Thursday, 10 June 2010

What’s in a lipstick?

In truth, there is nothing innately female about traditional ‘femininity’. As we’ve discussed before, femininity and masculinity are just sets of behavioural conventions that arose for historical reasons and can actually be adopted by either sex.

What is innately female about, say, a stick of lipstick? It is a cosmetic product containing pigments, oils, waxes, and emollients that applies colour and texture to the lips. Anyone, boy or girl, can wear it. Lipstick is famously sexual because it reddens (usually) the lips to make them appear swollen with blood, thus reproducing a signal of arousal. But both sexes’ lips become engorged when aroused.

Before the genderquake lipstick was almost exclusively worn by women. But who wears what is determined by social conventions, not biology.

We may apply the same logic to dresses. A dress is a garment consisting of a skirt with some sort of bodice, giving the effect of a one-piece garment. The West, at least, considered dresses to be strictly female clothing. But what, in truth, is a dress? It is a bit of cloth. Either sex can wear one. Men are shaped slightly differently, e.g. they don’t require cups for breasts, but a dress cut for men is still a dress. What is actually significant is the social signals that are given out: dresses are traditionally associated with females, so the wearer is low status and for a man to wear one is degrading.

In the 21st century it was now boys and men who were of inferior status. When they accordingly began to wear skirts, stockings, lipstick etc as a result of female pressure, people found that they looked no worse than women did. It was really just a question of what you were used to seeing.

boy putting on lipstick(Right) When girls rule, boys get pretty.

By the 2050s, boys were growing up who had never worn trousers, and who loved the most pretty, frilly, painted and frivolous of fashions: white tights, pink shoes with bows, shiny hair-ribbons, petticoats, little gloves, eyeshadow and rouge and lipstick, and more. The new generation of boys took their prettiness very seriously, spending an immense amount of time practising makeup, trying out hairstyles, borrowing one another’s clothes, varnishing their nails different colours, reading the latest boys’ fashion magazines and so on. By the standards of the old order, they should have looked an absolute fright. In fact, they were considered utterly charming by men and women alike: it was simply what boys were expected to do. It was seeing a girl dressed such a way which would provoke disgust and discomfort. Girls were meant for far greater things than such boyish fiddle-faddle.

Lipstick and dresses were still lipstick and dresses. It was the conventions that had been redefined. The pushing of men into wearing ‘female’ clothing was perhaps the most remarkable achievement of the female-dominated society of the 21st century.

6 comments:

  1. Could not agree more. It's what society says something is rather than what it really is. Society has changed before and will do so again. What is now considered feminine will become the masculine and vice versa the names will stay the same only the definition will change.

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  2. This is so much the same Way I would like to see Society Evolve. Gender Role Reversal is the "New Age:" trend. I lok Forward to the day when all the Macho Sports like Football, and Boxing are ONLY for Women and Girls, while Men and Boys are then Delegated to be the Cheerleaders for the Female Teams. Just a Reversal in what Society says is "Normal"!

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  3. i hope this happens i can not wait for the day wear i can buy make up and dresses etc... with out being laughed at or without getting embarrassed

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  4. im a boy im 14 and i paint my nails and wear makeup, so does my boy friend!!!!!!!!!!!

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  5. I'm a boy and I love wearing make-up. I wear high heels, red nailpolish, pink dresses, red lip gloss, mascara and more!

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  6. I'm a boy I get my nails painted at saloons with my mum wear make up

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