Naked

How do you feel when you look in the mirror? And that would be before you have a chance to put your make-up on. Are you happy with what you see?

For a lot of women, the act of putting on make-up is not merely an act of embellishing their natural beauty but a necessary mask to protect themselves against the world. They see themselves as being inadequate and unattractive without it. In fact a recent study showed that almost half of the women surveyed have negative feelings about how they look without make-up.

I love make-up and whilst I do feel prettier when wearing it, I will admit that I’m lucky if I actually manage to get some on most mornings. My view is that I get precious little enough sleep so if I can get another five minutes in the morning and sacrifice the make-up, so be it! I have been known to put it on sitting in traffic jams before now (not recommended) but as a general rule, I can’t bothered.

I am lucky though in that whilst I have the occasional random spot, I basically have very good skin. As long as I cleanse it in the evening and make sure to slap masses of moisturiser on it, it stays on a relatively even keel until my hormones start butting in. That said, if I had more issues with my skin, I’m sure that I would be ladling on the foundation and concealer like there was no tomorrow.

But when did women go from seeing make-up as an exciting luxury to an absolute necessity? As much as I seem to spend my life blaming the media, I do think that they have a certain responsibility. We are bombarded by images of celebrities that have been airbrushed into perfection. There are new foundations being brought out every week (or so it feels), offering light-reflecting particles, liquid light, better coverage, etc, etc… Is the implication that anything is an improvement on our own skin?

I know people who feel compelled to reapply their make-up (on top of their existing make-up) two or three times a day, making sure it looks “perfect”. I’ve read articles about people who will wear make-up to bed so their partner never sees them without concealer or mascara. Are they really so scared that someone might see beneath the make-up, beneath the mask that so many women wear? What made us all so scared to be seen?

I think it is a bit of a sad statement on the human condition that in this time of alleged freedom for women and equality so many of us feel compelled to hide our faces from the world, that we feel shamed by how we really look. I don’t know how we got here. I don’t know why we got here. I do think that we all need to become more comfortable with the skin we live in and our true faces, before we add the make-up. They are the only one we have and by not accepting that image in the mirror, we deny who we truly are. And if we cannot accept who we are, how can we really accept anyone else?

Are you a die-hard make-up wearer who would never be seen without having put at least foundation and mascara on? Or are you more like me, happy to wear it but equally happy when you don’t?

Average Josephine x

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Covered up

I confess. I regularly consult the Daily Mail as my source of gossip. I take anything that is actually written with a small mountain of salt as the paper seems to go with the “why let a small thing like the facts get in the way of the good story?” approach to journalism but you know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words…

And unfortunately you can’t argue with a picture like this…

Alesha Dixon at BGT auditions

Alesha Dixon at BGT auditions. Source: Daily Mail

Girls, I have to ask, when did wearing a short, strapless dress in sub-zero temperatures become sexy? Seriously, you see girls wearing outfits like that out on the town every Friday and Saturday night, regardless of whether their dresses fit (a bit like the one Miss Dixon is wearing in this picture) or what they look like.

Sometimes covering up is a darn site sexier than exposing as much flesh as possible. Case in point, the guest judge for BGT while Amanda Holden recovers from giving birth, Carmen Electra. Famous for appearing in Baywatch and producing a series of aerobic striptease DVDs, you would have expected her to appear wearing even less than Alesha Dixon but she pulled a bit of a blinder. And she looks amazing.

Carmen Electra at BGT auditions. Source: Daily Mail

Carmen Electra at BGT auditions. Source: Daily Mail

I don’t know about you but I think she looks amazing! She looks classy, elegant and sexy. She has dressed appropriately both for the weather(as much as you can when you have to appear all glammed up) and her shape. There are no unsightly lumps or bumps. She looks like she has looked in a mirror!

You couldn’t put two women together who had dressed more differently for the same event. Unless one was wearing a gown suitable for the Oscars and the other was wearing a onesie. And I think so much of the difference is due to confidence. Carmen Electra comes across as a woman who is comfortable in her own skin to the extent that she doesn’t have to flash every possible inch of flesh to feel sexy.

But I don’t know to what extent BGT’s production team choose what the judges are going to wear so I may be completely over-analysing the situation but I do think that the translation to a nightclub on a Saturday night does apply. It doesn’t matter how much skin you show, if you don’t feel sexy, you probably won’t look it.

Who do you think looks better? And do you think that confidence, rather than clothes, is  what is more important when it comes to sex appeal?

Average Josephine x