[guest post by Dana]
Yes, people, makeup. But sadly, this isn’t a frivolous girly post. Far from it.
The Washington Post ran an article a few days ago reporting on a Moroccan television station taking a lot of of heat from viewers because a morning talk show host did an on-air demonstration of how Moroccan women could effectively use makeup to hide the bruises on their faces after being pummeled by their husbands:
The smiling woman on the daily Moroccan television show spoke to viewers as if it were any other makeup tutorial, comparing brands and hues of face foundation and demonstrating how to apply it.
Seated next to her was a woman with what appeared to be a black eye and bruises on her cheekbones.
“After the beating, this part is still sensitive, so don’t press,” the host said in Arabic as she applied makeup on the woman’s face, eventually concealing the woman’s bruises.
“Make sure to use loose powder to fix the makeup so if you have to work throughout the day, the bruises don’t show,” she said.
The makeup tutorial, aired Wednesday on Moroccan state television, instructed viewers how to use concealer to “camouflage the traces of violence against women”[.]
According to the show’s host:
“It’s a subject we shouldn’t talk about, but unfortunately that’s what it is,” the segment’s host, Lilia Mouline, said in the tutorial. “We hope that these beauty tips help you carry on with your normal life.”
A normal life. This is what constitutes “normal” over there.
Obviously the video (at the link) is deeply troubling, to say the least. But also troubling, along with the normalization of domestic violence toward women in a country where “nearly two-thirds — 62.8 percent — of women ages 18 to 65 had experienced physical, psychological, sexual or economic violence,” is the Washington Post’s convenient avoidance of pointing to any root cause of this accepted degradation of women. When news outlets in the West choose to carefully apply their own unique brand of journalistic makeup in a willful effort to conceal that which lies beneath the bruising, it’s difficult to not see it as anything other than a tacit approval for that which is abhorrent or a willingness to go along to get along. Both of which reveal a lack of journalistic honesty and backbone. And no application of makeup can conceal that deep of a flaw.
And because we’re talking makeup in a part of the world where it is a powerful tool used to transform a woman’s face from a black and blue wasteland into some illusion of non-abused beauty, it’s worth looking at the truly mind-boggling other end of the spectrum where Hillary Clinton’s post-election decision to let her bruising loss show on her face, is ridiculously, and embarrassingly turned into some sort a holy sacrifice in the name of Freedom:
We shouldn’t be talking about Hillary’s face. The act of mentioning her hair (yet again) is like adding insult to injury after all she’s been through. But we’ve been studying that face for so long, and this shift is so significant — like when she ditched her glasses and cut her hair and took her husband’s name back in the early ’80s. Now, with her bare-faced post-election look, Hillary Clinton is once again a perfect societal inkblot.
Do you see Hillary’s bare face as a grim admission that she’s been striving too hard on the trail, or do you see her choice to forsake hairspray as a cathartic fuck-you to the whole damn operation of being a woman in the public eye? Are her puffy under-eyes an exhibition of grief or, as one callous article suggested, a ploy to stoke our sympathies? Did she send her hair-and-makeup team home or just decide (like a few other celebrities) that she was done living a lie? Maybe she was worried about crying. I know I’ve been avoiding eye makeup since the election for that reason.
“You can’t look at that face and not feel deeply moved by all of this. Whether you like her or you hate her. There’s beaten, and then there’s no-makeup beaten,” says Sharron, a woman of 68. “She’d been looking so terrific. It’s hard to see her just stop.”
Every day of the campaign, Hillary painted on a mask meant to obscure strain and effort, to give an appearance of unending, superhuman stamina. Now that’s been replaced by real stamina — the kind that makes you walk out the door and face the world without a lick of mascara.