What's wrong with wearing make-up?

I might be wrong thinking this—but I felt it is rude. Please correct me if I am wrong.

You see, I love to wear make-up. I have been wearing make-up for decades. I have an artistic inclination and I usually express this in wearing make-up in a way that I feel enhances the way I look.

Its my personal choice and most of the time people do not comment negatively and most of the time get compliments.

In my work as a dentist I got compliments from patients and got asked out by men and women who wanted to be my friend. Perhaps, its my personality, but I think make-up did help improve my professional look.

Some people, though, I feel, react to it in a strongly negative, vocal,hurtful manner and I don’t know why.

You see, I am studying nursing as a second course. Our professor told us to wear a little make-up while on hospital duty to help us look presentable to patients. Me—I’m game with that coz, I’m an expert doing my own make-up and I know what fits me.

Yesterday, before going to the hospital, I remember asking our housekeeper if my make-up was ok and if I looked neat enough . She said I looked fine.

After that, I walked to the hospital from our house. When I reached the hospital one of the intructor nurse was taking a break with 11 of my co-students. She called me to sit beside her, saying, “Come here, I’ve been wanting to ask you this for a long time.” All my classmates–men and women – looked on as they were all seated around a table with her.

Then, in a loud voice, she asked me, “I’m just curious, what brand of make-up do you wear coz I want to buy it. It doesn’t melt in this heat.” Me–I was shocked, and didn’t know how to reply as I felt all my 11 classmates (second courser nursing students) began scrutinizing my face as to where I placed make-up, listening to her every word.

I just tried to recover my composure and just smiled weakly and pretended that it was skin-off my nose, that I felt she was being rude to me considering that I only met her a few days before.

I replied, “I use “water-proof” because there is no electric fan here.” (our duty was in a poor government hospital).

But she continued on saying, “Really, what’s the brand? I want to buy it! Show it to me!” I felt she was being too personal as she was just an acquantance.

Now, I remember this same thing happening with a co-worker before who thought I was after her crush.

When I got home, feeling a bit sad at what happened, I asked our housekeeper (who has been with us for decades and is like family already) again how I looked before I left for the hospital that day, if I had too much make-up on. She replied, “No you looked fine.”

I asked my close friend why some women react to me that way. She said that my problem was I is that I am too kind and I smile too much even if I feel people are hurtful already----people tend to see me as someone they can “lord” over. She advised me to have a sterner disposition.

Me–I feel I really don’t wear make-up for other people. I wear it because I like looking good. I don’t use it to hurt others.

When I see someone who is kind and smiles at me—I don’t think “This person is easy to “lord” over.” --let me see how far I can go. --I never think that way.

I hate being the object of scrutiny.

Also, I am not the type of person who can easily find a retort to an unexpected verbal offense.

Anyone here, please help me understand if I am wrong in thinking that this nurse-instructor was being mean to me. Maybe, I could be wrong in thinking she was being rude and that shouldn’t be reacting this way or feeling hurt. Should I be offended?

Is it possible that she really just DID like your makeup and want to know what it is/where to get it?

Now, this may sound strage, but I do some clowning. Clowns are always scrutinizing faces. We understand faces probably better than anyone as we want to know how to express things and where to put makeup (when we use it) to better bring out such expressions. We sometimes like to talk makeuping with each other.

I don’t see how it is any different among women where someone might see something particularly nice that another lady does and wants to learn what she can do to improve her own look. So take it as a compliment. Afterall, you already think that you do a pretty good job at such things.

Now, do some people perhaps think that you are putting on airs or get jealous? Probably. But that isn’t what the situation with the other nurse trainees sounds like to me.

You could be right, Chicago. Maybe I am being too sensitive.

I prefer to think that my make-up is as subtle as I could get it–the type I could use in the office and outside at day time. I normally just use blusher, eyeliner, eyeshadow and lipstick.

