I don't know if you've noticed, but men have a lot of opinions about women who wear makeup.
"This is why I have trust issues," men caption photos of women before and after contour. Just an example of the "dishonesty" of makeup, and the way they're being "tricked" by beauty.
"Studies show men prefer women who wear less makeup," says one unattributed meme that crops up on Twitter like a herpes outbreak every three months or so.
"Take her swimming on the first date, lol." (Like I don't wear setting spray, asshole).
"Real women don't need makeup to feel beautiful," they tell us. As if they have any idea of what women do or do not need. As if there's any solid definition of a "real" woman.
This anti-makeup bullshit goes beyond memes. I've never once shared a selfie without a man busting into the comments to inform me that I'm wearing "too much" makeup. I've even been stopped on the street by strange men who want to tell me that they don't like what I have going on on my face.
And I'm over it.
I'm sick of men having opinions about my face. I'm sick of being told that my lipstick choices should be determined by a stranger's boner. So consider this an open letter:
Dear men: I don't fucking care what you think about my makeup.
I don't care if you think I'd look better with less on my face.
I don't care if you hate red lipstick, or pink lipstick, or no lipstick.
I don't care if mascara "scares" you.
I don't care if you think I, someone you don't know, am shallow because I wear it.
I don't care if you think Kim Kardashian, and therefore every woman who contours her cheekbones, is "ugly."
I don't care if you read half an article in Scientific American three years ago about how every man in the history of forever prefers women without makeup.
Genuinely. I do not. Fucking. Care. And do you know why?
Because I don't wear makeup for you.
I understand that this must be a terrifying concept for many men — realizing that not everything about women's self-expression is done for their pleasure. But the sooner you figure this out, the better off you're going to be.
Women owe you nothing, men of the world. We don't owe you our time or our attention, and we don't owe you "being pretty." If you want aesthetic control over something purely decorative, take up flower arranging. Don't give women unsolicited advice on their eyeliner.
"Well actually," some dickhead in a fedora is likely thinking right at this very moment, "What is makeup, if not a way for women to make themselves more pleasing to men? Evolutionary psychology says that men are attracted to obvious signifiers of youth, like clear skin, wide eyes, and red lips, which is what women mimic with makeup. So CLEARLY this is about my dick."
This is wrong.
First of all, evolutionary psychology is some racist, sexist garbage, and that is a Psych 101 understanding of a complicated subject.
Secondly, "being pleasing" to random men is NOBODY'S reason for wearing makeup in 2016. I assure you that no woman is this desperate for your approval — a man that they don't know, and whose opinion they have no reason to value.
Hell, if I could apply my makeup in such a way that would make random men leave me alone forever, I would do it. Come on, NARS. Invent that lipstick color.
This logic also totally forgets that lesbians, gay men, gender-nonconforming people, and trans individuals are into makeup, too. That's pretty clear evidence that it's not all about your precious cis-het penis.
The fact is, women wear makeup for a lot of different reasons. You are not one of them.
We wear it because we love the artistry.
Because it's creative.
Because we like the way it lets us express ourselves.
Because we're obsessed with color.
Because it makes us feel confident.
Because we enjoy the transformative abilities inherent in the art.
Because it's part of our jobs.
Because it helps us blend in.
Because it makes us stand out.
Because it's fun as hell.
Because we want to.
And we don't care what you think about it.
So men, the next time you're tempted to offer your unsolicited opinion about a woman's makeup, do the world a favor, and DON'T.
Unless you wear it yourself, your input is neither desired nor required. Our fake lashes, flawless lip color, and murderously sharp eyeliner are none of your damn business.