Before and After: LDoucette

“The Lady’s Dressing Room” by Jonathan Swift takes us through the tale of Strephon seeing the inside of his lover Celia’s dressing room, only to be repulsed by how filthy and smelly it is. This poem shows how shocking it is to men to see what women go through to be seen as beautiful. The reality of it is as women, we all like to be seen as beautiful, or ‘having our faces on’. This is a concept that hasn’t died down. Even as I was thinking about what to post, at first I was horrified at the idea of showing a picture of myself not wearing makeup. Clearly I got over it, but the initial fear was still there. Why? I honestly don’t know. It was an instant thought of ‘Oh I’d never do that,’ then shifting to why not?

In total, this process took me two hours to complete. Naturally, I have thick curly hair, so blowdrying and straightening it took about an hour and a half. Then makeup took the other half hour. Two hours to me is a really long time to get ready, and yet I know if I want to look a certain way, that’s what I have to do, and as a woman I can understand Celia’s long process of getting ready. Another thing I wanted to show was the mess in my bathroom in compared to when I first started getting ready, and I could see how Strepthon, or any man would be grossed out walking in seeing it. By this I mean hair everywhere, and makeup all over the sink, clothes all over the bathroom floor (which were all cleaned immediately after). However, I feel like if a woman were to walk in and see that mess, it wouldn’t be as shocking. I feel like when women really try to look their best, like Celia did, they can make quite a mess in the process.

What was shocking to me about this comparison was how things haven’t changed when it comes to women going through so much work to look their best, and how men still think it’s shocking. What made me think this was my boyfriends reaction when he sees the mess I make when I get ready. He’s shocked by how much mess there is, and how long it takes. So as much as we all living in the 21st century like to think that things have changed so much since the 18th century, when it comes to a woman beauty routine, and men’s misunderstanding of it, it hasn’t changed a bit!

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