Friday I was ringing a customer’s sale through my register when she tried paying me a compliment. She said she liked my “guyliner.” She then asked if my eyeliner had something to do with any particular favorite musicians. In a way, yes, as the Goth subculture is based around the fandom of the music (although I still say that I’m still too new to consider myself a Goth just yet). But that’s not the sole reason I wear black eyeliner.
What I got hung up on more so was the term “guyliner.” I don’t need to justify my make-up just because I’m male. I don’t wear eyeliner so that I’m a guy wearing eyeliner and that’s unusual or shocking. I wear it because I want to. I started wearing it out of curiosity and then decided that I like how it looks on me. When done right—and that isn’t always, considering that I have to take off my glasses in order to apply it—it gives me a darker, more intimidating look. At the very least it’s a little more theatrical than a normal, humdrum look like so many people around here have.
I don’t need to write a blog post to justify what I’m doing. But it’s annoying that I have to put up with people focusing on the fact that while they say that they like my cosmetics, they like it that I’m a guy wearing it. I can’t tell you how many people I’ve had to put up with telling me that they like my nail polish, only to then tell me that they wish more men would wear it. They can’t focus on the fact that my nail polish is black, and that if they looked they would see that I’m wearing all (or mostly) black, and that might indicate something else?
At the same time, I know that people are trying to compliment me. I tried to respond politely, which I would anyway because I’m non-confrontational but also because I don’t want to be an unappreciative asshole. The woman the other day complimenting me on my “guyliner” said some other things in the conversation that led me to believe that she was even trying to flirt with me, although I probably didn’t respond well. She looked disappointed when she left that the conversation didn’t go much further. (Of course, as regular readers may know there are other reasons why I might disappoint her in that regard, but that would lead to another blog post entirely.)
I’m not going to turn this into some sort advice column that tells you “When giving a compliment about their appearance….” I can’t speak for everybody. Perhaps some men do wear make-up because they want to shock people. Besides, I know that this blog isn’t widely read. I doubt whatever message I have would trickle out to the general public’s discourse. This is just something that I’m going to have to get used to. I just wonder what that woman would call it if I was wearing my lipstick that day.
By the way, I know that I’m labeling this blog post “Self-Discover Saturday” and it’s Sunday morning. I was out shopping all day yesterday and when I finally got around to being able to write the blog post last night, I lost my Internet connection for some reason. I opted not to even write a draft on my WordPress editor as it looked like I wouldn’t be able to save my progress. I was so tired I didn’t think about writing the post in Notepad and then just pasting it later. That’s probably for the best as I would have been too tired to write a blog post anyway. I’m still planning on writing a Sunday List later today.