Makeup Scandal on Frontier House
I’m guessing the above picture isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think about watching a show like Frontier House. For those of you that aren’t familiar with it, it’s a PBS special chronicling three families spending five months living a 1883 homesteader’s life. When you think of watching this type of special where the families set up their homesteads in the Frontier Valley of Montana you probably envision something like this.
At least it is what I thought so imagine my surprise when the focus of the first episode seemed to be makeup or rather the lack there of in the 1883 frontier. Of all the things these families have been asked to sacrifice in order to live a true 1883 life you would think makeup wouldn’t even rate a passing mention. But it was drama we are talking tears, lies, and sneakery type drama. The families are given homesteading training before being sent into “the frontier” and they also get a formal 1883 portrait done. So begins the drama, one of the mothers and her daughter and niece are appalled by the fact and believe themselves to look horrendous without makeup. Despite the fact that no one else is going to see them on the frontier and the fact that the picture is taken in black and white without them smiling (in order for it to be authentic) they cannot get over the fact that they can’t wear makeup. Part of me is appalled at such insecurity but can you really blame the kids when this is the culture that they were raised iin. We are a society that says you must be perfect to be pretty. And their closest role model (the mother) is just as attached to her makeup as they are so what kind of example does it set? I realize that you can’t blame the mom entirely for the problem because the kids get just as much indoctrination from magazines and television. When “Ugly Betty” first came on TV it was this big deal that the shows major character was “ugly” but she’s really not. And she wears makeup. Not to mention the fact that when that actress is shown at any other event she looks “perfect.” It just makes me seriously question the messages our society sends to children about appearance and beauty. Whatever happened to it is what is inside that counts?
Personally I never bought into the use of makeup that much and it’s not because I would call myself a tomboy it was just never something my mother or close female relatives wore and come to think of it neither did most of my friends in high school. As I got older makeup just seemed like too much effort and I could never master the art of eyeliner anyway 🙂
I hope that we as a society can learn to value inner beauty over outer beauty and make sure we send that message to our kids. I hope we learn to value skills and abilites over visual impression because until we do we are going to continue to raise daughters that think they are “ugly” without a layer of artifice covering every percieved flaw be it real or not.