As a left-leaning feminist liberal, I’m often accused of committing many Capitalist offences not Capital offence, i.e. heinous crimes but rather, I’m known for the occasional, ah, indulgence (read: I’m a spendthrift with a shopping addiction).
I know a lot of you are inundated with texts and whatsapp? messages from me, talking about how I always end up t the same store, or how I exercised my nearly non-existent self-control and didn’t visit that shop/buy anything – and I know it sounds like I’m rationalizing, and I probably am – but honestly, when I’m given a pamphlet which says MAC stores are open to people of “all races and all sexes” I have no choice but to break down and cry for joy.
See, as a feminist, I have long believed, ok maybe not long, but my re-engagement with actual feminist theory in 2010 – eventually led to my understanding that I was being a feminist by patriarchy standards, I was till judging women for being housewives, for having sex, for basically all the things patriarchy shames women for. What I’m trying to say is that, leave women alone; judge not their choices, but the structures that limit these choices for women. Women choosing to be housewives is not inherently problematic, as it is an exercise in agency; what should be critically evaluated is the expectation that women will be housewives, that their needs are secondary to their husband and children, in a very heteronormative patriarchal society. See the difference? not the choice but the structure.
Anyway, the point of this long-winded explanation being that, I love makeup. I’m hyper femme, I love girly things. The reason is two fold – one is that I’m actively choosing to perform my gender (thank you Judith Butler) and two I’m not ashamed of my femininity. A lot of feminists, frame an understanding of femininity against a patriarchal context. Which is problematic, as we then fall into the same trap as patriarchy does, in which we are shaming women for being themselves, and I say this without even touching upon the complex discussion that is transgender activism. I don’t wear make up because I want people to be attracted to me, I’m not wearing it for anyone else, I’m wearing it for me, because I like the colours, the textures, the smells of it, they’re all fascinating to me.
But beyond that, MAC stores and even Inglot stores are both Queer-friendly spaces. I can’t count the numerous stores I’ve visited, where I’ve met queer people and that more than anything else, fuels my addiction.