|From Retrograde Works|
A few days ago, I accompanied one of my dearest friends to Sephora to get makeup for her wedding day. (To say that this was a case of the blind leading the blind might be an understatement).
I arrived early, and I went into the store to see if she was there yet. She was not, and the Sephora employees (perfectly nice people, I'm sure) looked leery. "Can I help you?" one asked, but not in the helpful way, more in the did-you-get-lost-honey way.
This is not a post about whether my friend should have bought makeup for her wedding day. As I've touched upon before, I don't think feminism does itself any favors by drawing lines in the sand on what makes for an acceptable patriarchal bargain. Also, she looked absolutely beautiful and her wedding is going to be amazing. Not only do I not have a problem with that, but that's exactly what I want for her: confidence in her beauty (which exists with or without makeup) on her wedding day.
So, for the record, I think going to buy makeup for your wedding day (or any other day, if that's your thing) is fine.
What this post is about is the names of said make-up. In the words of my favorite Craigslist ad, Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ.
The final purchases included (and I couldn't make this up if I tried) a shade of blush called "Orgasm," a shade of primer donned "Virgin," and eyeliner named "Perversion."
I believe all those things I said above. I believe that a woman can wear makeup for herself, to bolster her confidence and experiment with her expression of self. I believe that those expressions can be sexual, if a woman chooses to use makeup as a tool to play with her sense of sexuality, but that they certainly don't have to be. I believe that makeup does not have to be wrapped up in virgin/whore dichotomies and stereotypes. I believe that makeup can be fun.
Apparently the people naming the makeup do not.