Styled Out: Musing on makeup


Makeup means a different thing to everyone in every culture. Your religion may shun it, your mother might love it and your girlfriend might not care either way. It can be a simple hiding of blemishes for some of us and to another it could be your career and lively hood. A category within our sexuality doesn’t automatically decide whether you wear it or you don’t for the average gal pal, which some folks on the outside of our lady lovin’ coven may not understand.

I love Ellen DeGeneres as a Cover Girl spokeswoman. What a positive and awesome way to represent women and attitude about makeup. In a new TV ad, she mocks the glamour aspect for it in favor of practicality (in true lesbo fashion) and I can’t lie: It influenced a recent concealer stick purchase.

Obviously, being in the lime light will require you to get all jazzed up whether it’s in your comfort zone or not. Rachel Maddow, in fact, can’t stand the stuff on the regular and when asked about it, describes that she “had to let them dress her up like a pageant girl.”

On the other hand you have fictional characters like the cherished and often emulated Shane that wore makeup like it was her job (which it kinda was). That’s what makes androgyny the coolest kid in lesbian school because makeup is so fluid in it.

Oh, how I loathe the connotation of the phrase “lipstick lesbian.” I mean, what the hell are people even trying to say when they refer to one as such? A lesbian is not supposed to wear or makeup, so if she does, that’s the description? It’s so unbelievably dated and insulting if I am ever referred to as such, and the few times that it’s happened in years passed, I can’t contain my shock at the word vomit. There are so many women of the gay persuasion that frequent the MAC counter (myself included) and it’d be so super cool if we weren’t judged for it. In my opinion, it’s usually a derogatory term, used to explain a femme in the least desirable of ways.

I love my Aveda berry lip tint, but this terminology instantly makes me think of a total powder-puffed, over use of eyeliner offense of a Tammy Faye reject. Thanks for pointing out how remarkable it is that I like women and pressed powder, but leave the description at the door.

Femmes who wear make up that you can be proud of without the undesirable verbiage of “lipstick”? Portia, Cynthia, Leisha — I could go on and on, but all I really want you to do is just watch your tongue when describing us heel-wearing gay women, OK?

On another note, I’m surprised that Rosie O’Donnell ever let any sort of foundation touch her cheeks the way she fiercely protests it when not on camera. There are a lot of beautiful faces without a lick of make up on them, and for that, I applaud you. Most who opt out of the cover up don’t even need it in the first place but for me, it would take a lot of courage to go out for the night without putting on at least mascara. Sometimes it’s gender politics, sometimes it’s a personal preference, I think we call can understand that it’s a lot of things.

I guess that’s the point! What does makeup mean to you?

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