Thursday, February 23, 2006

I’m not a Pretty Pretty Princess,* but I like it that my girlfriend is

I joke around a lot with turtle about what a Tool of the Patriarchy (TOTP) I am. I love it that she has long, blonde hair. I love it that she’s conventionally beautiful.

And, yes, I love it when she wears make-up.

It’s a new relationship, and part of this is just being very pleased that she wants to look good for me, whatever that means for her. In my defense, I think she’s just as amazing and beautiful in a skater hoodie and old cargo pants with her hair all askew and pillow marks on her face from napping as when she’s wearing her going-out-dancing clothes, eyeliner, and lipstick.

But what does it say about me, a lesbian feminist who hasn’t shaved since the late 1980s, and who hasn’t owned make-up in nearly that long, that I’m so taken with the girly make-up thing?

Maybe all it says is that despite my best efforts, I’m still a product of my environment, and that advertising has as much a hold on me as it does on anyone else.

*This is turtle’s terminology.


Anonymous lightly said...

Maybe having fun dressing up has just gotten a bad name because of the ways it has been mis-used.

In a male-dominant lookist culture where a woman's looks matter and her character and skills don't, it can give the pleasure of dressing up a bad name. Likewise all the advertising that makes us feel we must dress and look a certain way even to be considered human.

So, maybe there is nothing intrinsically wrong with dressing up. Maybe it is just another good thing that has gotten a bad name from all the ways it has been used to advance toxic social/economic agendas - kinda like Christianity.

9:53 AM  
Blogger Smithie said...

My (male, for those you playing along at home) partner says that part of the appeal of makeup/shaving is that it's not something he does himself, and it accentuates the differences between our faces when I paint mine, and between our bodies when I shave mine. I find it very hard to self-analyze about this stuff, but I think I feel the same way about definied muscles, masculine body odor, height, etc. They're not the ONLY things that turn me on, but sometimes it's nice to vive la difference as part of your sexual relationship.

One thing I'm sure about - as I got older and settled into a permanent relationship, these kind of grooming rituals became a fun thing to do upon occaision rather than a social obligation, and they now seem much more sexxeee to me. I LOVE to be a Pretty Pretty Princess when I get around to it these days, whereas in high school it was a large pain in the ass.

2:55 PM  

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