06 September 2010

0 eyeliner equals power (12.09.06)

i'm not a fan of makeup. lotions, perfumes, polishes and powder puffs are divine. lipstick, not so much. ditto for most everything else.

so my war paint is limited to red or black nail lacquer, bonnie bell chapstick, and a whole hell of a lot of eyeliner. because eyeliner equals power.

if you're a girl and you wait tables, your income is directly proportional to the amount of eyeliner present. it's the "tip eyes phenomenon." plainoline earned pennies; eyelinedoline raked in the dough. astonished by this fact, i quickly took to being ever-eyelinedoline. not so people would toss money my way, but out of intrigue. it was too fascinating a plot twist not to pursue. it has become one of my very few vestiges of grownupness.

thanks in part to cleopatra, mata hari, and tammy faye baker, eyeliner is often considered risque. in modernity, i lay much of the blame for this on liz taylor, who steered her sexual tabaggon down a wayward slope, violet eyes flawlessly lined all the way. and really liz taylor provides a convenient metaphor. eyeliner: occasionally tacky but so damn sexy.

it's really all about timing. before noon, the eyelined beget blatant disapproval. riding the blue line at 7 a.m. on a sunday morning, the hamptons sweater, the converse, the pigtails and the penguin classic mattered not. seeing only the eyeliner, a woman who looked far naughtier than i literally picked herself up from the seat next to me and relocated. she thought i had been somewhere Scandalous and had participated in some Scandal. or was on the verge of Scandalosity at a Scandalously early hour. eyeliner in the morn? SCANDALOUS!

after the noon, it's somewhat more acceptable. the glances less frequent, the intolerance less overt. however, the double-takes and the lips of disapproval persist and there's a lingering sense of what has that girl been up to? couldn't have been anything good. as a good girl, this amuses me to no end.

ironically, after the hours of persecution, in the evening- when being a bad girl is socially condoned- eyeliner is suddenly enthusiastically applauded. and it actually seems to lure people in rather than send them running to the clear opposite end of the train.

always drawn to the narrative, i think it's because we're taught that our eyes tell our story. and it's a story made more arresting simply by being bound in kohl. a story with unimaginable, bewitching possibilities. a story not to be missed. and maybe, in reality, there's no story there- because empty hope in beautiful bottles is the beauty of makeup. but it makes you look and it makes you wonder. sometimes it makes you gawk. sometimes it makes you walk over and engage in really stupid dancing and buy drinks for a group of girls who aren't going to go home with you. and really that's not our fault. it's the eyeliner, baby. power, i say. power.

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