I wished, though, our instructor had been more discreet and asked me without her audience. I don’t know about the other women here, but generally my friends and I, prefer not to talk about make-up on our faces when men are present because I heard they hate it when they learn we are wearing it.

Its supposed to be taken in as a whole --not for my features to be scrutinized individually as to where/how I put it on by all my classmates. I hate the scrutiny.

Maybe, the reason why I thought it to be offensive because I would have acted differently if the roles were reversed.

I would have been more discreet and pulled her aside and admired her make-up only between the two of us and let the others just notice it on their own—but this is me. I guess, people act differently.

Thanks, Chicago, I’ll try not to be too sensitive next time.

Not that this would be a very nice thing to do. But when she said: “Really, what’s the brand? I want to buy it! Show it to me!” you could have smiled and slowly look her up and down. And then reply “I would tell you dear but I’m afraid you’ll just be wasting your money. Make-up can only do so much.”:stuck_out_tongue:

Nothing is wrong with wearing make-up unless you wear your make-up like this…

[Photo deleted]

Ma Eugenia - from where I sit it really does seem that the comments and attention were intended as complimentary.

Although I can understand that you were uncomfortable being under such close scrutiny, I would definitely feel the same in such a situation.

I was raised to compliment people on their clothing and such. She could be a person like that. Also, I was raised expecting that people wished to share the name of their hairdresser and the like, if asked. When I got older, I figured out that some people dislike sharing info like that. She might have no clue that she was being offensive. However, it seems odd to have asked you in a public sort of way. :hmmm:

Hi everyone!

Nope, I don’t wear that kind of make-up in the picture. :smiley: Can you imagine my patients even taking me seriously looking like that? :slight_smile: It probably took her an hour to put that on. Me–I only have to put about 5 minutes or less.

That’s really way, way too much make-up for anyone in healthcare profession. Perhaps in she’s in another field?–Sorry, don’t know why the woman in the picture looks like that—is she in the entertainment business or something --like stage or theater?:confused:

Anyway, I did wonder why my instructor said it in a public manner. I would have understood it if everyone on that table were my close friends–close friends can talk about anything. They were not–I just met all of them a few days before.

Though, I wondered if she was trying to be bitchy to me because they know I live near the hospital and during our two 1 hour breaks, I conveniently go home to rest whereas they are stuck the whole time in the hospital with little space for them to sit while waiting for our breaktime to finish.

The instructor asked me on our first day if they could come with me to my parent’s house during the wait. I said that I can’t do that because my parents are old and they want peace and quiet. They were not smiling after that to me.

Me–I feel that I just met them—its not as if we were close friends. I don’t invite just anyone to the house. They are 11 students plus the instructor. They are just too many of them.

Between their convenience and me and my parent’s convenience, I would choose mine any day. I want to rest during breaktime and not tire myself entertaining them the whole time.

Besides, I feel I was pulling my weight in terms of work load for the group and I do try to get along when I am on duty with them by being friendly when I talk to them. I am just not going to invite them to the house 3 days a week (our duty days) when its not something I want to do.

Thing is, whenever I go back to the hospital, this instructor asks me, “Oh, I suppose you feel very rested.” or “I’m sure you ate a lot while in the house.”–sometimes I feel she is being snide.

I am hoping I made a mistake. I must admit, there are times I am too sensitive.

I am glad though that I have my “Catholic family” (which all of you here are) to help me. Thanks. :slight_smile:

I think that’s a photo of Tammy Baker, though I could be wrong. . . a televangelist’s wife, noted for her indiscriminate use of makeup.

I went through nursing school years ago, but it seems to me that your instructor is way out of line. To ask if she could bring her class over to your parents’ house!? They belong in the hospital during break time.
You might consider talking to another instructor, someone in authority, about this.-- just bringing it up as it made you feel uncomfortable, so they know about it. In case she says something else inappropriate, or gives you a hard time later on.
The make up is no big deal – she probably just admires your look and wants to imitate it. She seems to have a problem with boundaries. I’d just say, "I don’t remember the brand, . . I’m not comfortable talking about that in front of a crowd."
As a nurse I use the phrase “I’m not comfortable” a lot – it means I think it’s illegal or immoral or dangerous or stupid, but don’t want to say so.

