woman and make-up

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » woman and make-up

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 05:59 am
I want to suggest a rather rash and uneducated hypothesis about woman. Mainly because the responses will either enlighten me to a side of woman I have never seen or because it will elaborate on the disturbingly elaborate lengths woman go to, to make themself's feel like men want to have sex with them. Here goes...

The route of all reasoning related to why woman engage in the manipulation* of their aesthetic is to feel like men want to have sex with them. My girlfriend calls it 'feeling good about herself', as do many others, but I suggest that this is just a euphemism for the more sexual reasoning which underlies all actions related to the females manipulation of their aesthetic.

*cosmetic products & surgery, make-up, clothes (especially those that ecentuate curves & cleavage) and the like.

I think the most renowned, and perhaps wrong, suggestions of such reasoning as mine is...

The reason cleavage has taken off is because it represents the top of the crack of womans bottoms, this in turn suggests sexual things and hence why it makes woman 'feel good', because of its strong sexual suggestion which in fact makes a woman 'feel like men want to have sex with her'.

The only other reason I can think of for such lies (As in representing yourself as a person whom your not) is because of media pressure- the usual excuses, like magazines and size 0 models, but this to me represents and even more pathetic conclusion that woman can;t think for themselves.

I await a nice strong resistance to some of these probably iggnorant comments,
Dan.
 
Deftil
 
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 06:30 am
@de budding,
wow you sound even more pessimistic than me.

I was thinking about the purpose of women wearing makeup yesterday.
Assuming of course you agree that human men and women evolved, then in a very important sense their raison d'etre is to pass their genes on to the next generation. How do women do this? By being attractive to men, obviously. So I'd venture to say that it's more or less in their genes to be like this. In our evolutionary past, this would have more likely manifested itself in behaviors such as extensive grooming, but in our modern day capitalistic world, many companies "take advantage" of the importance women feel about looking good. They make and market products for women to enhance their appearance. So at any given moment a woman can have 129 different shades of eye shadow on her person. Women use products to make their complexion look clearer. A clear complexion is a sign of good health. Lip stick makes the lips look healthy, etc. Males of different species respond to signs of good health.

Also, don't underestimate the value looking good has on feeling good. This isn't confined to just women of course.

Feeling attractive and desirable is connected to the very natural desire of wanting to mate.
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 08:22 am
@Deftil,
To point, makeup and associated garb are a result of men by men. Since I am a dude, I have to put in the disclaimer that although I agree with neo-feministic theory (perhaps one of the only radical theories I subscribe to) my words should never hold any weight with the opposite sex. Neo-feminism has an entire section devoted to males speaking on behalf of a female, which is a form of patronization. Interestingly enough, there was talk during the women's liberation movement of actually creating a female language (i.e. R.P. Tong)

And I somewhat agree with what Tong has to say. Women are a self-unidentified species.men expect women to adhere to that very system every day, day and night.

I remember reading about an interesting incident at the turn of the nineteenth century where a man married a women following the standard courtship, but divorced her immediately after the honeymoon because she did not look like the Greek statues he leaned female anatomy from. I really think this type of thinking had moved on, though to a far lesser degree, but still permeates society.

Women have to bend to the male notion of femininity. There are obvious signs of that. Look at women and high-heels. Make-up is another example.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Mon 4 Aug, 2008 12:02 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
Wow, where to start... where to start. I've read a good deal on human sexuality and there are literally hundreds of contributing factors. So, without putting to fine a point on it (and according to my understanding), look at it this way:

Although humans generally choose their mates (i.e., neither has exclusive "what I say goes"-authority sexually), we physically fall into the "attract-and-choose" line of behavior (which, in its most basic form says Sex-A pursues a mate and Sex-B members choose from the available Sex-A contestants). Much like many earthly species wherein the male with the largest plooms, most robust dance, reddish fins or which female has the best rockbeds, most fat or healthiest coat, human females adorn themselves to attract a mate, feel attractive or just feel beautiful. Those aspects most prominently adorned, bolstered or colored are those aspects their perception (largely culturally based) best exemplifies this effect.

