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Like Lipstick on a Comet

Humans are interesting.  In many ways, we act a lot like animals.  Dogs, for example, will look another dog up and down, sniff around, and then react according to the results of their assessment. I have a new dog.  He’s a pit bull, and it’s funny to see how scared people get when they see him.  For as big and “bad” as others think he is, when I took him to the dog park, all of the other dogs tried to mount him.  I would like to stress the word “all”, there were more than five dogs out there that day… it wasn’t pretty. Those dogs accessed his scent, maybe even his looks, and treated him horribly.

I observe people quite often; I usually do it when I’m out in public because the person I’m with ditches me or I get pushed out of conversations.  So I just sit and watch – it gives me something to do.  Some people will do what the dogs at the park did to my dog.  No, I haven’t witnessed them humping, though some dance moves I’ve seen have come close. I just mean that one person will size up another.

At work, I had been feeling a little “missized” by others, so I decided to do a little experiment… I got a boob job.  Just kidding!  I can’t afford to employ new boobs.  Now if some wanted to volunteer, I wouldn’t turn them away, but I doubt there are any unemployed sweater puffs out there looking for jobs.  Plus, can you imagine a perky pair just standing on the side of the road with a sign that said: “Will work for food.”?  I wouldn’t even know what to feed them.  Where are their mouths?  Do they like to jump off at night and set traps?  Get it? Booby traps!  Okay, I’m getting a little off topic here.  If I had a nipple for every time that happened, man, I’d have to join the circus!  I didn’t do anything to my boobal area, instead, I started wearing makeup.

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Illustrated by my daughter

For the last few months, I have been applying foundation, powder, blush, eyeshadow, eyeliner, and lipstick every morning before I leave for work.  I don’t walk out the door looking like I’m ready for a photo shoot or even a night on the town, but I do look healthy and “put together”. I have always worn lipstick to work, and maybe a dot of foundation or powder to cover a zit now and then, but rarely have I covered my entire face.  I usually save that type of girlie stuff for the weekends.

Applying makeup is not something I excelled in at first.  In fact, I struggled with it a little bit.  I may be a female, but makeup application is not something that is natural for me.  I’m a tomboy from way back.  As a teen, the only thing I put on my face was some watermelon or bubble gum flavored lip balm. If you want to see something comical, watch me try to do a “smokey eye”, trust me, it’s hilarious.  I look like I got into a fight with a bag of charcoal and lost. If you want to throw in an extra level of amusement, watch as I draw on a cat-eye with eyeliner.  One side is always higher than the other, or longer.  The same goes for my eyebrows when I try to “define” them; at least messing them up just makes me look inquisitive or mysterious.

Makeup trends have changed a lot over the years as well.  I always thought that having shiny skin was a bad thing, so I bought some face powder.  Then I found out that women are paying for bottles of stuff that they drip onto their skin to achieve a “dewy” complexion.  I didn’t go out and buy any of it; I just use sweat and oils that come out of my face for free. There are also brushes for each little thing that can be applied to a face; I just use one big brush for my face and I use my finger to apply my eyeshadow.

“What were the results of my experiment?”, you ask?  You probably didn’t ask, but I’ll tell you anyway.  I noticed a difference in the way people treated me on the very first day!   My manager’s manager, the guy who had been talking to me like I was stupid and untrustworthy, immediately started giving me praise and support.  What?  Days and weeks went by, I kept applying makeup, and I kept waiting for the old treatment, but it didn’t happen.  Both men and women were treating me better than they treated me prior to my new makeup routine.

Are people really influenced that much by someone’s looks?  Think back, have you ever received better treatment when you put more effort into your appearance?  I guess we’re all guilty of it.  When we go shopping, we pass by the blemished fruits and vegetables for smooth-skinned colorful produce.  Yes, comparing people to apples is like comparing apples to oranges, but I’m just trying to make a point – people like eye-pleasing things. Even animals have showy patterns and colors to attract the opposite sex.  I’m not trying to attract the opposite sex, or even the opposite sects, I’m just trying to get some damn respect. I’m not going to try for dam respect… That’s much harder to get, because dams set up such a barrier, it’s hard to break it down. Sorry, it’s been a while since I’ve written, and the puns just want out.

Dam Illustration

Illustrated by my daughter

I did recently mention this special treatment to a male friend of mine and he said that there was definitely truth behind my theory.  When people see something that’s aesthetically pleasing, there will be a subconscious need to adore or respect it. Maybe what it all really comes down to is that wearing makeup makes me feel more confident.  It’s the difference between meeting your spouse’s ex while you’re wearing your fat-pants and holey “Where’s the beef?” t-shirt, versus meeting the ex when you are dressed up for a romantic evening out.  It’s still you, but you are just presenting yourself in a more positive way.  I’m going to continue to wear makeup to work.  It may not be the most comforting thought in the world, but it’s sadly true – people judge others by their looks.

What have you done to gain respect from others?

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