Episode 70: Feminist Kryptonite- Makeup

Lindsay and Malia discuss their love of makeup and the feminist problems makeup causes.

Links mentioned in this podcast:
Opening bumper: Feminist Makeup Tutorial
Living With Contradiction: Beauty Work and Feminism
Why Wearing Makeup (or Not) is a Feminist Issue


6 thoughts on “Episode 70: Feminist Kryptonite- Makeup

  1. Very well done! Thanks for the excellent discussion. I worried this topic would be preachy but I appreciate it being openended.

  2. Enjoyed listening to this conversation. I generally choose not to wear makeup because I don’t really like the idea of spending TONS of money on products with all sorts of chemicals and animal products and then spending more money to buy products to remove it all at the end of the day. It is also just a hassle to deal with everyday and I don’t want to take the time or the effort when I feel comfortable with who I am. I do own makeup and when I feel like looking extra special or when I want to look more professional I will wear makeup. I don’t think makeup is inherently bad just all of the pressure that we are left with as a result of it. Cosmetic companies shame women who don’t wear makeup and then make money on our low self esteem.

  3. I work in downtown DC in probably the most casual federal agency (the EPA.) That said, I am short and have a young-looking face. With makeup, I find that I actually appear closer to my age (29) and people take me more seriously. I also dress slightly more formal than the slightly shabby/crunchy norm at the EPA for the same reason. I am annoyed that this is a concern facing women more often than men, although my husband has found that he is perceived as older and more serious with facial hair. However, no one is scrutinizing the circles under his eyes or the evenness of is complexion. So that bugs. Plus I think he would look hot with eyeliner.

  4. Great, thought-provoking discussion! It helped give me a little peace in my own love-hate relationship with makeup. My reliance on it for my own personal, social, and professional confidence is so deep-rooted that I don’t know if I can ever give it up, and that makes me hate it.

    I think the biggest problem with makeup for all of us is that it damages our self-esteem and integrity on a really deep level – when I receive compliments or someone thinks I’m pretty, I’m outwardly appreciative but inside I have a guilty pang knowing that if they knew what I really looked like, they might think differently. That sentiment is the very beginning of narcissistic personality disorder – knowing there’s a discrepancy between how we’re perceived and how we really are, and NEEDING, on a very deep level, to keep up that illusion at high costs. How sad that the majority of us have to live a lie just to be accepted. The only way I can keep it from getting out of hand is reminding myself that the majority of women do wear makeup and that realistically, everyone knows that most of us look sick and tired without it. So I’m not really fooling anyone.

    But I’d give it up in a heartbeat if everyone else did! Ha!

  5. I’m a professor and there have been studies that show that students learn better (slightly) when they find the instructor attractive. For that reason, I am conscious of my “work look.” I don’t wear makeup in real life, but slap a little on the days I am lecturing.

    Great podcast!

  6. I don’t own or wear make-up because I’ve always resented the idea that I’m not good enough without it. Even though I assume pretty women think poorly of me because of this choice I’ve never felt it hurt me professionally. But my field (medical research) may be less judgmental of appearance than some.

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