By the way... I got a good chuckle out of the Parable of the Butt Cheeks and Cleavage.

Despite the geometric similarities, cleavage (in those cultures where cleavage is 'fair game' to display) represents that part of the feminine physique that not only shows the grace of human form, but is an open reminder/display of an ability to nurse ones' young - a sign of fecundity.

Fecundity, health, good circulation, clean skin, toned muscles, wide pelvis, financial health, energetic natures... these are all aspects which advertise ourselves as attractive mates. Even once we're mated, it doesn't mean we don't still buy-in to the signals of attractiveness. It's just a part of us.

I'd like to again emphasize how complex this issue is. Also, it's wrought with cultural, sociological and religious overtones that modify and mitigate each factor in one direction or another. But regardless of all these modifiers; we're still animals who have ingrained in us a genetic desire to pass on our genes through a basic dance-of-the-sexes that is ubiquitous throughout our animal kingdom.
 
Deftil
 
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 02:44 am
@Khethil,
I think Khethil plainly states a good point that was somewhat implied in VideCorSpoon and my previous posts; namely that this issue is a complex one. Behaviors in social animals can get very complicated.

Task allocation and partitioning of social insects - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Eusociality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Almost Human, and Sometimes Smarter - The New York Times

Since humans have culture (and chimps could probably be said to as well) behaviors that may have originally been adaptations of some sort can change over time into something more complex, with a life of their own. So far I've basically attempted to explain the behaviors that are the topic of this thread from an Evolutionary Psychology perspective. The issues of why females go to greater lengths to enhance their appearance than males aren't initially easily explicable though. But I think this is because of culture. Evolutionary processes set the foundations for behaviors, and culture morphs them into something at least slightly (and sometimes probably greatly) different.

In nature we often find that it is the MALES that have enhanced their appearance instead of the females. The males of other species don't wear makeup obviously, but they have resource-draining physiological structures that may serve as nothing more that to make them hot stuff to the femles.

http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/images/2008/04/01/pea.jpg

That would be the male peafowl displaying his extravagent tail as the relatively plain looking peahen checks him out.

In sheep the large horns of the male have utility other than making them attractive to females, but that utility is only to make them able to fight with other males for... you guessed it, the right to mate with females.

Quote:
Bighorn Sheep are named for the large, curved horns borne by the males, or rams. Females, or ewes, also have horns, but they are short with only a slight curvature.

Quote:
Prior to the mating season or "rut", the rams attempt to establish a dominance hierarchy that determines access to ewes for mating. It is during the prerut period that most of the characteristic horn clashing occurs between rams, although this behavior may occur to a limited extent throughout the year.

Bighorn Sheep - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

We find that in nature it is usually the males who demonstrate appearance enhancement because of the concept of parental investment. In most species it is the female that makes the greater investment, and thus they must be picky in their choice of which males to mate with. Hence the males must compete, often in behaviors and appearance, to be chosen by the females. This concept is explained well in the following passage:
Quote:
...why female as opposed to male choice? In order to explore this, it is worth introducing the term parental investment. Parental investment (PI), an idea first introduced by R. L. Trivers, is defined as any investment by a parent in one of her (his) offspring that increases the chance that the offspring will survive at the expense of that parent's ability to invest in any other offspring (alive or yet to be born). PI then includes the provision of a wide range of resources such as food, energy and time expended obtaining food and maintaining the home or nest; time spent teaching children and risks taken to protect young. In terms of PI, there is a fundamental asymmetry between the sexes - females have an initial investment in their offspring far greater than that of males because female gametes (eggs) are much more costly to produce than those of males (sperm). This means that a female can have only a limited number of offspring, whereas a male can have a virtually unlimited number, provided that he can find females willing to mate with him. Thus females generally need to be much choosier about who they mate with. The criteria for what constitutes a good choice of male will vary considerably from species to species, but the basic point about female choice remains.

