Mum's Know Best!

number 2

Hi, here is an article I wrote but was unable to post due to being in hospital xx

I’ve decided to write about Mum’s and their relationship to make-up, firstly as it is Mother’s day (Happy Mother’s Day, Mum!) and also after gaining inspiration from watching the film Burlesque for the millionth time! I know it sounds strange but please bear with me.  As I was watching the scene where Cher’s character (Tess) teaches Christina Aguilera’s character (Ali) how to put make-up on I realised, it was this one scene that made the film special for me. In the scene Ali had never had anyone teach her how to apply make up because her Mother had died when she was younger,  Tess takes her under her wing and shows her. It’s a lovely scene, I found it quite poignant. She explains to her methods of using mascara, lipstick, eyeliner and how  to use make up brushes, while softly applying Ali’s make up and transforming her look. Perhaps this scene is a visual representation of her character maturing, similarly young girls begin to wear make up when they are developing into young ladies. Although her instrustructions seem mundane, the sadness of teaching someone so late in life was the evident subtext of the scene and it pulled on my heart strings.  I realised how vital that matriarchal role is on your adult opinions of make up and life, and how lucky I was to have my Mum to guide me in both.

There is something kind, nurturing and maternal about someone offering to do your make up for you, I realised this while watching the film. It takes great trust to allow someone to have that control over you and there is something beautiful about another person wanting to apply your make up for you. It made me reminice about watching my Mother putting  on her make up and especially her lipstick. The smell of her Chanel No 5  evokes a memoryof how she used to wear that on special occasions (and still does) , I longed to wear the lipstick and perfume too! The first time I was allowed to wear make up, it made me feel so special and grown up. I remember the feel of the prestine lipstick case, and remember the distinct ‘click’ of the compact she used, it was otherworldly to me and I loved the fact that she always used the same products, they were and still are synonymous with her.  I love the idea of make-up through children’s eyes and I think that it’s important to remind ourselves of it, to keep that sense of magic and glamour about it. As I was applying my lipliner today I thought about how glamorous my Mother seemed when she was applying her make up.  She didn’t wear an awful lot on a day to day basis but then she would wear more for special occasions, and I still thought of her as glamourous.

It is very sad when one looks at young girls plastered in foundation in today’s world. The upsetting fact is that there is an aesthetic pressure for perfection from such a young age coming from so many directions. The glamour and ‘special-ness’ has gone from wearing make-up and it has now become a necessity that you buy from a supermarket like toothpaste or deodorant. The abundance of cheap make-up in the market place has enabled young girls to buy it themselves with their pocket money, as well as, magazines who then offer free samples of make-up to entice them to buy them. The girls then experiment with it and learn from friends, articles, You Tube videos or television programmes, and sometimes the important nurturing connection between mother teaching daughter is lost. Unfortunately, the lesson about natural beauty is also bypassed in many cases and self image becomes a problem.

I strongly believe if we carry on in this fashion the big make-up companies may be happy, but we will have a lot of poor, insecure people living in fear of being seen without make-up. We need to get back to the time when skin health was the best way forward for beauty and the addition of make-up was something to enhance ones looks on special occasions or to add a bit of glamour from time to time and certainly not something to use as a mask on a daily basis. I’m sorry to say that some people are becoming addicted to make up and with budget purchases they are actually making their skin dehydrated, sallow and wrinkled, which therefore makes them even more dependant.

We must listen to our mum’s they are wise (in general, unless their name is Kat Slater off Eastenders!) they teach us self respect and are all round pretty awesome!