How to Return to Elegance

Charlie Johnson, on The Next Right Step, wrote an eloquent explanation of what I'd like to call a how-to manual to return to elegance. He outlines things that you, me, and others concerned with the decay of modern secular culture can do to return us to a refreshing state of graceful, God-filled living. Check it out here! Out of the Ashes.

Reject the New Ideal of Beauty: Boycott Maybelline and Cover Girl

Dear Maybelline Makeup Company,

I got a little choked up as I threw away my last Maybelline product this weekend. Maybe it's because you've been part of my life and lifestyle for 35 years - longer than any other brand, I think. I bought my first Maybelline Great Lash mascara when I was 12 years old and desperate to look and feel pretty. I wanted so badly to look like the models on the cover of Seventeen and Glamor! Cindy Crawford, Christy Brinkly, Christy Turlington.

In those days - the early 1980s - the ideal of beauty was a woman. She was athletic, with tousled windblown hair. She had curves but she had muscles, too. She looked like she could actually steer that sailboat she was posed upon around the bay and back again, laughing all the while.

She was beautiful, outdoorsy, athletic. She wasn't a skeleton. She didn't look like a zombie, a heroin addict, or vampire. Or a man trying to be a woman.

For the past 30 years, I've waited for the fashion and cosmetics industry to return to the days when beauty meant health and femininity. When glamor didn't equal men in drag, but beautiful women on the arm of handsome men. When a healthy appearance was in fashion, not a pale, dark-circles-under the eye look that equals addict. When women, not bodies with all the shape of a pre-pubescent girl, would be the ideal of beauty once more. White woman, black women, all are beautiful. Why aren't we seeing realistically beautiful women?

Instead, this year, aping your competitor Cover Girl, you decide that the ideal of beauty for the average American girl, teenager, and woman is a gay man wearing makeup.

Because being gay is in. Because being trans is in. Because being anything but your God-given sexuality is "in."

A man with five o'clock shadow wearing glittering eyeshadow, lipstick and blusher is neither attractive nor beautiful.

I am told this is about "acceptance." Acceptance used to mean a 'live and let live' attitude. It meant that I, as a 20 year old working in the retail industry and working with gay and transgendered colleagues, didn't tease them, or act mean to them.

It meant treating them like coworkers and people with souls made in the image and likeness of God. It meant loving them as Christ would love them - as human beings worthy of dignity and respect.

Which I did then, and I do now. But that doesn't mean that a man wearing makeup is a fashion ideal.

Male cosmetologist (Max Factor and many others) have worked in the industry for years, creating makeup looks, acting as makeup artists for the theater and movies and so on. Sometimes makeup has been in fashion for men, as in the Egyptian days and in the 16th and 17th century when men powdered their faces and hair the same as women. Your new spokesmodel may be a fine cosmetologist who can offer advice, but his face should not be the face of a cosmetics line for women.

I have been waiting 30 years for the pendulum of beauty to swing back to a healthy ideal. Just when I thought it could not get any worse, it has. Now, it is not enough to be a woman or look like a woman, like the healthy and attractive women models of the 1980s. Nor should you look so thin you are either an anorexic or a drug addict, like the models of the 1990s and early 2000s. Nor should you look like a reality star, as the models of 2000-2010 looked like as bad copies of the Kardashians and all the other vapid television personalities.

No, now you and others in the fashion industry are saying, "Women, you are not enough. The beautiful bodies God gave you are no longer relevant. Everything that makes you a woman is unimportant. The only thing that is important is the other - gay, transgendered other."

This is the modern ideal.

This is flat out wrong.

As a 12-year-old girl, I loved looking at the makeup ads for your company. I would not want makeup ads featuring this young man to be admired by young girls forming their own self-identities today.

Maybelline, both you and Cover Girl have been staples of my life for 35 years. Great Lash mascara is the only mascara I have worn for 35 years. This weekend, trash bag in hand, I cleaned out every single item of makeup, nail polish, and product I own that was made by your companies. Some were brand new. It did not matter.

I threw them all in the bin and closed the lid.

I will no longer buy your products. Ever.

I am done with being told to accept your ideal of beauty. Your ideal of beauty is against my ideal of truth, and the two are not compatible. If one has to go, it's you. And you are gone - gone from my bathroom counter, gone from my shopping list, and gone from my life. Forever.