The Great Debate: Sexual Selection

Eggs are more costly to the female to produce than sperm is to the male, and there's also the issue of the gestation period where the female's resources are physically tied up in the offspring. She's also unable to mate during pregnancy, while the male can, in theory, impregnate many other females during the orginal female's gestation period.

Now that's all very interesting (well, to me anyway!) but it doesn't explain human women's obsession with makeup and their appearance in general. If we think about it, I think we realize that men are also concerned with how they are viewed by women, it just maifests iteself in different ways. Males want to look strong and muscular, and make it a point to act tough and macho to the point of sometimes getting in fist fights just to prove how tough they are. But if women are the gender that is picky about their mates, then why the excessive amounts of time spent on their appearances? I think it is the result of a confluence of factors involving the complexity of both human psychology and culture. I don't claim to be positively certain of which factors are most relevant, and in what proportions, but I do have some ideas.
1. Monogamy - Monogamy could balance out the parental investment between males and females. Since humans are generally monogamous the parental investment of the male becomes nearly as significant as that of the female. The male agrees not to go off impregnating other females and to help support the children thus greatly increasing his PI. If humans were generally polygamous this could theoretically reduce males' PI relative to the females' and the females could go back to being almost exclusively choosey about mates and not being the ones to worry excessively about their looks. I'm not well educated on tribal cultures, but I believe it's true that many of them are polygamous. I believe it's also true that tribal males are the gender that has the obsession with appearance. They wear makeup and extravagent headpieces and regalia if I'm not mistaken. This would seem to support my hypothesis.
http://shinymedia.blogs.com/photos/uncategorized/tribesman.jpg

2. Factors that make women more social than men, and thus more dependent on social affirmation - These factors likely have biological roots, and have been affected by culture over time.
Quote:

Women also speak more quickly, devote more brainpower to chit-chat - and actually get a buzz out of hearing their own voices, a new book suggests.
The book - written by a female psychiatrist - says that inherent differences between the male and female brain explain why women are naturally more talkative than men.

Quote:
And, if that wasn't enough, the simple act of talking triggers a flood of brain chemicals which give women a rush similar to that felt by heroin addicts when they get a high.

Women talk three times as much as men, says study | Mail Online

Quote:
Quite simply, women are preprogrammed to feel dependent on men. Even today women may be richer and enjoy all the trappings of success but, deep down in their psyche, they fear they can't survive alone.

Sorry, but women are dependent on men | Mail Online

These factors could contribute to a greater need of social affirmation in women and serve to counteract the force typically observed in nature involving PI and the ability of females to be picky about their mates and thus be less concerned with appearance.
 
de budding
 
Reply Tue 5 Aug, 2008 03:17 am
@Deftil,
A lot to take in and respond to so I'll wait until I got the time later; until then- menarebetterthanwomen dot com - is an interesting website indeed, the author of the site is also the author of a very sexist book as well, seems misogyny is on the rise!

Dan

It seems most urgent to address and dissect the male mentality with regards to related issues (namely testosterone) so to make it fair; it has been pointed out a couple of times that it was not so long ago that the role of suitor and chooser where reversed. If I am to say what has been has been and what is now is now... is it fair to conclude that because these human actions (the making-up of woman and the muscle comparison of men)- taken as current phenomenon, are somewhat manipulative of our minds and negatively shape the way we interact with each other. Therfore we should aim to inhibit extremes of such thinking and the resulting behavior.

Am I wrong to conclude they pose a problem? I certainly can't stand the men and woman- or I should demean with boys and girls, of today. At university and I am constantly shocked and appalled by the amount of actions and behaviors which are unknowingly by the subjects, dictated by primitive instincts!

Dan.
 
Khethil
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 11:22 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
Am I wrong to conclude they pose a problem? I certainly can't stand the men and woman- or I should demean with boys and girls, of today. At university and I am constantly shocked and appalled by the amount of actions and behaviors which are unknowingly by the subjects, dictated by primitive instincts!


I don't know, that's a good question.

My inclination is to say that the practice (instinct, urge, socially-implanted behavior, whatever one wants to call it) is only a problem insomuch as it *causes* a problem to the actor or those around him/her - and as such is open to broad intepretation. All behaviors can be taken to detrimental extremes.

