The Feminist Times
The Fright to be too Bright
“Babe those red lips feels like screaming for attention."
“Gosh, we are just going out,why have you put on so much makeup, want all the eyes on you huh?"
“ Looks like you have applied all the makeup you had today only! Seems so desperate"
Did any of these resonate with you too? Well, it has with all of us at some point of time. Isn't it strange, how often we have been subjected to scrutiny for a thing that is very subjective - makeup. We are warned so many times by our mothers,sisters,and aunt to not go overboard with it because it gives a "wrong indication". If you have a dark shade of lipstick on your lips or heavy eye make up or your rosy red cheeks are too red for them, you are expected to make amendments with that because they can't bear it up.
Time and again we've been told "itna jada acha ni lgta beta" or "ye sab cheeze umar ke hisab se achi lagti hai" and so on. If your makeup is suitable according to your age then it's alright but if you are too old or too young for it , you cannot escape the scrutiny.
These judgements for being too dolled up as if "asking for it" are so deeply grounded that it has become a part of life to comment upon even a stranger for wearing way too much makeup. We have so seamlessly socialised to talk about someone else's features, sometimes even character just on the basis of the amount of makeup they have on. It doesn't even leave children to get out of the radar of too much makeup. Little girls are monitored for the way they get dressed and of course the amount of khol in their eyes.
It is widely perceived that a woman would have makeup either to impress some man or to showcase her desirability.This whole notion of having a loud makeup giving wrong signals to people mainly men has been a result of the patriarchal society. It is commonly accepted that if a man is given a view it's his nature to gaze at it. This sheer objectification of women is normalised for a long time so much so that even if the girl is violated it's because of her own mistakes. We are always expected to stay out of the limelight for 'own good', so that we don't catch the attention of other men who may harm us.
So in order to protect ourselves we are expected to not be in the sight of any men or basically either being invisible or being swallowed up by the earth just like Sita.
From ancient times a woman's features have been leading her to trouble. It's the woman who has been held responsible for being attractive and therefore being violated by men. Men on the other hand have been taken as the innocent prey to a woman's attractive self. They have not been brought up in a way to control themselves or even ask for consent. Hence, it becomes a girl's responsibility to control herself so that a man does not get provoked . This mentality springs numerous checks on the woman and one of the major checks is not having too much makeup.
We are living in this so called advanced age and giving assertions like things are changing slowly. Women are proving themselves as good as men if not better but still there are certain expectations that need to be obliged by just women. There is surely a rise of woke consumers and individuals but the struggles of an ordinary Indian girl are still the same. She has to go through these daily surveillance before stepping out of the house or sometimes even in the house. It's not actually her fault yet she is pricked many times to not go behind the line.
The power or authority that has been served to people springs the need to control others to satisfy their ego. For them even make up becomes a debatable issue.
The most you can do to help your sisters, daughters, girlfriends , wives or friends is to stop bickering them for the makeup they wear. It's surely not something they want to stress about. Let them be. It's on them to choose the amount of makeup they want, just support them in these little things so that they go on to achieve the bigger things that they can.