February 16, 2005

Can I offer you a moist towelette?

This morning on BART I sat across the aisle from a cute girl. Cute? Gorgeous. She had strawberry blond hair, super-fair flawless skin, and pale pale bluey grey eyes with long lashes. She also had, as Bob the Angry Flower would put it, full, pouty lips, and in her case the bottom one was pierced. As if all that weren't delicious enough, she was wearing a plaid skirt and ridiculously huge boots, and she wasn't wearing a speck of makeup. Gorgeous.

Then something strange happened. She pulled a makeup bag from somewhere about her person and started brushing and blending like there was no tomorrow. I watched in a certain amount of fascination: eyeliner, eye shadow, more eye shadow, another color of eye shadow, powder, lip gloss, more lip gloss, other things I couldn't even name. I counted 10 individual colored cosmetics before she was done, and when she took her hands away from her face for a moment I considered the results. Colorful, yes, impressively detailed, but suddenly no more appealing than anyone else in the pointy-toed, blazered crowd of morning commuters.

Sometimes I despair.

Posted by dianna at February 16, 2005 10:07 AM

i like moist towelettes. also though i like pretty eyeshadow.

Posted by: michele at February 16, 2005 10:36 AM

that was a fairly useless comment.

Posted by: michele at February 16, 2005 10:37 AM

My despair is deepening. Fairly useless comments make me doubt the salvageability of the human race.

Posted by: Dianna at February 16, 2005 11:00 AM

when i lived up there and worked in the city, i became really appalled (claustrophobic?) about sharing BART every morning with identically extensively-made-up women with perfectly pedicured toes. know what i like about being back in the university? especially in a damn hippie town? student girls with little or no makeup. they actually have individuated faces.

fresh-faced little butch girls with no makeup and soft little rosy cheeks. oh lordy.

Posted by: katie at February 16, 2005 01:08 PM

urg, and you both said "moist."

Posted by: katie at February 16, 2005 01:10 PM

"Madam, you are either a very insecure woman, or a very subtle clown."

...Makeup totally creeps me out. If the human race were generally less awful, makeup might be on my top five list of personal turn-offs.

Posted by: poot at February 16, 2005 01:22 PM

CLOWN! Poot, where the hell were you with that comment when I needed it? On a related note, while browsing old Scarlet Letters photo galleries last night, I came across an entire spread of clown porn that had somehow escaped my attention. Clown porn. Curly wigs. Big painted smiley and frowny mouths. I'm really not making this up.

Also, moist moist moist moist moist. Moisty moist. Moist, moister, moistest. Ha.

I want to ogle hippie student girls with no makeup. Why is it that at Berkeley they're so badly outnumbered by the heavily-made-up ones?

Posted by: Dianna at February 16, 2005 02:01 PM

OH. Sorry. Scarlet Letters not safe for work. Not not not. You should have gotten that from context, but in case you didn't, DON'T CLICK IT AT WORK. Thank you, this concludes your public service announcement.

Posted by: Dianna at February 16, 2005 02:02 PM

i think if i see the words "clown porn" and click on it at work, i deserve what i get.

actually, i think if i see the words "clown porn" and click on it anywhere i deserve what i get.

Posted by: katie at February 16, 2005 03:03 PM

You'd think so. Last time I posted about pornographic stories about underage boys and provided a link, though, Erik chewed me out for not specifying that the website was not safe for work. So this time you get fair warning that a) there are clowns and b) there's sex. Oh, and c) someone has actually, against all sanity, combined these two things.

Posted by: Dianna at February 16, 2005 03:54 PM

Makeup IS on my top 5 list of personal turn-offs, along with people who talk about money more than once a month and people who are rude to waiters. Okay, three.

Posted by: Danny at February 16, 2005 04:49 PM

I like makeup, and I like pedicures as well. It depends on the makeup, and it depends on the toes, and it's bad if the made-up person could seemingly fill an impossibly-small Volkswagen with fourteen or fifteen of their made-up brethren, but... is eyeliner really so bad?

Lipstick + lip ring does seem like it would be strange.

Posted by: sean at February 16, 2005 06:51 PM

sean, what are you talking about man? women that invest more than five minutes a day to make themselves attractive to men are clearly horrible people.

Posted by: dr v at February 16, 2005 08:58 PM

A female friend of mine has asserted to me on numerous occasions that the #1 reason women wear makeup is to compete with other women, even in the absence of any concrete reward (i.e., potential mate or job.)

One last thought: using makeup to cover the ugly is like using blood to cover up a murder: clever in a twisted sort of way, but incapable of fooling anyone on the broader conceptual level.

(P.S. BTAF brings it, then rocks it for your pleasure.)

Posted by: poot at February 17, 2005 06:48 AM

i did no such chewing out, did i? if i did, it was meant to be in jest. i've already learned the main lesson here: don't click links on dianna's blog while at work; very simple, and saves me from having to focus on stuff like context and words and things.

and yes, make-up can go to hell. i've never, ever seen an example of preferring the look of a made-up face to its natural equivalent. plus, while i'm at it, it takes too damn long to apply. there. i've said it. and it feels kinda good.

Posted by: Erik at February 17, 2005 07:31 AM

Poot, your friend is a perceptive woman. If the opportunity arises, you might ask if she's already read a book called Slut!, which suggests a very similar thing: that women are the arbiters and enforcers of appropriate feminine behavior, not men.

