Excerpts from my forthcoming book Seeing Like a Feminist (Penguin India/Zubaan Books).
Have you heard of ‘nude make-up’?
This is what it is:
‘Nude makeup looks are all about your skin looking fresh and dewy, without looking like you’re even wearing any makeup. All you need is eyeliner, mascara, nude lipstick, and a highlighting blush that will give your skin a natural-looking glow.’
The whole point of nude makeup clearly, is to spend hours painting your face in order to make it look like you never touched it at all.
The maintaining of social order is rather like that. It requires the faithful performance of prescribed rituals over and over again throughout one’s lifetime. Complex networks of cultural reproduction are dedicated to this sole purpose. But the ultimate goal of all this unceasing activity is to produce the effect of untouched naturalness.
When one ‘sees’ the world like a…
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