarding this seemingly (to me at least) innocuous act, so here's my ten pennies worth!

I'd like to think this is more my style!
I'm not the kind of girl who could ever apply anything more than lip balm in a moving vehicle. Firstly, I'm too damn clumsy & secondly my most basic routine involves far too many bits to easily transport. However that does not mean I'm not slightly envious of those who can get on a train straight from the shower & emerge at their station 'done'.
I do however worry about the hygiene of putting my pots & tubes on a table that I can't confirm the cleanliness of. I also like to wash my hands before & after applying anything near my face & don't even get me started on the standards in public toilets! Give me a spotless dressing table & massive, well lit mirror any day but that's just me. If you're the type f girl who has the motivation & ability to do a good enough job of your face on the go, I'm happy for you. 
When it comes to those who wish to ban the application of cosmetics in public, I get quite wound up. I can see how the use of sprays is inappropriate, but slapping a bit of BB cream on whilst on a bus? Really?! How can this be offensive or intrusive to others? It's not noisy, it's not smelly & done correctly its not messy. I understand the strange looks from other commuters. The application of make up could be considered an intimate task, something that takes place behind closed doors & so when performed out of this context could raise the eyebrow of somebody unaccustomed to such a sight. In an article on the Telegraph website (link at end) Celia Walden argues that there is little point in going to the trouble if you're 'publically admitting the fraudulence of it all'. There's a part of me that agrees with her but I'm more inclined to argue that as long as you reach your target audience looking your best, do you care that a carriage full of strangers see you in a less complete state of made up-ness?
I admire the steadiness of hand this requires!
It would appear, from reading numerous blog posts that it is this ruining the mystique of the transformation that most women who disagree it with it finding disturbing. I'm with this argument to a point. I couldn't leave the house without the basics in place but that doesn't mean those who are more confident (or more naturally beautiful!) than me, are in some way betraying the sisterhood and leaking our feminine secrets to the world. Its the 21st century, there are not many men (or women) out there who believe we all roll out of bed  with perfect skin, amazing bone structure and defined eyes!
 What I don't understand is how this can stir up such strength of feeling. I'd be really interested to see make up being applied in such a way as to be considered 'disruptive'! Happily I seldom have to take public transport these days but I've done my fair share & I can safely say there are far more disruptive & down right offensive behaviours than a woman putting her face on. Surely there's more important issues for transport companies to be worrying about? Crime, loud music, poor manners, people leaving rubbish & food scraps, in my mind are all far more off putting to commuters than a woman with a mascara wand. As for it being unhygienic, surely that's more of a concern to those with their cosmetics out and about in a carriage full of coughing, sneezing and even spitting (nasty I know, but I have seen it happen!). As for opening up an intimate act for the world to see, I wonder if these people have ever considered the intimate details of their lives we've overheard whilst they've been on their phones?

I guess the long and the short of it is, the application of make in public is a matter of social etiquette and personal preference. I can't see the British public transport system rolling out a blanket ban, like the Japanese are considering, on powder compacts and lipstick but I can hear the debates in offices countrywide about 'that' woman on the train who dare to crack open her make up bag and set about getting herself beautified for work. 

A few of the articles that lead me to consider this piece are linked below. Images are courtesy of Google Image Search. 

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