I am looking through Media Take Out and I noticed that they have a post about Venus Williams being seen out with no make-up. When I click on the article, it’s worse than I thought!
This brought me back to my childhood. It made me remember a time when I was going through puberty and I had enough hair on my legs to braid it! My Mother said, “Don’t cut it, it will only grow back thicker”! Ofcourse, me being the lady that I am, I immediately found the nearest lady shaver and got to it! Plus, it doesn’t make sense! When I take a shower, I still get dirty by the next day and I do it all over again! Mom, what does hair growing back have to do with shaving it in the first place!! (Don’t tell her I said that, she may slap me! LOL)
But I want to know, why are we so behind times with make-up, facial and body hair? I know that I am not the only one that grew up this way as I witness many African American women that have no idea of what foundation means unless you are talking about a gurdle and the only make-up that they have in their bag is a stick of cocoa butter, vaseline and a black eye pencil!
Ladies, I know in the past there wasn’t a huge selection of make-up choices for women of color, but times have changed and it is time to grow up!
Before you start cussing me out, I know that Black is Beautiful, but let’s take a cue from some of the most graceful and elegant black women in the game these days and upgrade!!
Trust me, I know what you are going to say….”I look good without make-up”! But, before you are so bold just look at the picture below. If Halle Berry looks like a refugee from some foreign day camp with no make-up, you might want to check your mirror.
Hot Button Issue!
Madison: “Hey Kasey I know it took me all day to respond to this post, but I just did actually feel like getting to the computer to write anything today as you know I have been trying to get over this contagion. Can I say I saw that damn movie and that’s all I can think about every time I catch something now, so it leaves me using hand sanitizer like every 5 minutes.
So okay now as for your post. You know when you tried to talk to me about it on the phone I didn’t want to speak on it directly because I wanted to get the thoughts out on here first but I think that your topic was not harsh at all but very necessary. This in fact is like a frontier that is not really being addressed by African American women and one that has recently come up in conversation with my own Mother.
Since I am currently raising my own temperamental “Pre-Teen Beauty/Drama Queen” the questions of how to instill a since of beauty and confidence in her are always considerations. I was just talking to my Mom about the fact that now she’s of age where her friends (mainly white peers) are shaving, this was last year, end of 6th grade, she wanted to shave and my first reaction was like, “NO WAY you’re in 6th grade there is no reason for you to shave you don’t even have enough hair”. There was even a back and forth negotiation period where I wanted her to take up swimming as a sport and she wouldn’t because she really wanted to shave so I told her that the compromise would be if you swim then you can shave, she got really excited. However it seems that the way it has turned out has been that she is shaving but I still haven’t seen any swimming. But I had to really think about why was I telling her no to shaving? I guess I would refer to this as a HOT BUTTON issue because I think there is some much underlined stuff in this conversation that may go even a little deeper than what you wanted to get on a wordpress post. There is a cultural set back I do believe with how many of us African American Mother’s raise our Black daughters and begin to form their image of beauty as it relates to self. As women now of a certain age we can reflect back to that moment when we first noticed our Mother’s beauty habits (regime) and either stood in awe or began to compare them to other moms and thought wow I wish my Mom was more glamorous. For me, my Mother and Grandmother both seemed glamorous and on the go. They used to have beautiful gowns made, they used to be hip and wit it (look I know using those terms just made me unhip and not wit it), but they were. I used to hear stories of my Mom being in a singing group pretending that she was Diana Ross and her girls were the Surpremes.
(The Surpremes epitomized glamour and beauty that created a standard for African American women that seems to still be unsurpassed, it’s like they raised the bar and we left it there)
Needless to say growing up and seeing the old pictures of my Mother and Grandmother and seeing the wigs and make up, made me look at those days with starry eyes. Then growing up and watching my Mom work hard but still find small moments for fun with my Grandmotherand seeing them go to get dresses made (which may have only been once or twice) left an image of beauty in my mind that I still want to reach.
Now while I completely, completely agree with everything you’ve said, black women in 2012 need to stop looking like they are competing for “Americans Next Top Dude” and actually look in the mirror and realize that they have in fact reached that moment in time where they have gone from looking freshed faced to looking like they are a patient in ICU and stop by a freakin MAC or my personal preference a Bobbi Brown counter and get a Mother Freggin consultation. See Ex.1 this is what that looks like.
(Exhibit 1. MAC consultation form)
As for me personally, I consider myself to be more of a naturalist meaning I’d usually take a facial or deal with overall diet to get at the root causes of not having clear skin over just a cover up with make up. Just like I’d prefer to actually diet and exercise as opposed to using cosmetic surgery so again I’d be addressing root causes not covering up. That being said now that the 30’s are hitting in full force and with them come stress, motherhood, and marriage, its needless to say that the carefree, clean and clear, fresh faced noxema girl look that I was able to carry without makeup going well into my mid-20’s is not coming as easy. So I am all for working it out at the counter. I still prefer just foundation (liquid) and flesh tone lip gloss (bobbi brown) and lighter tones on the face and eyes but that’s just an everyday look. I have gotten to the point that my late nights, and early mornings and coffee drinking are showing up to make me look like a raccoon (something I never thought I’d see)
I stand in total solidarity in that Sista’s should get over the notion that to be without makeup should mean that you are down for the cause and that everybody needs to except you for you, That Shit Is Played. We have a standard to uphold women of color in our past women used to always be distinguished and well together. I think they better appreciated what we were up against (i.e. that being the Becky’s and Sue Lin’s, and stripper pole Amber’s of this world). Like you said Kasey men are visual creatures they like to look, we have to give them something to look at, not something that will make them run screaming, hell our White Sisters are doing it most of the time. And I do say most of the time because they are also getting away from a standard as well, with not doing their damn hair anymore. So in general women get your shit together don’t leave the house looking like you already had a hard day. Chances are if you start the day off looking like something great then you’ll feel like something great as well!
Viola Davis Freakin awesome, Freakin beautiful with no wig, but rockin the make up. See ladies you can make the statement of loving yourself and still touch up the things that need to be touched. She was afraid to let herself be seen in her natural hair without wigs but I think this is beautiful if not better!
Message to the “Down Chicks”: We have to get rid of this thing, this mentality that either to adorn ourselves and make ourselves look pretty means to be “feeling ourselves”or means that we think we’re better than the chick who decides to not wear make up, or to not look pretty or her best. Don’t get mad at the ladies who decide that they want to represent themselves as gorgeous if they decide to wear heels to a football game (that one’s for you Kasey) so the Fuck what, she may be trying to catch a man and I’m sorry “down chicks” unless that dude is gay he’s not trying to catch a chick who’s rockin the latest in finer men’s clothing, so he may notice that chick who’s at the game rockin heels. Now granted I’m a Sag so I like to be as comfortable as the next girl, but there is a fine line between rockin girl comfy chic and rockin Dude Face!
And lastly….Please, Please stop trying to suppress our young and talented beautiful black girls by stifling their beauty and withholding from them the opportunity to understand how to represent their best beautiful selves. When they ask for make up, let them play in it, when they ask for heels, let them prance around, when they ask for shaving cream and a razor at an appropriate age (and no its not 16) let them experiment. Chances are they will become so uninterested by the time they really know what to do with it all, it will be like second nature and they can move on to something else. Just like the little boy stands at the sink with his dad and wants to know how to shave the girl wants to know how to look beautiful, so women show them!
~F it I’m done (Mic dropped)