The Misconception: Makeup serves no deeper purpose than to enhance culturally-defined concepts of beauty.
The Truth: Makeup has a deeper value; it enhances the contrast of the human face, allowing for faster recognition of gender.Wait, what? What sort of idiot thinks that a multibillion dollar industry's product has no significant influence on our culture and how we interact with people? A clueless fucking dude who's never pulled his head out from his own ass long enough to observe how women in ladydrag vs women in neutral getup are treated, I guess. Someone who's never wondered if it would be worse to be judged as unacceptably natural or unacceptably clownfaced at their job interview. Somebody who's never dropped 20 bucks on a tube of tint and shiny crap because they hoped it had the perfect balance of of, "I'm not some uptight bitch, but I'm also not a whore. Please don't talk about my tits when I leave the room." But I'm getting away from my point. This myth/truth are both utter bullshit.
With women, for example, anything which can be immediately recognized as a feminine characteristic often has the volume turned way up.
What is a feminine characteristic? Since we're talking about makeup, I'd guess it's red lips, cheeks, and long eyelashes. What makes those features so inherently, naturally feminine? Fucking nothing, that's what. We're wading into the bullshit ocean here. He then references some androgynous computer pictures that are supposed to prove that when we look at "high contrast faces" we think they're female, and think "low contrast faces" are male. The only big difference between them is that the high contrast face has paler skin and darker lips. Now, to me, this proves that we expect female faces to be paler, and have darker lips, the same expectation that most makeup, barring spray tans and frosted lipstick, tends to give. Is that really true? I dunno. I sure as fuck wasn't born with naturally rosier colored lips than my brothers. I'm digressing again.
Whats His Face uses this study to prove that this is the natural order of things, rather than how we've been trained to discern gender.
Wait, is it our mostly clean-shaven dude culture, or is it hard wired? You can't have both.
In cultures where many men are clean shaven, this natural, hard-wired shortcut has helped to motivate the adoption of particular kind of face painting.
Cosmetics enhance this natural contrast. Lipstick and eyeshadow make the eyes pop and the mouth stand out.
Then he presents his nail in the fucking coffin pieces of evidence. PICTURES OF JESSICA RABBIT AND MULAN, BOTH CARTOON CHARACTERS THAT ARE SUPPOSED TO PROVE WOMEN NATURALLY LOOK LIKE FUCKING CARTOONS.
Cartoon ladies are often drawn in high contrast. Have you seen those commercials for Esurance? Yeah, the animated action lady in those ads looks like her nose was clipped off in a terrible farming accident. Yet, she has a huge cult following on the Internet – and it’s mostly NSFW. Head to Google to see for yourself.
So, women wear makeup to enhance the bullshit attributes that somebody decided are feminine. We recognize that faces with more of that bullshit are probably the female ones, the same way we know that a sexed up cartoon face probably represents a female character. Dudes on the internet have fantasies about these imaginary sexed up characters who exist for no reason other than to please dudes and sell insurance. Oh and despite the fact that they're drawn to meet some made up ideal it's still hilarious to make fun of their looks the same way we get to do with real women: casually and just cause we can.
Reading things like this make me wish I'd majored in philosophy. I've got a buddy who did, and she can slice through any bad argument with surgical precision, while I just get angry and ramble.
I was just laughing with my bff last week about how all this evolutionary psychology bullshit is a passel of assholes trying to prove that The Flintstones was a documentary.
Anyway, that's all I've got to say about that. Besides, please, if you want to prove your point, don't send me to that dude's amazing reference blog.