This was rude! In all likelyhood, she knows you react with “shocked” to rude, and she was working for the “pleasure” of that reaction. Sad but true that some get their jollies shocked/sad/hurt reactions on others’ faces.

So the problem is with her, not you. You can change the way you react to her though, and take the fun of it away and minimize the recurrances greatly. One thing is you could just remain calm and as “blank” as possible around her, and in response to her. Expect her to try to shock, perturb, and practice in your mind “pretending” to be calm and unpeturbed, in response.

Also, I think it helps to find something to genuinely admire about her. Because your natural distrust and wariness of her probably shows too. There is always something you can find to admire. Use your imagination! (You can always admire that she is a chid of God whom He loves dearly. She is a soul.)

And take advantage of times you can be nice to her as if she never offended you. Just saying, Hi, Carol (or whatever her name is) whenever you see her in a neutral, polite way are ways of showing her that her games have not hurt you deeply. (because acting offended and timid at her sight might provoke more. Kind of like how a lion prowls on weak prey.)

You remind me of me. You do have to change something about yourself in order to survive in the dog-eat-dog world. That does not mean you have to wear a “stern” contenance if that doesn’t fit right on you. But you have to have something. A distracted, disinterested look is useful in some situations.

Also since you say it is some woman who do this, I can’t help but think that fresh youth, beauty and a kind disposition in contrasted with an older woman who has lived a hard life of disappointments and disagreeableness (which she probably feels she can’t help given how hard life is). She might look at you and think:, “She thinks shes better than me!” I think it helps to communicate you don’t think that. Revealing in subtle ways that you admire her in some way, I think. As long as you do this in a neutral, respectful, matter-of-fact way - I don’t mean fawning over her!

Everybody isn’t you! How nice it is to find kindred spirits who are, though. Its like an oasis in life. But people come from every different life experience and are different, for good reasons often. Some grew up with no love and support, only abuse. Some of these devolop a view in life that its “you or me on top” so they have to lord it over you - so you don’t lord it over them! No amount of meekness on your part will convince them you aren’t a threat and are not waiting to pounce, and lord it over them. This is their life view, and you aren’t changing it. So you just have to find a way to neutralize their aggressions.

Yes, well, most of us don’t like that! Thats a normal reaction.

[continued in next post]


There are a bunch of books like The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense, and the same title: -at work, and How to Disagree Without Being Disagreeable. These books are for people like you who have never had to learn these basic life skills because you probably had nice parents who weren’t mean to each other and you.

You are being presented with a wonderful learning opportunity here. If you can conquer this situation, and neutralize this woman’s toxicity in a way that doesn’t compromise your core values, you will have learned some excellent on-the-job training that will help you always in life, as well as at the next job. You can read reviews on Amazon.com and see which book (or other recommended books they mention) seems right for you, and then you can probably pick it up at the library.

Your feelings are okay, and important. When you feel offended, it means something.

God bless you!

My feeling is that your instructor isn’t rude-hurtful. She’s rude-clueless. I would bet that she has no idea that is rude to invite yourself to someone else’s home (let alone ask for an open invitation for an entire class) or that it is rude to repeatedly put someone on the spot by asking pointed questions about buying habits, let alone about makeup-buying habits.

I have known several people who habitually come out with jaw-droppers like that. The best strategy seems to be to give them a wide berth, to answer their first inappropriate questions with polite evasiveness, and to answer follow-ups by repeating the exact same answer while looking at them with a puzzled, disbelieving expression.

Meanwhile, thank heavens if they are not either a permanent supervisor or someone under your authority…that is one problem you don’t want to deal with on a long-term basis.

