Makeup = Warpaint

“I wear makeup not to attract but to repel.” ~ Shirley Manson

That is what the lead singer of one of my favorite bands, Garbage, said in a recent interview with Billboard magazine. Shirley Manson has always worn edgy makeup (though she has clearly lightened up – pardon the pun – over the years) and I always thought she looked fabulous. I remember admiring her makeup from Garbage’s classic videos Only Happy When It Rains and Stupid Girl.

So, to read about her reasons for wearing makeup, I felt like a lightbulb went off in my head. I have been exploring my own personal makeup style over the last year, and I couldn’t figure out the philosophy behind it. Well, OK, I could to some degree. After being harassed and hit-on by repulsive men, I decided to wear black eyeliner as a way to claim my looks. The eyeliner became like warpaint as I went on each day and faced a world filled with men with no respect for women. Me wearing eyeliner was me saying, “this is mine, not yours.”

It’s funny how some men think they own women. No matter how liberal and secular they are, some men really do treat women like property. Our faces are theirs to own. Our bodies are theirs. Our sexuality is theirs to taunt or play with. It’s scary and repulsive. So, for me to put on black eyeliner is me saying, “This is mine. I’m ready to fight for what is mine.”

Lately, I’ve been getting into lipstick. For a while, I wore pink colors and some red, but wasn’t fully comfortable with the colors. But when I read Shirley’s comment, I realized a good a reason to wear lipstick. I’ve been leaning towards bold colors as a way of being bold about my face. It’s mine, not someone else’s. It gives me more confidence in facing the world as it is.

Behold my pics from Instagram…


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