I used to love to wear makeup. My mother (Goddess rest her wonderful soul) wore a ton of makeup; she was known as a beauty – compared by friends and acquaintances to Elizabeth Taylor her entire life. So when I neared puberty, I happily reached for the mascara, eyeshadow, and lipstick, assuming this was just a natural and fun part of growing up. It being the 80’s, eye shadow was plentiful… much of it blue.
I got better at making my painted face look more “natural” throughout the 90’s, but I still wore makeup almost every day, as a routine part of getting dressed. It seemed fun, but harmless. Then I dated an abusive man for four years in college, and he encouraged (pressured, shamed) me to wear yet more makeup, in much more dramatic (sleazy) styles. To please (appease, placate) him, I was soon sporting shiny red lipstick, long red-polished fingernails, high spiky heels, bleached hair, and tiny dresses from the Frederik’s of Hollywood catalog. And lots, and lots of makeup. I perfected the posture of chin down, eyes looking up through my lashes, dainty steps and swaying hips, voice soft and high pitched. I knew at the time that he demanded I look and act that way for two reasons: Continue reading “Patriarchy is a pedophile – Why else does “feminine” always mean “sexualized little girl”? **TW rape** by Trelawney Grenfell-Muir”