Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Makeup in France Falls Mainly on My Face.

So this article (which will probably have been retracted back behind the drawbridge by the time you click, but don't worry I'll reproduce relevant parts here) talks about how French women wear less or more subtle makeup than American women.

True? Sure. Why not. Whatever.

An example of silly France-baiting and really bad sociology*? Uh, yeah. (eg. "Certainly, the French delight in defining themselves in opposition to America, no matter what the topic — food, wine, diplomacy, even beauty. But this attitude is complicated — a blend of chauvinism and fascination, perhaps with a touch of envy. The French admire the Americans, even as they criticize and dismiss them." Boy, between not wearing makeup and secretly admiring America, they sure sound busy over there! How do they find time to eat them snails, even with those 35 hour work weeks?!)

But, ok, it brought up an interesting point for me. I've gotten to thinking about France and America and all that quite a bit lately, as Manpants is in fact, le Manpants. I've got a whole French family I'm very fond of, and watching cultures intersect close up is a lot of fodder for thought, especially when the two cultures are so weirdly intertwined.

And so I guess what is interesting to me about this article is that it aligns with my perception that often, to the French, one's appearance has a real moral component.

Here, if it occured to us to say anything, we might make fun of a woman wearing too much makeup, but we don't think that hard about it. I don't think many people would invoke the idea of actual DECEPTION, and articulate their objection the way a 22 year old nurse in the article did: "American girls worship the cult of the 'ideal woman. No part of the face seems to be forgotten. And when you use too much makeup, it means you are hiding from yourself."

Anyway, this is a fledgling impression. On the one hand, I feel like invoking morality in makeup just another way to give women a hard time. On the other... well, gosh, I think expecting women to wear and buy ton of makeup without thinking to hard about why and if they want it is a way to give women a hard time. So. No one wins this round.

*EVERY SINGLE US PAPER'S coverage of the student protests used them as an excuse to be really strangely smug. It was like, since something vaguely approximating free-market capitalism has worked sort of okay-ish I guess in the US, France fails to the extent that it deviates from that. There was like zero comprehension that this was another country with, like, its own history and economic traditions. FAR OUT!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Friday, May 26, 2006

Coming Soon:

+Maybe something thoughtful in response to the dumb article in the Times about the disparate makeup styles of French and American women, if I can stop being angry and holding the entire country accountable for the French tv guys talking shit about Lordi at Eurovision . Expand the "insulting comments from the hosts!" window. I especially like the totally casual racism at the end. Whatever, the Arockalypse will soon be upon us, and THEN we'll see who's spared.

+Something about inside-the-lid eyeliner.

Sk8ter Boi

Snerf. Came across this this out there on the internads. (Via Feministe.) As a former resident of the Lower East Side which, at the time at least, was World HQ for this shit, I could go on and on and on about this until skinny jeans go back out of style. I could talk about what I think this aesthetic represents, whether I think it had it's day, or whether I think it even had a day in the first place.

Instead I am going to tell you something I think is funny.

I left the Lower East soon after I met Manpants, because once I was in a couple, there was just NO POINT. The only reason for me to live there was to make out with people. That was really all. As good a reason for choosing a neighborhood as any, I guess.

I wouldn't have articulated it like that while I was there, I probably would have said "oh, there are so many things to do, and awesome young people, and really great cheese plates at every single restaurant," but now I see right through... myself, I guess. I see right through myself in the past.

So basically what I am saying is since I'm over it, it's obviously over. It's great being an arbiter of everything. So it goes for Terry Richardson, so it goes for Vice, and so on, and so on. But I'm going to make an exception for Dov Charney, not because I'm enamored of the soft-core bright-flash I've-got-her-locked-in-my-basement aesthetic, or because I feel particularly good about what he's adding to the cultural discourse, but because, as the wise Jill Murray once told me, "if you want a t-shirt that makes you look hot, you buy it from a pervert."

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Magic Face.

I've talked about my love for Tarte cheekstains before, but i really have to rhapsodize about the brand new one, Cloud 9. MWAH MWAH MWAH. I was sure it was going to turn out to be a huge mistake when I bought it. Something told me to OWN IT, though, even though it was just so... purple. And purple never looks good on skin. Except it's not really purple, it's a kind of cool rich pink when you put it on, with a tiny bit of sheen - not shimmer, though, definitely not shimmer. It's also a GODSEND for someone like me who's prone to turing bright red if she encounters so much as a bit of dust or goes out in the sun for two seconds - it actually neutralizes the weird tomato color somehow. Magic. It's magic. I have magic face. I love it. And it is all nice and creamy and blendy and it makes great lipstain too. I can't wait to blow everone's mind with my awesome face.

Also, further evidence that I was right about there being a pervert convention in town, I went to Barnes and Nobles to study today, and got a coffee at the cafe, and sat down at the counter only to realize that the guys on BOTH SIDES of me were looking at porn. Hotttt. Guess that's what I get for not supporting my local independent bookstore.