Monday, May 4, 2015

Why do you get mad when other people put on makeup, though?

So Jezebel has a new . . . sub-blog? What do we call these things? A beauty section? Anyway, it's called millihelen (which I don't think is as clever as they think it is). I was kind of excited when it started because, despite having lots of ambivalence about Jezebel in general, I do want more fun beauty blogs to read. They have a regular feature where people go to the mall in the area where they live and ask for a makeover in the most popular local style. It's cool, especially when people are living away from home and you get to see what some international trends are like. Even if nearly every single person who gets a makeover is like, "Oh, I almost never wear makeup! It's so weird to have all this paint on my face." Please.


A lot of the articles/comment sections seem to involve mocking people for wearing too much makeup, which I'm not really on board with and just seems fucking weird on a beauty blog. Like this story today, which literally encourages commenters to make fun of "lip contouring," as though it is some new abomination that Instagram is forcing us all to do. Whatever your thoughts about how realistic contouring is for normal humans: first of all, I remember reading about tricks like this in YM or Seventeen or whatever in the 90s, so it's hardly new. Second, it's pretty clear that people who do extreme makeup like this on Instagram are doing it because they think it's fun. It's a hobby. And they do tutorials for other people who also think it's fun. I don't think anyone is suggesting that ordinary people who do not put makeup on themselves as a hobby MUST contour their lips to meet basic beauty standards, even if Kylie Jenner's lips are trending. Why exactly do we need to mock people for experimenting with makeup and posting photos of it, again?

Am I missing something? What do you think about Instagram makeup, or lip contouring, or millihelen, or Jezebel in general?

12 comments:

  1. Nothing like blogs that exist mainly to shit on things other people are doing instead of sharing something creative or informative, yay! I have no strong feelings about Instagram makeup as a general thing. I see a lot of crazy stuff that would never be wearable in the real world but is cool to look at - a form of artistic expression that maybe inspires people to try new techniques on a smaller scale. Like the internet version of runway fashion... a lot of that shit is totally crazy but it does influence and trickle down into clothes that people actually wear. It's late so I don't know if that makes sense. Anyway, the mall makeover feature is interesting, but the whole vibe of millihelen seems sort of too cool for school and obnoxious. I don't especially want to contour my lips, but I'd rather look at that than somebody being an asshole.

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    1. I mean, I guess I am shitting on what millihelen is doing? But I try to be appropriately critical. I think you make complete sense. I agree totally about the too cool for school thing. It's like some kind of weird ironic hipster beauty blogging.

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    2. I think there's a difference between being critical and shitting just for the sake of shitting. The anti-lip contouring post feels more like the latter.

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    3. Thanks. I think for criticism to be useful, you have to at least explain why you object to something - not just say it's stupid. (Because it will wear off if you give a blowjob doesn't seem valid, unless people are seriously invested in sex-proof makeup.)

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  2. I am beyond done with Jezebel and their particular brand of 'feminism', because it hasn't actually been very feminist in a LONG time. If they were using this site to take down patriarchal beauty standards while still celebrating the artistry that is make up, I would be all over that shit. But it's not, a brief look tells me it's mocking women for conforming to those standards, with a side of mocking artistry and an extra double plus ironic helping of how to achieve those standards.

    Take the lip thing for example. Instead of mocking the lip contorting, which is a cool little trick that mostly works in pictures, they could have compared it to the Kylie Jenner lip trend and the sucking on bottles things. PLUS if they really wanted to go the extra mile they could have started with a brief explanation of why those super full, overdrawn lips are popular and what look they're trying to emulate. But instead it's a bunch of pictures that mocks the women playing around with make up. Because who needs thoughtful beauty posts?

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    1. I completely agree. "Why this trend right now?" would be a very interesting read. "Help me make fun of people for having the time and interest to play around with makeup" is stupid. There was another post a while back in which Jane Marie tried to mock lip gloss swatch videos on Instagram by saying they were fetish videos. They are clearly not. I used to really like Jane Marie when she was at The Hairpin - is there something in Gawker's contracts that requires their writers to be like this?

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  3. This is the first I've heard of millihelen--I haven't looked at Jezebel in a long time. Your writeup doesn't make me want to check out the new site, though. I am so completely over the "eww, too much makeup" judgments that I see online. We now have access to more sophisticated no-makeup makeup than ever before, but that doesn't render other looks invalid. I *personally* have no interest in lip contouring and other heavy Instagram-esque looks, and I don't find them particularly attractive, but who the fuck cares what I think? Mocking those looks is so much less interesting than thinking about why they've emerged.

    Also, isn't Jezebel supposed to be a site that encourages women to support other women? Because that doesn't seem to be happening at all--not that it's happened there for a while, honestly.

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    1. Yeah, I used to be all over Jezebel 5 years ago or so, and now I don't even bother to check it. I've been reading millihelen a bit since it started, but honestly, it's not much better than xoVain, which I also hate read. Different, but not better. I remember Jezebel used to outlaw body snarking, etc. I can't imagine they still do that even, do they? Seems unlikely.

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  4. I quit reading Jezebel several years ago over the whole "grey rape" debacle. No room for that kind of nonsense in my life.

    http://www.shakesville.com/2007/08/gray-rape-is-bullshit-and-surviving.html

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    1. A good choice. I didn't even find it until a few years after that. I think the last straw for me was the "French women don't care about consent" article that they published in 2010. Things were dicey for quite a while before that, though - I no longer remember all the details of my disillusionment.

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  5. Couldn't agree more!

    There have been tips on how to use make-up for your face shape, eye shape, and all f them have the same message to me: here's a way to make yourself happier.

    I use make-up to make myself feel more presentable and awake most days. Like I need my eyebrows to carry out public life LOLZ!

    What I don't like about Jezebel is this labeling and branding of feminism. WHEN......judging other females or males who make-up, is actually against the cause they stand for. It's girl hate and I don't read them for that fact. Way too many judgements of celebrities, female life choices, and analyzing of media trends that aren't productive to me.

    Side note: I just found your blog and I'm in <3

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