WHY DO WOMEN WEAR MAKEUP?
Men say that women put on makeup mainly in order to attract males and ‘’get laid’’; but is this true?
Women have worn makeup since early times. The story of cosmetics spans at least 6000 years of human history and we still use makeup nowadays. Body art was the earliest form of ritual in human culture, the evidence for this comes from utilised red mineral pigments (red ochre) found at Palaeolithic sites. Many cultures throughout the world have used makeup; in Africa, the Middle East and Egypt they used Kohl on eyes and Henna on skin. In China they stained their fingernails with gelatine and beeswax and in Japan women used to wear lipstick made out of Safflower.
There are many reasons why women wore makeup. One reason was for covering up scars and burns, particularly in Africa and the Middle East. The Ancient Egyptians used kohl, as a powder to darken the edges of their eyelids, similar to eyeliner. There were two reasons for this; one for the practical reason of keeping flies away and the other was for a religious belief, to keep the evil spirits away. In China they painted their nails to identify with a certain social class. Royalty wore gold and silver, and the lower classes were forbidden to wear bright colours. Women also used make up to identify their gender.
Today, our reasons for wearing makeup are not dissimilar. We use cosmetics to hide blemishes, although we don’t use it to repel insects, we do use it to filter UV rays, and to emphasise natural feminine features. Women generally have larger eyes and mouths. As far as I know makeup isn’t used to protect a person from evil spirits, but we do use makeup to identify attachments to a certain social group. One example would be the dark eye and lip makeup together with black nail polish used by Goths and Emos.
But what reasons do individuals give for wearing makeup?
Many women claim that they put makeup on just for themselves. While they admit that it is to impress both men and women, they nevertheless say that the main reason is because it makes them feel good and gives them extra confidence. It is also a way to be expressive, artistic and to reveal our inner self by creating an image.
History shows us that in some cultures men have worn makeup. It is not a custom, however, which has been prevalent in modern western society in the last two centuries. In the 21st century it is becoming more acceptable. I wonder what the main motivation would be for men to wear cosmetics. I suspect that it might be as the man in the video said, ‘’if men had to wear makeup in order to get laid, they’d probably would’’.