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Wearing make-up does not make women two-faced.



It started with a random text from my dude-bro:

I don’t trust women anymore.

My heart caught in my throat.

In my experience, men almost always follow this with a statement about how most women lie about rape (which we all know is nonsense). Why would anyone lie about rape in a world where rape culture is so predominant, yet its existence is denied? If you’re as “woke” as you think you are, then you know that most rape victims don’t tell.

So, back to this text. Mr Dude-Bro followed it with a collage of three selfies of the same girl.

Selfie 1: She is wearing no make-up (and looking fantastic, might I add).

Selfie 2: She has it on but it’s not blended in (still looking amazing, girl).

Selfie 3: She has a full face of make-up on (and she is still looking fire).

Now, usually when I’m faced with a conversation of this sort, I tend to let it go. Not because I don’t give a damn, because I promise you I give every single damn about this. I let it go because I’m tired of the same painful rhetoric that keeps knocking on my brain-door. The moment you unabashedly wear the feminist badge, suddenly these conversations just kind of find you.

That’s how I feel anyway.

It could just be that I never noticed how awful some throwaway interactions actually were until I started to educate myself. But I genuinely feel like when people know you’re a feminist, they want to talk to you about it all the time. They want your opinion. They want you to justify it. They want you to educate them (the internet’s right there, folks! If you care then please go forth and learn). Most of the time, I’m not even the one who brings feminism up (yet amusingly enough, almost half the conversations end with me being told I’m the one who needs to lighten up).

Back to the point: I respond to this image with a simple tried and tested, “lol.” Anyone who knows me also knows I despise “lol.” I don’t know what it means. I’m not even laughing. It’s just much less brutal than “K.” Those hurt. 

Usually a “lol” is enough to end a brewing conversation in it’s tracks, but nah-uh, not for Mr Dude-Bro who seems determined to get my approval -- a woman’s approval on why women cannot be trusted.

Granted, if he said this to me a few years back, my teenage self with her ever-burning internalised misogyny might’ve agreed with him for brownie points. That was because society (the little prick) convinced me other women were terrible and that being considered "one-of-the-guys" was akin to winning boss level in this "war of the sexes."

So, after my pathetic attempt to shut-down an interaction I don’t want to have, my phone buzzes and it’s Mr Dude-Bro again.

He says, like wtf.

My next go-to move is a pretty slick one I learned from my troll-fighting days, back when I gave a toss about opinions on Facebook. After hours and hours of the world’s worst merry-go-round of internet trolls riding the horseback of privilege and flinging sexist profanities at me from their fingertips, I finally went radio-silent. I let the facts speak for me.

My responses to anti-feminists went from:


To the much calmer:

Hi Greg, please read this helpful link and educate yourself.

(Note: I did actually provide valid sources of information to people, but damn, how awesome would it have been if I sent the above link instead?)

Anyway, I send Mr Dude-Bro this article.

Now, we all know calling people out is a messy business. I really feel for my fellow feminists who are faced with people who aren’t open to learning. But luckily for me, Mr Dude-Bro and I go way back and he read the article and we had a pretty pleasant conversation about it afterwards.

Here’s how it went down:

DUDE-BRO: That’s deep. But to be honest, I agree with 60%. I agree to a certain extent men do the same and we expect thin shapes and hairless legs etc. But make up is very deceitful. If I had a wooden leg, will I have to tell my girlfriend?

SAIMA: Women are not products doing it to look good enough to “sell themselves” though. They’re doing it for themselves.

D: See, in that case I understand.

S: Calling it deceitful is like saying it’s false advertising. Again, we are not products. You get me? Imagine you meet a girl when you have a full beard. Then you shave and she’s like “oh shit, you’ve deceived me!” She’d be a “bitch” right? And this wooden leg analogy is all wrong. You’re telling me that if you’re on a date and the girl says “btw, I’m wearing make up but under there my skin’s a little less even, I have a few spots and I don’t look as great,” that’d be cool? Why would that even matter to you?

D: Sam, I swear I love you man. You should’ve been a politician. But listen, I think that in a relationship a girl should show herself without make-up. At least once.

S: She doesn’t have to though, because again, why does that even matter?

D: But you know the first form of attraction is always looks. Regardless of personality.

S: Yes, a lot of the time. But it’s like the article says, we all groom ourselves to look our best in some way. Whether it’s by shaving, styling our hair, dressing to look good etc. If a girl shaves her pits, is that still false advertising? Do you still stand by “preferring natural looks?” Make-up or no make-up, however someone chooses to present themselves is always authentic. I don’t think you need to show someone how you look in every form for them to decide if you’re worth it. Also, none of your business.

D: Legit. If you were president, I would vote for you.

S: Look, it’s cool to have your own preferences in terms of who you’re attracted to, but other people are not there to look good for you. And if they do want to look better in whatever way they choose to, that’s totally for them and not for you. In a dating sense though, consider the fact that a lot of guys are attracted to women who are in full make up, who are thin and extroverted. Because these are the women on magazine covers and on our TV screens and they’re not wrong to be that way. But the pressure for every girl to be exactly like that is insaaane and it’s on us before we even hit puberty. Imagine society AND the media constantly telling you that you NEED to look better.

D: Dude, I love discussions with you.

S: *virtual fist bump*

I’m fortunate to have had this conversation with a man who didn’t end the exchange with a string of rape threats (this happens dude). I just want to reiterate that not everyone would agree with things I’ve said, but like you, I am ever-growing, ever-learning, and more than happy for you to jump in my inbox and throw down some knowledge!

I’m not 100% sure what the point of this article is; it’s more of an observation I guess. I just want to say that if you wear make-up then cool, and if you don’t wear make-up then coooool. Seriously, no-one’s opinion matters. You do you. You are not a product. You don’t need to market yourself for someone else's benefit. You are yours and yours only. And you are not a fucking liar. No matter what you do and no matter what you look like or choose to be, YOU ARE AUTHENTIC AND THAT IS BEAUTY.


Readers, if you managed to get to the bottom of this then thank you so goddamn much. Honestly. I’ve always wanted to write about issues surrounding feminism but seeing the backlash other people get always turned me off. I’m finally putting my brave-face on and doing this. So, to make sure what I’m doing isn’t a total waste of time -- your feedback would be so appreciated. Love ya.