Urban Decay-ing Feminism

Urban Decay, the producer of the most edgy, dangerous, and fun makeup in the biz, has recently released their next installment of their eye shadow palette legacy,the Naked 3. This “never-before-seen (and insanely beautiful!) rose-hued” set cohesively fits in with its predecessor Naked palettes. But there is a little catch, which is especially upsetting and unsettling when it is discovered by the broke, college-student fashionista.

$54 for a palette of 12 different eye shadows! We’re talking like sample size strips of colored powder to put on your eyelids for almost $5 for a square half-inch of product.

I mean, seriously?! I could buy a foot-long sandwich for that.

Now, I can say that I’ve never been one to spend oodles on consumer goods, like clothes, makeup, hair care products. It’s not my style. It hurts my soul when I cannot rationalize spending over 6 hours worth of pay on one product, especially if that product is just going to be worn on my face to appease others. So in a way, I don’t understand the hype.

My real question is: how is the return on investment?

If I spend $50 on makeup and $50 on a sexy outfit, will I receive $100+ in free drinks to break even? No way! That would be impossible, not to mention vain to be using your looks for lucrative gain, and exploiting chivalry. We’re too good for those games. We have too much pride and self-respect to rely on men to make up the difference in what we have to spend. So, tough luck ladies with that double-edged sword.

But this is how consumerism works. Women’s products are always more expensive than the men’s counterpart product. We’re expected (enticed) to buy them, and we’re not supposed to question it.

I know, I know, it’s “totally worth it!” but don’t you think this is exploitive consumerism? Why do we need to pay this much to feel pretty?

It’s all about the brand. Urban Decay is an edgy and expensive brand. It gives the impression of luxury, professionalism, and quality, but in terms of the average American salary, it’s not worth it. $54 dollars means a week’s worth of groceries for some people, and that’s just depressing. There is disparity in the ranks, and Urban Decay facilitates it.

Critiquing makeup culture and the makeup industry is not some fresh, new idea. It’s been a feminist issue that has been addressed in many facets. And rightly so.

There is a stigma towards women who don’t wear makeup, who don’t look bright-eyed and feminine. They are often seen as lesser, timid, lacking self-confidence/self-respect, and are old, grouchy “feminists”. These assumptions piss me off.

Her looks do not define her. They do not define her ability, her intelligence, or her worth.  And this just isn’t as great of an issue for men. Proving oneself is not nearly as difficult for a man as it is for a woman, both in the workplace and in everyday life.

Through my extensive research(…on Twitter), I found a quote by the great philosopher Miley Cyrus (who probz totes got it from somewhere else): “If you are a woman who believes in gender equality, you’re a feminist. If you’re a man who believes in gender equality, you’re a feminist too”

Equal. We want to be equals.

Feminists get a bad rep—always have—but that’s another debate to be hashed out.

But until men’s clothes start costing as much as women’s and they have to start painting up their face to look “presentable” in order to gain respect, feminists have plenty o’ legs to stand on.

As recently seen in the news, the Paycheck Fairness Act was a bill that would have  legally required businesses and companies to pay equal wages to men and women who were working in the same position. It didn’t get passed; women still earn 88 cents for every man’s dollar.

But we still work the same hours, have the same workload, and still have to pay more for business formal clothing to work for that company. Oh, and we have to PAY $54 DOLLARS FOR ONE MAKEUP IMPLEMENT TO LOOK PRETTY FOR YOU.

If makeup is expected, if fresh yet fake faces are what our “superiors” desire, then make sure makeup doesn’t cost so damn much and pay us fairly. Otherwise, we’re going to get mad, and you won’t like us when we’re mad.

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