Monday, April 04, 2005

K On Lipstick

After a brief, unscientific survey of my friends, I have collected indisputable evidence that men have little to no interest in lipstick. In fact, I'd say most are anti-lipstick. I advance this theory: lipstick is an aesthetic device that appeals almost exclusively to women, not men. I, for one, have never found myself saying, "You know what drew me to her? Her lips were a refreshingly unnatural color, like pomegranates." No, I have always be drawn in by a firm, robust intellect.

Unlike other make-up which may conceal skin flaws, I find no purpose to lipstick. It is purely an aesthetic device that has only ancillary usefulness. I have heard that it can double as lip balm. But, if you need lip balm, wear lip balm or vaseline.

I like my women to be natural, make-up free. Only one of my girlfriends was ever a huge lipstick fan. I didn't like kissing her. I felt like I was making out with a clown. Consequently, I felt like the line between the literal and the figurative was too thin.

The worst experience I ever had in my life ended up with me having some stripper's cheap, greasy lipstick smeared on my forehead. One of my friends handed me a bunch of napkins and said, "Man, wipe that ho's lipstick off your head." I wanted to punch him in the throat; it was his fault the group of us were stumbling up 8th Avenue towards 41st, stunned and disgusted on a late February evening. Me, rubbing my head maniacally.

When I have been out on dates, often I'll go for drinks at first time. By about the second drink, but sometimes its the third one, if she's been wearing lipstick, it's slowly been transferred over sips from her lips to the glasses. Then, a test: does she reapply or does she let them be? If the former, a waxy thin wall has risen up between us. If the latter, I make excuses to get closer.


Blogger Stefanie said...

I'll agree that men hate lipstick. But they hate the IDEA of lipstick. Men are visual. If you show a man two pictures: one, where a woman is wearing no lip enhancement, and another where the woman is wearing a natural lip color, the man will choose the latter.

I used to believe the old feminist schtick about how lipstick's purpose is to re-create a vagina for men. But that's not true. If you ever look at a baby girl: the full eyelashes, the red, glossy (from drool) lips, the faint blue, natural eyeshadowing, you will see that women only aim to reclaim babyhood (youth) through cosmetics.

But I'll agree about lipstick transfer: when I drink from a glass, wearing lipstick, even though I use ladylike manners, if you look at the glass after I am done with it, it looks like I damn near tried to fellate the thing. It can be embarrasing.

3:48 AM  
Blogger tequilita said...

i was going to make a similar comment to stef's last night, but was too sleepy. i hate being without lipstick (or lip balm when i'm not wearing make-up)...but during the week if i have make up on, it just looks imbalanced if i don't have my lips done too. i'd hope i find a man who's more concerned with what i'm saying than whether or not i'm making lip marks on my glass (it makes me self-conscious to even think about)...but i know everyone has their preferences. lord knows, i've got my little seinfeldian irritations.

1:57 PM  
Blogger Spiral Stairs said...

It's an interesting question, sort of like a tree falling in the forest: If a woman puts on lipstick, but you don't notice it, is she a woman who wears lipstick?

It is true -- and I have found from personal observation -- that the unstudied, natural look is sometimes the product of scrupulous, painstaking, and sometimes covert attention to cosmetic detail.

When I read Joseph K's post, I thought, "Yeah, man, I agree, natural women without makeup rock."

But now that I've seen these other views, I have to confront the possibility that what I think I like is not, in fact, what I like, even if I like to think it.


5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vaseline should never be used around the nose or mouth. It gets in the lungs and wreaks havoc.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

Stefanie: Maybe there is a look, don't touch thing going on with lipstick. Visually, men can appreciate it, but it is like a painting. You like to look at it and perhaps appreciate it, but unless you are in a softcore film, I don't see myself splashing around in paint in a search for the sensual.

K, I am hyper-aware and have weird, defined personal likes and dislikes. You are an interesting person, so I doubt people wouldn't be paying attention to what you are saying regardless of what you have on your lips. Unless it is a fairy or mandolin player or something that was naturally distracting.

Anonymous, not sure where you prefer putting your vaseline instead of the lips or nose, but power to you sister/brother....

11:14 PM  
Blogger TheUnknownBlogger said...

If lipstick summons vaginal thoughts, I think that's why some men LOATHED the greyish lipstick fad of the mid nineties. It made a woman's lips look like an infected cooter...

4:02 PM  

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