From a Catholic, virtue-building perspective, I think we all need to assume the best intentions out of any other person.
That said, it is your responsibility as a Catholic to respond with kindness to her inquiry. If her approach was out of line, then the other students would have seen that, but then they would also have seen your loving response, and that brings everyone closer to Christ. If your response is abrupt, or standoff-ish, or indignant, then you will look as bad as the instructor.
We tend to want to come back with some quick, witty comment to what we perceive as rude, but it’s a far greater power to restrain ourselves and speak with pure charity.:thumbsup:

**first - I don’t think she was being rude in the least. Assume the best of people, rather than the worst. Even if she was being rude, just be nice or ignore her. Be too busy to talk make-up.:slight_smile: **

**second - The face of the nurse doesn’t bother me too much b/c for the most part I only care about the eyes and hands. Be aware that the woman in labor can see you roll your eyes and it makes her want to scratch them out. You do not get to do a pelvic on me when you have blood red painted daggers an inch long for nails.:stuck_out_tongue: **

This is a good way to put it. I wouldn’t encourage her rudeness by actually answering questions you aren’t comfortable answering, but there is no need to assume that her intentions are harmful. Even if it seems clear that they are, it is like hot coals on the heads of your enemies when you act as if you assume their intentions could only be the best. If it turns out that you misconstrued their intentions, you will not have embarrassed yourself, either.

Nevertheless, you can stick to your guns and honor only those requests that you think are appropriate. It is not rude to expect that others will treat you with dignity.

Now that’s really intelligent.:mad: I think we have a hard time accepting compliments. We tend to think there is some ulterior motive. hcould have been said is “Thank you. I can talk to you after class if you are really interested” Short and to the point.

To the OP, don’t read into something too much. Something may get lost in the translation.


Your professor instructed the student nurses that make-up was important. You apparently do such a great job, that an instructor was perhaps hoping to use you as a teaching example before your classmates of what one should do to apply make-up in a professional way. It’s a compliment! Be generous! share your wisdom with those of us slobs who don’t use make up well or at all because we don’t know where/how to begin. . .

Hi everyone!

Thanks for the advises. I am learning much from what you have to say.

Come to think of it, I might be reacting to a slight when all the while she may have looked rude but had not meant to be rude. I am hoping that is the case. Yeah, that could be possible.

I guess, I reacted this way because I prefer not to be the center of attention. When she called me to sit in front on my classmates and asked me about my make-up in front of people I hardly knew, I felt it was like being under the spotlight (like a you see in the movie where a person gets interogated), I didn’t like the feeling at all.

But, I will have to agree, now that I’ve come to think of it, it is possible that there was no malice intended, though it was really a jaw-dropper for me as I am not used to being questioned like that.

The good thing about reading your advises is that I get a better perspective on things. And I learned a lot. Like I am now practicing, saying the words, “I am not comfortable…” in situations I am not comfortable in. Nice to learn from a nurse-professional here, how I should react as I would one day (hopefully) be in the same profession, just like her.

Also, I got a nice tip for the next time I’m put on the spot in front of other people—I will say, “Thank you. I can talk to you after class if you’re really interested.” Its really a nice reply.

I’ll take your advise and try to assume the best in people from now on.

Eliza10 is right that I am presented with a learning oppurtunity here. Thanks everyone for knocking some sense into me. :slight_smile:

I have close friends, but they are not the type I can talk with about our faith. One of the reasons I like going to this website is that people here have a different way of thinking that, I think, leads me to a better path.

Thanks everyone for helping me. :smiley:

If people notice your makeup it means that you are quite possibly wearing a bit too much.

I think Ann Landers once said: I’ll forgive you for asking if you forgive me for not answering.

Big smile, and a thank you, I knew you would understand.

I really dont know what else you can do if she persists other than to ask her to talk to you about it when you have more time, and look busy.

Maybe she doesnt like make-up period. I met a lady who told me its against her religion to wear make-up:eek:

I did not ask what religion that was, I have no time to waste on researching that heresy.

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