"I Don't Care if You Like it!"

The above quote is from Bossypants by Tina Fey and was originally spoken by Amy Poehler on her first day as a writer on SNL when, after she had made a loud vulgar joke, one of the male writers said something along the lines of "ew, that isn't cute, I don't like it".  She responded by dropping what she was doing, looking him in the eye and responding "I don't fucking care if you like it" and continuing on.  The whole book is worth that scene in my opinion, because that sentence is something we as women really need to say more often.

I bring this up because as I was reading Kitty Lovett's post on lipstick today and I have so many thoughts (not on lipstick colors, I mean sometimes, but on beauty/fashion rules in general) so instead of writing a comment-novel I am posting here.  If you wear a lot of makeup or extreme or dramatic makeup (like cool-colored or black lipstick) at some point it will be man-splained to you that guys don't really it when girls wear a lot of makeup, which is a) BS, b) almost astonishingly hetero-normative, but if you shrug and say "what if I don't like guys" dude will stammer and then swear that he also has his finger on the pulse of lesbian sartorial preferences, and c)it is pretty much guaranteed that the person saying this to you is not someone you want to sleep with anyway.  The best part is how often this guy will act like he is a feminist hero for saying this, liberating the ladeeyz from their make up routines.  We are supposed to respond by thanking our man-splainer and realizing the folly of our ways and going home to clean off our makeup and buy an equal quantity of products which effect a natural look (because as Miss Kitty rightly said, nude lipstick is every bit as artificial as dark turquoise).  What I suggest you actually do, is look said dudebro in the eye and say "I don't care if you like it"*.

As women we are socialized to try and be like-able and to not stand up for ourselves and the things we like if they go against popular opinion.  We are socialized to try to please everyone all the time.  We are encouraged to: make ourselves up to look like we aren't wearing makeup, but never to not wear make up, to carefully dress in order to minimize large breasts or maximize small breasts (is there an okay breast size? I don't know), or butts, or hips, to re-shape our actual, not just clothed bodies, by any means necessary, and it goes without saying, to dress in the latest trends while avoiding being "a slave to fashion" or a "brainless trendoid".  Often the carrot for this epic battle of contradictory expectations is supposed to be some dude who doesn't even appreciate us for who we actually are, because he can't; he's never met that person.

 I think the path to liberation comes from being ready and willing to say to all comers: "I don't care if you like it".   Of course there are some people whose opinions you do care about.  That's fine.  Really life is better if you have people you care about whose opinion you respect, but that's not what I am talking about.  Just remember that you get to choose whose opinion you value, no one automatically gets that status. Women's choices about what we chose to do or not do with our bodies are often policed by random dudes on the street, or at a party, or just by the fear of the reactions of people we don't know or really care about, not really.  We feel like we ought to because humans are social animals and women are encouraged to be extra-social and pleasing, but really, you don't care if they like it.
Additional Reading: You Don't Have to Be Pretty.

"Over" made up and under-concerned 

* Or, if you are in an un-safe situation, just think it because the really important thing is to remind yourself.

PS: This may be incoherent rambling as I currently have a mild cold and a fever.  If that is the case, just follow the link at the bottom and read Bossypants.


VictorianKitty (Sophistique Noir) said...

Your writing style is always wonderfully clever and makes me giggle. :) However, I have to say in my experience, guys have always really liked dramatic, heavy makeup. Normal guys AND Goth guys. I'm sure there are those who don't, but I've apparently been lucky and mostly encountered the makeup-loving ones. I only ever dated one guy who indicated otherwise, and therefore I didn't feel confident around him and I sent him packing (for that and other reasons).

You and Kitty are both SO right - all makeup is "fake", so anyone who wears it at all has relinquished the right to critique the "naturalness" of any other makeup wearer's choices. As for men, there are all types out there. We each just have to be patient until we find the right type to appreciate us for who we are. For a girl who likes to dress up and wear lots of makeup, the right man will be attracted to her for that effort, and at the same time will find her equally beautiful in a t-shirt and no makeup at all. Trust me, those guys are out there, and when we stop settling for less, the jerks will have no choice but to live up to a higher standard!

MzGoth said...

Well like Tina Fey...I don't give a fuck either! I quit trying to please anyone but myself a while back and I'm all the better for it. After all, if you can't be yourself and like yourself then who else is going to like you, ya know? Love your blog BTW and your style as well.

Tenebris In Lux said...

I love everything about this post. I'm going to check out the links you recommended later. And I love that picture ^^

Bane said...

Brilliant post! Society too often champions the idea that women should choose their makeup and clothes according to what a man would find most attractive. Uh, no. I dress to live my life, not to attract men. Why dress in man-luring outfits when the chance of me ever randomly meeting a guy with whom I share mutual attraction is about 942,583 to 1? (I have standards, and they don't include scruffy slobs.) I might as well wear a parachute and scuba gear every day in case I randomly fall out of the sky and land in the ocean. ;-) If and when I meet a man who truly cares what he looks like to me, maybe I'll care what I look like to him.

The standards of socially acceptable fashion are odd. It's totally acceptable to wear red nail polish, but blue nail polish is considered weird. Why? Red is no more a natural color for fingernails than blue is.

Tante Fledermaus said...

On a random Tuesday, I decided to wear eyeshadow in colors that usually are only found on hummingbirds in tropical regions. Someone had the stones to screw up their face and say "You're wearing too much makeup." I smiled and replied "It's a good thing your opinion doesn't matter." There was sputtering, but no reply.

Tante Fledermaus said...

Actually, now that I think about it, it's probably better, when told "Guys don't like all that makeup," is to reply "Do you want to know what women don't like?" >dead eyes and smile<
"Unsolicited advice."

Sabayon said...

Thanks everyone for the great comments! It is weirdly gratifying to learn that I can apparently still write more or less coherently whilst tripping on nyquil.
Bane, I am sure you'd pull off scuba gear really well, and Tante Fledermaus, I would be really interested to see what tropical hummingbird eyeshadow looks like.

sokeripupu said...

nothing cooler than men thinking it's feminist to tell women what they can and can't put on their bodies, feet and faces!

i once saw some west philly anarcho humyn dude wearing a shirt that said "makeup is ugly" on it and i wanted to punch him in the nuts. and i don't wear makeup.

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