In my excitement over les françaises and The Illusionists, I nearly forgot something else I'm excited for: I'm guest-posting over at Feministe this week and next! I'm honored to be a temporary part of their team.
With all the things out there that speak more directly to feminism on a political level—like, you know, attempting to defund Planned Parenthood*—I sometimes worry about my topics here being shrugged off by feminists who are doing righteous work in the political sphere. So when I was approached by Feministe, a site that makes wonderful efforts to represent a variety of voices and perspectives and which is hardly a "lipstick feminist"** party, it felt like an enormous validation that what I'm doing over here is feminist work that does have a place in a larger conversation. (One of the first people I told about getting my first magazine job, at CosmoGirl, was a fellow intern at Ms. who sneered at me and said, "I'd never work for them." So perhaps I have a bit of a chip on my shoulder about the feminist importance of this work.)
In any case, my first post over there could well serve as a thesis for why I do this site, even as insightful commenters over there already have me spinning my wheels again—as do all of the commenters here. Honestly, I'm hesitant to put any sort of definitive statement about my beliefs on beauty on there, because they're constantly in flux, in part because of the engagement that happens over here—I feel terrifically lucky to have found readers who are on-board with what I'm doing here, and who continually keep the discussion evolving. Thank you.
Today's Feministe post, about men and makeup, is something I've been thinking about for a while. I'll be cross-posting it here tomorrow so that drop-ins to The Beheld might stumble upon it—but if you just can't wait to read it, be my guest! A preview:
I'm wary of men's beauty products being heralded as a means of gender subversion for two major reasons: 1) I don’t think that men’s cosmetics use in the aggregate is actually any sort of statement on or attempt at gender play; rather, it’s a repackaging and reinforcement of masculinity, and 2) warmly welcoming (well, re-welcoming, as we’ll see) men into the arena where they’ll be judged for their appearance efforts is a victory for nobody—except the companies doing the product shill.
*Which totally gave me a low-cost pelvic exam when I really needed it and which had nothing to do with pregnancy and so this defunding makes less than zero sense to me even for people who are totally anti-choice but I'll leave discussion of this to people who are better informed than I.
**Do lipstick feminists exist? It seems like a term dreamed up by people who don't like feminists—but if it's a thing, well, I guess I'm pretty much the epitome of one.