Day 5: Gender, sexuality and body politics

So yesterday was day 5 and I chose “gender” as my challenge topic. I have grown up with mostly girls in my family. This has caused me to understand them more, although I have not achieved a full understanding with regards to how it feels performing some of the rituals which they perform, such as putting makeup on. This is because I have never worn makeup for an entire day for purposes other than school plays or performances. To achieve this physical feeling I decided to wear makeup for an entire day, as well as apply it myself. This was to discover how girls managed their time in the mornings before doing daily activities as well.

On The GuardianRhiannon Lucy Cosslett speaks about the different reasons why girls wear makeup. This is something, although living with girls, I have always wondered. I have often thought about how there really is no need, apart from the odd occasion or a small amount to be applied, for the use of makeup. Although some may see it as attractive, I have always liked to see people’s faces as they are naturally. Cosslett’s one point is that girls often wear makeup only because they like to, and not to impress anyone. After this challenge I do understand why women would want to wear some makeup but still stand by my previous opinion that only a small amount should be used.

The day was not bad. I got up in the morning and did what I usually do. I then applied the makeup quickly and efficiently (quite well I must admit) and left for university. On the way to Vega was unusual because I was not sure what the reaction from others would be and was nervous that I would not like those reactions. They were normal at first. No one really noticed me. But further along into my drive when I had gotten used to the makeup a bit more and was sitting in traffic, a taxi started hooting for my attention from next to me. The one man in the taxi started blowing kisses and there were people laughing and looking in confusion. I didn’t take it badly, I just laughed and waved and thought of it as amusing.

At university, most people stopped when they saw me, realised it was obviously for the project, and then laughed. This was the most common reaction. Others said I looked fabulous or beautiful. The girls were the most shocked when I told them that I applied the makeup myself and some even said that they would be jealous if I was a girl and that I do my makeup better than they can. I even tied my hair up at one point but then released it a few hours later because I had to give the elastic band back.

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The drive home wasn’t bad nothing interesting happened and no one really looked at me in confusion or blew kisses at me.

The experience was enjoyable and, after the whole thing, I do understand why girls wear makeup. Were it not seen as unusual, I probably would wear a bit of mascara and maybe eyeliner to make my eyes stand out more. But that is where my makeup use would end. I had fun and I enjoyed this challenge the most so far.

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