Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hijab, makeup, and the acceptability of women's faces

I have strong religious, political, and health objections to makeup and hair dye.  To a lesser extent jewelry.  I also object to the dying of cloth, but I use dyed cloth, because undyed cloth shows so many stains, which I feel guilty about.

Religious: I feel the face is a person's identity.  If I paint it or dye my hair, I am telling God he/she/it does not know what he/she/it is doing. 

Political: The idea that there is something wrong with a woman's face is expressed in the excessive expense & time that we as a society expect women to put into their appearances.  We let women have less money, yet we expect them to waste it on all sorts of items for personal experience, while men, who are allowed more money, are not expected to spend so much this way.  

In Muslim countries, women are expected to cover themselves in black.  In some sense, this could be liberating, but I gather those women spend just as much time and money on their appearances as westerners, but they only show that product to their families.  Instead, the idea of covering the face is just a different form.  The woman's normal, God-given face is not considered publicly acceptable.

I find both of these forms to be oppressive of women.

Health: more and more of the contents of hygiene and cosmetic products are being called into question as carcinogens.  My skin is also extremely sensitive and reactive to any kinds of products.  I can't put sunblock on my face, for instance, because even the non-comedogenic (sp?) products cause me to break out.

A lot of people have said my skin looks great.  I believe this is due to 2 factors 1) I always wear a hat in the sun in the summer; and 2) I have never worn makeup, which I think damages skin.

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