Chapter 6: A Thousand and One Ways to Laugh
The first question:
The other day in discourse you mentioned that when a woman wears red lipstick it is ugly, because it is not natural. I am from New York where it is required that women shave their legs, underarms, dress stylishly, have their hair neatly combed, wear makeup, and act in a ladylike manner.
Yes, it is all very admirable how your sannyasins are so natural, but the girls at the ashram do not excite me. You see, natural is not always the best or the most beautiful.
My feeling is that you are so against makeup because you have never seen good makeup. I am a freelance makeup artist and would like to do a makeover on an ashramite so that you can see how makeup can be used to spiritually enhance a woman’s natural beauty. Anything to say?
There are many things to say. First, makeup is the invention of the ugly people. It is not that makeup is ugly, but makeup itself is the invention of the ugly. The ugly feels inferior compared to the naturally beautiful - jealous, competitive. The ugly tries to compensate for it with artificial methods. The natural has no need to compensate. But naturally beautiful people are very few; hence makeup has become almost a routine thing.
For thousands of years, man has been trying to hide in every possible way all that is ugly in him - in the body, in the mind, in the soul. Even people who were naturally beautiful started imitating the ugly and the artificial, for the simple reason that the artificial can deceive. For example, breasts naturally are not as good looking as they can be made to look. Even if a woman has naturally beautiful breasts, she will start feeling that the women who have no natural beauty in their breasts can at least pretend and show that they are far more beautiful. So the naturally beautiful also start imitating.
Makeup, and the whole idea of makeup, is basically hypocrisy. One should love and accept one’s nature - and not only on the physical level, because that is where the journey starts. If you are false there, then why not pretend the same falseness as far as mind is concerned? Then what is wrong in pretending to be a saint, a sage, when you are not? The logic will be the same. And sometimes it happens that the pretender can defeat the real, because the pretender can practice, can rehearse, can manage and manipulate in many ways.
It happened in the life of Charlie Chaplin..