South Park Self

the same old painted lady

Scene: the local mall, wherein is showing Iron Man III, the which I trundled off to see this morning bright and early on the grounds of lesser crowds. (Result). A slightly fey little COSMETIC SALESMAN accosts me as I drift vaguely past on a superheroic high, and thrusts upon me a small sample sachet of lotion purported to contain diamond dust. (Which, I'm sorry, is just silly).

SALESMAN (scrutinising my countenance intensely): Can I just ask what make-up you're wearing there?
ME (beatifically, on account of aforementioned superheroic high): Oh, I don't wear make-up.
HIM (patiently): Well, what do you have at home for when you do wear it?
ME (with reciprocal patience): I don't wear make-up at all. For any reason.
HIM (with definite sales glint in the eye): Oh, that's so sad, what is it, allergies?
ME (bugger, he asked): No, I have ideological problems with the whole idea.
HIM (slightly flabbergasted): Oh. (Slight pause). May I ask what?
ME (slightly vaguely): Only women wear make-up.
HIM (indignantly, pointing to his own definite state of mascara, at least, and probably something very expensive and foundational): Hello!
ME: Yes, but you wear it for different reasons.

It degenerated a bit from that point, as I'm not up to snappy feminist rejoinders post-superhero-movie, early in the morning and on only one cup of tea. But, in l'esprit d'escalier, what I should have said, after thinking about it: actually, there's a weird sort of kinship here. He may not articulate it in precisely the same terms, but to some degree he wears make-up for exactly the same reasons that I don't: as a giant up-yours to the heteronormative tenets of our culture and its base and highly gendered assumptions about beauty and desirability. Because fuck that noise.

What I did manage to say, even through the haze, was that I'm completely comfortable with my ideological choice here, thank you, and it's not simply a matter of meeting the right make-up: I am not going to be converted by his fabulous samples. But I did see him waving his arms around as he clearly described the whole encounter to his glam little lady assistant (he was pointing at me as I drifted away). Clearly I'm a strange and fabulous creature quite unlike any he has ever seen before. Possibly mythical. I'm okay with that.

Oh, IM3.
  1. This film did neither what I expected it to, nor much of what I rather formlessly wanted it to do, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless.
  2. Damn good script, much of it out of left field.
  3. Music was all wrong. I never thought I'd mourn the lack of AC/DC.
  4. Fascinating stuffing around with the comics canon, plot-wise, about which I shall burble at length in a subsequent post. It's still percolating.
I thought you might like it, despite being, um... left field with gratuitous use of small abandoned boy to tug on heartstrings.

Other in my feeds are commenting that ""Iron Man saves the world from aliens" versus "Batman beats up poor people"" and "Iron Man 3 was fun, but letting the tech genie of autonomously controlled, series produced armor out of the bottle hampers future stories."

Also, diamond dust is an industrial abrasive. Seriously on the face?
I am relieved to note, after looking at the ingredient list on the sample, that the diamond dust (which I'm quite sure he quite clearly claimed) is so much apocryphal marketing bombast. Because, yes, just silly.

The small abandoned boy wasn't actually irritating at all, although I was really dreading him.
Heavens. As if I needed further reasons not to approve of the ridiculous stuff. Which is, fortunately, not as claimed, anyway, see above :>.
It's actually a highly complicated position and very difficult to articulate on the turn, have you noticed? And also quite difficult to lay out in a way which doesn't sound as though you're dissing women who do wear make-up. Negotiating patriarchy is enough of a minefield that I utterly support any woman's right to come to terms with it in whatever way makes sense to her, so it becomes "I don't wear make-up because that's MY ideological accommodation BUT", and it's rather a mouthful to say.
I fully expected to hate that kid, pre the film release Kevin Feige was talking about him in terms which made me actively nauseous, but in fact I rather enjoyed him. Sarky kid, and his interactions with Stark were just enough off-beat to be non-saccharine.