I Wore Make Up – Am I Single or Cheating?

I usually don’t bring rants to this space, but I need to clear my head of something I’ve been observing recently.

I never usually comment on feminist issues, body image debates, and so on – I try to follow a simple self motto of, ‘do what you want, know that I won’t judge’, and I also don’t expect to be judged in return. When I am, I brush it off. 

Then I got accused of cheating. By a female family member.

It was many months ago and I was in a very happy long distance relationship with my partner of nearly 4 years. I was attending university during the day, and had started to suffer from low self confidence. I had no friends at university, I only attended for lectures and most people were a lot older than me. Getting up a little earlier on the morning and putting on a little bit of make up made me feel better about myself – when I looked in the mirror my acne wasn’t as noticeable, and my eyes looked brighter and more open. 

I wasn’t wearing make up for other people, I was wearing it for my own self confidence. I felt better in myself when I knew I had put the effort in. 

After a week or so, I sat down with an older female family member who looked at me and went, “I think you are cheating on your boyfriend”.

I was mortified. 

I asked why, and she replied that I had started wearing make up. I replied that I was doing it because I wanted to, not because I wanted to pick up some new bed buddies, but no, they were adamant that I was out on the prowl. 

Many months have passed since then, and on Thursday I was sat in the kitchen at work, with a well earned cup of coffee.

A lovely middle aged woman was chatting to colleagues about somebody that they knew mutually (let’s call her ‘Mary’). The woman asked someone if Mary was still with her fiance, because she saw her in the street wearing make up. Someone else had commented that she noticed that she was wearing make up and they wondered if Mary’s ex-boyfriend was back on the scene. Yes, the initial middle aged woman said, they must be having problems then.

Wow, you can really tell a lot about a person’s life from when they are, or aren’t, wearing make up! 

Now I understand the logic behind, ‘you’re less likely to wear make up when you’re in a comfortable relationship’, but sometimes I just wake up early for once and decide I actually have time to do what I would do every day if I had time – put an effort into my appearance. Usually I sleep through all my alarms and have to dash out of the house without even brushing my hair – does this make me feel comfortable? No! Does this mean that I’m in a happy relationship? No!

I’m struggling to get my head around this, and can not believe that in an age of every day make up being a norm that people would even consider this. And the fact that I’ve now witnessed this TWICE is mind blowing.

Sorry to rant, but I just cannot process this guys. Make up is a beautiful thing, a skill, an art, a half an hour out of your day to make you feel like you’re fabulous as hell. 

When I whack some war-paint on my face I do not think, “I’m so going to pull today”, I think, “I am happier with how I look today, FOR MYSELF, and I am OK with that”.

**(Not saying that you can’t feel that way without make up of course, I’m just using my own self-image as an example).

Come on ladies, stop with the assumptions. Wearing make up does not make you a hot blooded woman. 

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