Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sze Zeng on...

We don't wear cosmetics. Painting our faces or waxing our hair is bearing the image that we want to portray to the public. In other words, it is stripping away our banality. Yet cosmetics are not merely public portrayal but, reciprocally, publicly validated.

Thus, making-up is an act of validation. An attempt to validate ourselves in the public. And this implies that we, in the first place, are invalids.

This is ironic. In order to validate ourselves, we invalidated ourselves. To wear cosmetics is to strip bear.


pearlie said...

Isn't it funny/ironic/weird/whatever that in both cases if a man wears makeup and if a woman does not wear make up, it is frowned upon?

Well, not all of us would wear make up but I suppose it is polite to at least to appear more presentable - but that would actually be a conditioned practice in society. It is like men look good enough without having to make up while women look horrible without them, and so it is expected of them. Hmmm ... it is still a men's world.

Sze Zeng said...

Hi pearlie,

I've met men with make-up. I wax my hair, and that's a form of cosmetics.

And it's not true that men look good enough naturally..i for one is not.

So ya, it's a balanced world where both men and women are invalids. If we want to be valid, we have to go for cosmetics.

Steven Sim said...

Yoon and i had some worldview discussion on makeups some times back.

We extended the act of "image improvement" to using black arts from the most minor of using prayer herbs/mantra to the more advance ones like "susuk". what do you think?

Coming back, perhaps put it the other way, putting up makeup made us aware that we could have been better, which in turn means we realized we are in a worse shape than we could be. I was thinking alone the line of Wright's beauty in this world vs. the imperative beauty, for the lack of words.

Steven Sim

Sze Zeng said...

Hi Steven,

A good point there. "Make-up" does reflect the aesthetic incompleteness of the self. Yet such incompleteness are usually forced onto us from the public. Telling us the inadequacy of natural beauty.

Christians do no need to give in to it on one hand, and need to condemn its practice on another. In fact Christians should enhance their aesthetic but not because we think natural beauty inadequate. But because we have to, as an artistic practice, uncover and re-direct the public back to it.