There is a lot of intellectual and completely inane dissection about how much effort, work, manipulation, thought and money goes into Kim Kardashian’s appearance. The appearance of the whole K – Krew really.
I’m sure there is someone right now polishing off a PHD on The Global Influence, Power and Success of The Kardashians. In November last year Brunel University in London held an academic conference on the “phenomenon of the world’s most famous family”.
Why the Kardashians do what they do and how they look doing it and – stay with me – how those two things interconnect is ripe for examination. A lot of examination.
They make no apologies about their dominating vanity. And that is where I’m like the Kardashians. I want a bit of what they have. I want a bit more vanity in my life. I know it would make a difference to how I feel about myself, because I’m constantly searching for appearance loopholes.
Really? Do I have to wear makeup on weekends?
I’ve never worn makeup to the gym. Why would anyone wear makeup to the gym?
Kids sport on Saturdays? If I wear a big hat and sunglasses I’m basically invisible.
I have to put makeup on and wash my hair if I go out tonight. *Groans and rolls around on bed like a toddler*.
If I wear my reading glasses to this kids’ party drop off, I don’t have to bother putting makeup on.
Yay. *Air punches in bathroom maybe even does a little shoulder shimmy* I don’t even have to wash my face tonight because I didn’t put on makeup all day.
Of course, just as the Kardashians have the right and freedom to show off their bazookas in their plush bathroom in a nude selfie, I have the right to search for the cheapest dishwashing tablets at the supermarket sans make-up and probably wearing something I wouldn’t be caught dead in. Except I’m not dead.
It is also when I am in this state that I will undoubtedly run into an ex-boyfriend. Or the girl from school who was runner-up in Miss World (no joke). Or someone I just really would prefer not to see.
When you work full-time and put on make-up five days a week, there is a whole sky of joy to be found in getting up Saturday morning, washing your face and slapping on some moisturiser (with sun protection, because I’m a sun safety girl).
Still want to look like Kim K? Try her dutch-style braids below. Post continues after video…
And even when I do put on make-up, it’s done in five minutes.
But the thing is, when I am make-up free and I am at the shops, or a hallway of a party drop-off and I do run into someone I know, my first thought as I do the chit chat is: “I wish I had put some make-up on and not worn these green shorts I bought from Sportsgirl in 1996.”
I do wish I’d tried.
Why does make-up make me feel “ready” for people? Why can’t I be one of those women who wears an emerald bias cut backless dress to grab a roast chicken?
In an attempt to gauge other women’s habits about the whole wearing make-up in your downtime thing, I asked a friend, who has a serious corporate job, when she wore makeup on the weekends. I was expecting the “I avoid it like the plague if I have to”.
She said: “Whenever I leave the house.”
I asked another friend, who lives by the beach and works from home. She’s relaxed and always looks natural and happy (I think part of that comes from avoiding peak hour traffic). Again, I thought she was going to tell me how she splashes her face with water in the morning and puts on some Ponds cold cream.
“I always wear a tinted moisturiser at least, plus concealer under my eyes, I have my eyelashes tinted but stick on a little mascara and some lip gloss.”
Okay. I’ve asked a few women now about their make-up line in the sand. There’s a lot of maintenance going on that I was completely unaware of – from little cosmetic procedures to daily subtle make-up – and good for them. It makes them feel better.
I’m lucky, I don’t have a business relying on my looks or a partner asking me to adjust my looks or take more care. I have a husband who says he thinks I look more beautiful without makeup. He also favours a dish he made up one night called Sausage Wallah; our opinions in life can differ dramatically.
Still, I do feel better, more confident, when I have made an effort with my appearance.
The freedom of wearing no makeup and being under-dressed, for me, is increasingly being flayed by the feeling of “why don’t I just try more? I can look better than this.”
Looking good makes me feel better. It’s not a betrayal to the sisterhood, it just is what it is.
Need more Kim K? Click through the gallery below. Post continues after gallery…
I’m not about to go all obsessive and completely crazy about my appearance and start spending two hours getting the perfect selfie after two hours of primping and preening. I’m talking about turning the care factor up a bit. Adding a bit of tinted moisturiser and mascara to my weekends, some lipstick and abandoning clothes that make me lie to everyone, “Yes, I’ve just been for a swim and haven’t had time to change.”
After I do that, I’m going to turn down the noise about examining my own appearance and why a bit of makeup makes me feel better when I’m out in the big, wide world. The answer after much navel gazing and consultation with body image experts and a short stint as an academic in Norway studying the history of the subjugation of women is: It just does.
That kind of examination can make you get stuck in an endless, ultimately unwinnable, vacuous cycle. But you’re allowed to want to feel good about yourself. For me that means upping the appearance effort.
I don’t want to Keep up with the Kardashians, I just want to keep up with myself.