Male vs Female: No Makeup Day

By Xah Lee. Date:

[anthropology, ethology, esthetics]

we should have a no-makup day. So, on that day, all women do not wear any makeup.

… am reading my Google Plus stream at the moment, saw some post by females e.g. +Amanda Blain , +Lisa Bettany. Lisa is a photographer, and posts some of her photos of portraits of girls. In those close up face shots of pretty girls, you notice the makeup of eye-liners.

I've always been interested in studying the difference between human male and female from a cold ethology point of view… their body shape differences, body skeleton structural differences, vocal quality as sound characteristics (or at a higher level: speech differences), postures, locomotion gait differences, behavior differences… So, while viewing the pretty girl portraits, many feature attractive eyes, i wondered, what would it look like without those eye-liners or enhanced eye-lashes? How is it different from men's eyes? Another way to ask the question is, if we take close-up of just the eye (without eyebrow) of healthy young adult male and female of same age group, can we in general still tell the sex? What difference are there exactly? are eye sizes different between men and women? do their shape differ generally? by this i mean we should be able to scientifically quantify it by statistical means. (am pretty sure all these are well researched. Am sure the 3D animation technologies have already captured the answers completely.)

… recently added a bunch of females on Google Plus that's from a site reporting females with massive number of followers. So, in my stream i now see lots of female's posts. Many or all of them, wear at least light makeup in their profile photos. Many are female programers at Google. (in contrast to women in show biz, which of course always wear heavy make-up) So, i think it would be something, if for a day all females you see are without any make-up.

if, suppose one day by some magic all females in the world do not wear any makeup, then when you (male or female) woke up, go about your day business, to work, would you actually notice something different?

I don't suppose i would notice. I'd probably notice eventually, but probably wouldn't be sensitive or think much about it. My guess is that most men would react likewise. My guess is that women would be much more sensitive

then, i guess there's the philosophical question on esthetics. Look at this pic:

Stephanie eye-liner mascara
“Stephanie” (Photo by Lisa Bettany)

there's mascara and eye-liner. The question is, what is it, that eye with these paints makes it more attractive? I don't really know. I mean, here we do presume that the subject is fair looking. i.e. her eye does not have any physical blemishes or any deformities, so that the eye-liner isn't used to hide or correct something. (THERE! i think i might have answered my own question. That is: eye-liner is most effective only when it is used to hide/correct/change the shape/blemish of the eye. Otherwise, it may not have much esthetic effect. In the case of mascara, it is used to make the lashes appear as thicker, e.g. emulating more healthier eye. (because, i think younger people have thicker and denser lashes, in general))

Am pretty sure many of the questions above have been discussed by anthropologists etc. If you know, pass some paper links. Am just curious.

For ladies who are reading this… if you find this creepy… i agree. lol. No am not here to do some psychology test. This is just one of my philosophical write-up done spontaneously. Circle me if you are also into philosophical contemplation.

PS zoologist Desmond Morris has written much about these topics. See: Reading Notes on “Intimate Behavior”.

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