To those who are also sick of this nonsense and ungodly ideals pushed as fashionable, I invite you to join me in a boycott of both Maybelline and Cover Girl cosmetics. Let's stop putting up with being pushed around. Transgendered men are not the ideal of female beauty.

A Confusing Idea of Beauty

Maybe she's born with it - or maybe it's just Maybelline. Is there any woman alive who has never purchased Maybelline cosmetics?

Maybelline and Cover Girl were the first brands of makeup I ever purchased. The rows of cosmetics in their beautiful packaging hung from a pegboard in Grand Value, the five and dime store in my childhood town where you could buy anything from new dishes to makeup and greeting cards. I'd walk down to the store on Friday nights or Saturdays and buy a new lipstick, or the ubiquitous Maybelline Great Lash mascara in the green and pink tube.

Now, however, Cover Girl is promoting a young man as the 'face' of beauty and Maybelline has hired a male 'spokesmodel' for their brand of cosmetics.

Are they trying to reach the men who want to wear makeup? Are they broadening their customer base in a smart marketing move to increase profits? Or are they promoting a hidden agenda?

First, we get this young man, Charles James, chosen as the new spokesperson for Cover Girl:

Then, we get this young man as the "face" of Maybelline, 2017:

Yesterday on a Facebook exchange with a Catholic blogger about the trend of these new dolled-up males selling females makeup, one of the blogger's Facebook connections took me to task as bigoted because I said I did not like this trend. What an astonishing leap of logic!

Let me get this straight: in this brave new world of ours, we cannot have an opinion that goes against the grain of populist, progressive thought? Apparently so. This is not the first time that I have been publicly attacked for voicing an opinion contrary to the modern trend of celebrating every perversion, every diversion as liberating, good, and progressive.

Males wearing makeup, lace and ruffles are nothing new. We know from portraits and historical documents that fashions come and go. Trends for both men and women to wear powdered wigs, lead-based face paint, silk stockings and many different types of makeup and garments have always been affected by time and place.

I recognize too that men in the arts such as actors, on-camera newscasters, and others do wear makeup. And of course, men have been stylists, hairdressers, and makeup artists as well. Max Factor was a famous male Hollywood makeup artist.

The aesthetic presented in these images, however, is confusing at best and revolting at worst. What, exactly, are both Cover Girl and Maybelline promoting here? Their makeup lines are sold TO women and purchased BY women. Typically, the Cover Girl aesthetic promoted healthy, glowing beauty; think Cheryl Tiegs, her blond locks blowing in the wind as she waves from the deck of a sailboat. Maybelline often went for a more glamorous look, hiring models like Gigi Hadad and Christy Turlington to represent their brand.

These young men are neither beautiful nor glamorous. What they are is shocking. James Charles has a nose ring. This is not elegant. This is Ferdinand the Bull. Manny Gutierez has five o'clock shadow. I'm sorry, but colorful eye makeup and five o'clock shadow do not belong together on one face. His style looks like a bad MTV video from the 80s, not the face of beauty for a new generation.

How have we moved, as a society, from promoting unrealistic, idealized expectations of female beauty (think Marilyn Monroe and Twiggy) to MEN as an idealization of female beauty?

Men are not what women aspire to look like. Men in drag are not what women would like to look like. Women want to look beautiful. Beautiful may take many, many different forms. But women do not wish to look at men made up to look like women when they are considering their next cosmetic purchases.

Cover Girl and Maybelline have both made grave marketing mistakes. I have been considering switching my makeup brands to cruelty-free (non animal tested) brands and MLM brands my friend are selling to show my support for their home-based work. Now I know for sure that I will buy neither Cover Girl nor Maybelline again while these "spokesmodels" are part of their advertising campaigns. These companies have lost a loyal customer of over 30 years with their marketing decisions.

I wish both Mr. Gutierez and Mr. James good luck and no ill will, but I do not want to look at them as the idealization of 2017 beauty for women.  They are, in our society, free to dress as they wish. They are free to wear makeup and feminine styles and to make YouTube videos of makeup tips and whatnot.

I am also free to withdraw my support for companies that think this is the new ideal of beauty for women.

I want this instead:

Does the new "look" of men being touted as 'beautiful' delight you or upset you? Leave a comment below. I reserve the right to moderate, delete, or refuse uncharitable or unkind comments.

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