A fascinating journey through history and culture, examining how makeup affects self-empowerment, how people have used it to define (and defy) their roles in society, and why we all need to care
There is a history and a cultural significance that comes with wearing cat-eye-inspired liner or a bold red lip, one that many women feel to this day, even if we don’t realize exactly why. Increasingly, people of all genders are wrestling with what it means to be a woman living in a patriarchy, and part of that is how looking like a woman—whatever that means—affects people’s real lives.
Through the stories of famous women like Cleopatra, Empress Wu, Madam C. J. Walker, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marsha P. Johnson, Rae Nudson unpacks makeup’s cultural impact—including how it can be used to shape a personal or cultural narrative, how often beauty standards align with whiteness, how and when it can be used for safety, and its function in the workplace, to name a few examples.
Every woman has had to make a very personal choice about her relationship with makeup, and consciously or unconsciously, every woman knows that the choice is never entirely hers to make. This book also holds space for complicating factors, especially the ways that beauty standards differ across race, class, and culture. Engaging and informative, All Made Up will expand the discussion around what it means to participate in creating your own self-image.
About the Author
Rae Nudson is a writer specializing in nonfiction essays and reported features on beauty, fashion, and pop culture. Her work has appeared in Esquire, The Cut, Hazlitt, Topic, Medium, Paste Magazine, The Week, The Billfold, and Real Life, among others. She has bachelor’s degrees in journalism and history, with a specialization in American history, from the University of Missouri. She lives in Chicago. Connect with her at www.raenudson.com or on Twitter @rclnudson.