By itself I'd say 'no'; actions taken to attract a mate (or just to 'look good' or 'feel good about oneself') aren't intrinsically bad.
 
sue phil
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 03:50 pm
@Khethil,
A very interesting question that I actually think about each morning as I am putting on my makeup! However, another good question is why do men shave, get their hair cut, and generally like looking good? I think the answer to both questions would actually be the same.
 
FatalMuse
 
Reply Thu 7 Aug, 2008 05:07 pm
@sue phil,
sue wrote:
However, another good question is why do men shave, get their hair cut, and generally like looking good?


I think to some extent, it gives us a feeling of being human and not beasts. A form of arrogance where by controlling our appearance, we feel in control of our world. Aswell as all the attraction issues already discussed.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:11 am
@FatalMuse,
Hi Everyone,Smile

SmileI don't think this dialogue is on the right path, there is a standing relation/relationship between the male and felmale which is I believe entirely involentary. Both however are caught up in the expresion of this as part of their very natures, so, instead of taking a stance of pointing any fingers, we should look to how this power of nature is manipulating our behaviours towards one another. The forms of our society you might say are also manipulated around the urgency of this natural desire, how does it structure society to effect its will. As we are sometimes amused at Muslim societies for their extreme inforcement of modesty in women, look at the outrageous displays of blatent sexuality in women in the west, basically in the street. Which indeed is the most ourtrageous?


"When fascism comes to America it will come wrapped in a flag, and carrying a cross." StClair Lewis.--------think Bush!
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 10:22 am
@sue phil,
sue wrote:
A very interesting question that I actually think about each morning as I am putting on my makeup! However, another good question is why do men shave, get their hair cut, and generally like looking good? I think the answer to both questions would actually be the same.


FatalMuse wrote:
I think to some extent, it gives us a feeling of being human and not beasts. A form of arrogance where by controlling our appearance, we feel in control of our world. Aswell as all the attraction issues already discussed.


A fun question. Maybe I missed it while browsing through this, but I get the impression that everyone thinks this is close to an unconscious, mechanical (animalistic, whatever word you want) feeling.

The feminist position (which I have always thought is too extreme) seems to claim it is a conscious, deliberate reason (or unreasonable according to them).

I'm not sure I agree with either. For myself, left to my own choices, I wouldn't shave or cut my hair. It is a conscious decision on my part to comply with social norms. Why? I don't care about breeding. I just don't want to be lonely. From an evolutionary perspective those are one in the same thing. From a spiritual perspective they are very different.

(edit) I guess I should add that I realize the whole thing can be manipulated. And, while it is most often men doing the manipulating, it is not exclusively men. Gold diggers do exit.
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 11:37 am
@Resha Caner,
Smile
What of the consideration of the fact that, sexual selection is the female function, how is this process shaped as it is poured into the form of society, and of the differing kinds/forms of societies??



"When fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross." Stclair Lewis----------think Bush!!
 
No0ne
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 03:36 pm
@FatalMuse,
Make-up is all about making your flesh more presentable, to your taste or the taste of another.

Since not everyone dosnt get to choose how there flesh will look, for make-up give's people the power to choose to advance there look's to a point where it could apeal there individual taste.

It's all about the intent of the person that apply's make-up, hence if there intent is just to please another's taste or there own.

(Also make-up has a power that can alter the perception of another person of the person that has applied make-up.)

Yet In my opinion, they are just adjusting there look's to there taste, or the taste's of another to please them self or that other.

(Yet I still dont support nor not support make-up...I'll stay neutral, and just state the fact's)
 
boagie
 
Reply Fri 8 Aug, 2008 03:49 pm
@No0ne,
Smile
Makeup is to mislead the opposite sex that one is younger and/or healthier than they really are, and if accomplished, that feels pretty good.
 
de budding
 
Reply Sat 9 Aug, 2008 09:39 am
@sue phil,
sue wrote:
A very interesting question that I actually think about each morning as I am putting on my makeup! However, another good question is why do men shave, get their hair cut, and generally like looking good? I think the answer to both questions would actually be the same.


