Femininity In Women

1663 Words 7 Pages
Register to read the introduction… The woman that I interviewed that was born before 1950, noted that when she grew up makeup was something that women were expected to wear when dressing up. When I inquired if she presently wears makeup daily, she said no but that when she goes out she sometimes chooses to wear makeup. According to Paula Black, author of The Beauty Industry : Gender, Culture, Pleasure, women I this generation used makeup as a social ritual. She goes on to say “Young women in the 1950s saw experimenting with appearance as a vital element to their own developing sense of femininity” (36). What Black is saying is that during this period, women used makeup as a way to express being a woman. In contrast, the two women who were born after 1960 and 1980 felt that makeup was something worn to attract the attention of potential partners. They both appeared to be comfortable with choosing to not wear makeup daily and commented that they were “comfortable in their skin.” This understanding of how femininity has changed between these time periods is important to note due to the focus changing from making the woman feel happier to instead doing it for men. Nicole Dan believes that this control of women's bodies by men negatively impacts their relationship. She explains "Makeup can be empowering, but when it's suggested that women wear makeup only to please men, and …show more content…
Instead of being free to define what femininity means to them, women are influenced by other sources such as the media and other women in their communities to uphold to these expectations. I believe that this has worsened over time due to women in the youngest generation feeling that they must adhere to these gender sterotypes to be viewed as feminine. When asked if she felt that makeup makes a person appear more feminine, the woman born after 1980 answered that she chooses to wear makeup as a way to feel better about herself. She continued by stating “if you define feminine as spending an hour in the bathroom to fix yourself up and another hour to choose the perfect outfit, no I'm not.” This perspective was shared by the woman born after 1960 who agreed and said “I dont think makeup makes a person appear more feminine. People can act in a stereotypical feminine manner, but i dont think we can look feminine or unfeminine.” The woma born before 1950 disagreed with the other two woman and stated “Yes, women use makeup for feminizing effect.” This difference in points of view enables us to see how beautification has changed and understand what has influenced these women's understanding of femininity. Nicole Dan warns us about the danger of achnowleding beautification as a means of control when she states “The complicity of the woman in her femininity is inevitable, since she has

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