Kinda looks that way from the comments the men are making in this thread, doesn't it? Except for Sean, and as for Sean's comment, I can live with a little makeup (on other people, anyway, not on me). Moving from a subtle accent to a covering layer is a problem.

Posted by: Dianna at February 17, 2005 09:36 AM

The only thing I would add to my friend's assertion is that men, having become aware of their position as mere baubles in female stealth warfare, learned to extract major concessions from females by playing all sides against each other, leading (among other things) to the Grand Olde Patriarchy.

...wait a minute. Just to be clear, that wasn't meant as a dig on the other GOP. Letters just came out the same.

Posted by: poot at February 18, 2005 08:44 AM

what if you wear makeup now and then as a disguise? like you decide one morning that you want to feel like someone else for a while so you put on a whole arsenal of facepaint and pretend you're mata hari? what's the difference between your makeup (or non-) choices and your clothing choices? (dianna this is less in response to the subway makeup women and more to the avalanche of "no makeup under any circumstances" comments. I can't speak for the subway women.)

Posted by: didofoot at February 18, 2005 09:08 AM

Oooooh! Ooooh! Nothing! No difference between your makeup choices and your clothing choices!

So if every day you put on clothing that somehow hides your existing features and covers them with the appearance of other ones (which happen to look a lot like the same features other people try to look like they have), that'll be kind of creepy and artificial and people will say maybe you should let yourself be visible without that stuff once in a while. Right?

Posted by: Dianna at February 18, 2005 09:45 AM

I think some women have forgotten that makeup is supposed to SUBTLEY accentuate your good features.

For those with no good features to speak of, might i suggest a paper bag rather than accentuating the bad features.

Posted by: Clint at February 18, 2005 10:06 AM

Not on my blog you mightn't. People can damn well hang their faces out no matter what they look like.

Posted by: Dianna at February 18, 2005 10:13 AM

Clothing that hides your existing features and makes them look the features of others would include items like boots, right?

Posted by: sean at February 18, 2005 10:56 AM

If they've got a totally different set of toes painted on the outside, then sure.

Posted by: Dianna at February 18, 2005 11:01 AM

i was going to keep arguing but i realized i feel about most tattoos and piercings the same way you all feel about makeup. i would say they're about equally defensible, in that both are either a way to fit in with a given demographic or a deeply personal manifestation of your own idea of beauty. but yes, sometimes i do just want to walk over to one of those poor misguided women with eight facial piercings and say maybe she should let herself be visible without that stuff once in a while.

crap that sounds hostile. all i'm saying is, we have different ideas of beauty so why am i coming on your blog and arguing with you? the whole point of the blog is it's your opinion. shut up, kris. yes, i will.

Posted by: didofoot at February 18, 2005 11:03 AM

Kristen, you sound like my fucking parents. And I guess we're even, because that also sounded more hostile than it should have.

I'm going to try to stop feeling like I as the blogger should be mediating this discussion which has ballooned into this big argumenty thing. I do not need to take on the world, or even just Cementhorizon, about something that started as a 75-word story about a cute girl. The fact that I do like piercings and don't like makeup does not need to be a big feminist ideological thing. So I'm going to stop trying to make it one.

Posted by: Dianna at February 18, 2005 11:27 AM

186. 193 if you count the title.

i wanted to get in on the argument. not that you can really argue the number of words in the post. it's sort of a definite thing. though we could argue about whether to include the title. i hazard a guess that katie will vote against including the word 'moist' in the count.

Posted by: michele at February 18, 2005 12:19 PM

I vote we don't include the title in the word count, which also renders the issue of the word "moist" a moot point.

Did you count by hand or did you copy and paste into Word?

Posted by: Dianna at February 18, 2005 12:46 PM

count by hand, what do i look like to you--someone who enjoys working hard? i totally copied and pasted into word.

ok, i started counting by hand but at like 7 i stubbed my brain out of sheer boredom and went to word.

Posted by: michele at February 18, 2005 01:18 PM

Would you believe that there are court cases about this stuff?

Courts have generally found that Halloween masks are not "useful articles" under copyright law, because their only utility is their aesthetic value. Meanwhile, Halloween costumes are in fact "useful articles" because they can be used as clothing.

This means a stricter standard for determining whether costumes have copyright protection. It's fascinating. It also means that clothing is "useful" whereas a Bill Clinton mask is not "useful."

Posted by: poot at February 19, 2005 06:42 AM

this girl asked me the other day at school "why don't you EVER wear makeup??"

i looked at her, startled, and asked "uhhh, do i NEED it?" ... she stuttered, so i calmly pointed out that i've got piercings, and a wheelchair, and a t shirt on with two women kissing on it. i think makeup would throw people off even further out of their elements.

that, and i don't need it. lol

Posted by: Ang at February 21, 2005 02:45 AM

True, and true. Besides, you want to make sure that everyone notices the piercings, wheelchair, and lesbilicious t-shirt. Makeup might distract them and detract from the effect.

Posted by: Dianna at February 22, 2005 10:32 AM

I was standing on a crowded bus the other day, when a very pretty young man approached me. After I changed my underpants I bid him good day, and he returned it. he then asked me (suggestively?) if I had anything to clean the spillage on his trousers. When I regained conciousness I told him that I had a can of my absolute favourite Moist towelettes, "Moist Towelettes in a can". Now we happily live together in a gay hostel and have adopted several hundred children. Thank You, Moist Towelettes.

Posted by: Chris Tan at July 28, 2005 05:39 PM