I only shave once a week before work, I feel obliged. I generally don't have haircuts, my girlfriend makes me when it gets too long, and even then it is just a pony tail which is snipped off.
I think you will find a split between men who feel obliged, for various reasons, to look respectable or up-to-standard in certain situation, and men who we might label metrosexual.

Also, is it just a coincidence that virtually all male figures in the hair & fashion industries seem to be not only gay, but extremely feminine and eccentric as well? It seems anything near such a female driven industry is feminine its self... it seems necessary to be at least feminine if your going to care about looks to such an extent. I think the metrosexual sect is, as the name suggests, sexuality driven. Hence I disagree with your point... the only parallel I can draw consistently is that of 'testosterone', men are quite good I think when it comes to looking good for the sake of sex (we are somewhat seduced by fads and the such though it seems.)

A side note on homosexuality in men; is the feminine character which seems to inhabit every single gay man I see now-a-days, evidence that this gay ('new-gay') is a cultural phenomenon adopted from woman. I am aware that homosexuality is as old as the hills, but I can't imagine a gay roman warrior with a hip-swinging walk, female mannerisms and a self-enforced lisp. This is the same for all ancient and passed homosexuality-when did the homosexual man become so damn camp?! I have no issues with homosexuality per se, but I see new-gay as a fickle fad, a cultural 'cool' that is stylistically driven... I like my sexuality genuine and understood, not adopted and culturally driven by fads of the moment... I could be wrong, perhaps when one is gay a lisp is a medical inevitability along with female mannerisms and a feminine character.

Dan.
 
Resha Caner
 
Reply Sun 10 Aug, 2008 10:12 am
@de budding,
de_budding wrote:
A side note on homosexuality in men; is the feminine character which seems to inhabit every single gay man I see now-a-days, evidence that this gay ('new-gay') is a cultural phenomenon adopted from woman.


I do suspect some of it is an act ... or a certain teenage-like immaturity of acting out. It's hard to flaunt your "gayness" by acting even more masculine. But my lifestyle doesn't lead me toward much interaction with gays, so my experience is only anecdotal. From what I've seen, it isn't that they all present a feminine demeanor. Instead, they seem to pair up, with one member of the couple acting "masculine" and the other acting "feminine". It happens with both gays & lesbians.

I always thought it a very telling detail, but any time it comes up it is usually denied as an aspect of homosexuality.
 
Justin
 
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2008 12:58 pm
@sue phil,
LOL, if it wasn't for my wife pressuring me, I wouldn't shave at all. Actually I tried to get a 2 year trial period so I could just let everything grow out but that didn't fly with her either so the winter months are all I'm allowed. Smile

On the flip side, I'm not sure I'd want my wife to just let it all go for a few months. She doesn't wear much makeup and isn't a fanatic about doing her nails but when she does, she looks way different.
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2008 04:12 pm
@FatalMuse,
I havent read the thread, but I just wanted to say that I love watching a woman putting on make-up. It's the sexiest thing. Just enough...
 
VideCorSpoon
 
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2008 05:09 pm
@iconoclast,
iconoclast wrote:
I havent read the thread, but I just wanted to say that I love watching a woman putting on make-up. It's the sexiest thing. Just enough...


I think the interesting thing is that one sex perceives the other sex as a type of exotic animal. Like the male sex is a variety of exotic bird watcher. There may be something to say on the actual approach to the issue rather than the issue itself.
 
iconoclast
 
Reply Sat 23 Aug, 2008 10:57 pm
@VideCorSpoon,
VideCorSpoon,

I'm sure I'm not alone in this small and relatively innocent pleasure. It's like, when you meet a girl she's all made up, and you date her, she arrives wearing make-up. But watching her put it on is like a peek backstage at the theater, but also about the intimacy between a man and woman. If you're watching her put her make-up on it's like you're trusted - past that 'meet you in a well lit public space' phase.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » General Discussion
  3. » woman and make-up
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 09/24/2021 at 08:35:38