Appearances are everything


Well-Known Member
Aug 22, 2006
Here's a more open, random question for you guys:

Wearing make-up constitutes, in the majority of cases, some form of deceit.


In this discussion, I'd like people to keep in mind any connotations they hold in the word "deceit" and thus its implications. Also, can such a statement be applied to anything other than make-up?
I am not sure but are you talking about regular make-up that a women would wear? Because I never really thought of people wearing it because of some form of deceit. I just feel that some people enjoy wearing it and then you have some that could take it or leave it.
Okay, let's pick an example: make-up often has the purposes of hiding *flaws*, and in particular I'm looking at our habit of attempting to defy the ageing process. Crows feet anybody?
Hmmm. What about push-up bras (think Victoria's Secret)? Those are deceiving, shoving those saggy breasts back up to an unnaturally perky position. Would you consider that deceitful?
We are all decietful in our physical presentations. Otherwise, we would all be naked, with never-cut hair, never-trimmed nails and hair everywhere. Yuck!
Aha! You've been sprung!

I was hoping that somebody else would say this- I know this is folly but I'd like to examine a distinction at this point: the difference between altering our actual body as opposed to using tools in order to alter the appearance temporarily.

Cutting one's hair or nails I do not consider a form of "deceit" as what we present is what we have. However, what would one say of dyeing your hair, or, for that matter, plucking your eyebrows, thickening your eyelashes, applying mascara, foundation...etc. etc.

For that matter, is there any real difference between blushing over your crow's feet and lasering them out? And, of course, what about clothes, for that matter?

Deception for me is an intentional act- in this case covering up something for the sake of concealment of a different truth. This means that actually having surgery is not deceitful insofar as people get what they see, but perhaps on a more fundamental level, of one's own biological age and own self-image, it's a different question to ask.
I don't consider women wearing make-up as being deceitful, in general. IF they apply so much make-up that its a mask and you can't tell there's a person under it, then YES that is deceitful. A woman putting on mascara to help accentuate her eyes, no I don't believe that's deceitful.

A woman having breast augmentation to make herself appear to be more than she is, or having plastic surgery; those I consider to be deceitful. It's not what you were born with, then it's not you.

My opinions, take 'em or leave 'em.
I would have to agree on the cosmetic surgury aspect as being somewhat decietful. Unless you are doing it for some medical reason or another example may be one breast bigger than the other.
Now as to the push up bras. I am guilty as charged. I love these. I have always been self-consious of my chest area. If you want to call it that. Nothing really their to speak of. So this bra makes me feel better about myself without having to resort to some kind of surgury. Which I would not do and could never afford to do. I do this to make me feel better not because I am trying to impress anyone else.
This does not just have to apply to make up. We could say the same thing about girls that were jeans that make their butt look better or men that use Rogaine or Just for Men.

I honestly think that it looks good when women get all dolled up and look their best. It shows to me that she cares about her appearance and herself.

We all know that people always try and put their best face forward and minimize their shortcomings.
So, are these things really decietful or, are they just maximizing what you already have? I actually think that makeup, clothing and hair products help us bring out our best features. But a change, such as nose job breast job or haricolor, could be considered decietful, but, who really cares anyway?
Often people who consider value based on looks care. Tis strange- I was offering a perspective and through the last few posts we've now flipped it completely around! That's what I meant by we should consider the connotations that the word "deceit" carries, as I am suggesting that actual cosmetic upgrades are looked upon with a slight sense of disapprobation relative to the habitual makeup.
Does it make a difference if, say, a child is born with a congential defect--a cleft palate, for example--and has plastic surgery to correct it? The severity of cleft palates varies, and I only use it as an example. Would that be deceitful?

Also, can it be deceitful if it doesn't change the spirit inside of you? In that respect, I don't think appearances matter.
I suppose that could be considered decietful as well. But, with a cleft palate, surgery generally is not just for cosmetic reasons, so maybe the deciet is secondary.
I'm not sure I would necessarily equate cosmetic surgery with deceit. Now, certainly if someone is trying to look young enough to land a romantic partner who is twenty years younger or actively trying to deceive people into thinking he or she is younger - well, yes, I see that.

But cosmetic surgery that is done to correct something that the individual wants to change for their own benefit - a nose job, face lift, etc or even as part of recovering from a tragedy such as a fire or car accident - I see no deceit involved.
Makeup and surgery are more "trying to be something" than "trying to be something you're not". You can want to be beautiful or handsome, and do things to further that goal. That isn't being deceitful. I put on deodorant not to deceive people into thinking that I'd smell this way naturally, but rather because I prefer the smell of clean to the smell of dirty. If someone prefers that their nails are pink and the skin over there eyes is blue, I don't see the deceit in making them so.

I think generally when people see beauty they assume its natural, so they may feel as if they've been deceived if they find out its not natural. All other things equal I believe humans put more value on natural beauty than artificial, so I could see how people would feel they've been deceived or that its deceitful for someone to be artificially beautiful. I think thats more a problem with the observer than the person dressing up though.

...taking the opposite position now for a sec...

Theres probably a good genetic argument that since the basis for "attractive" comes from traits that are useful to produce and care for good children, there's a low-level assumption that if you have a specific attribute that your genes have that attribute too. If you present attributes that your genes do not actually have I guess thats in some way genetically deceitful?

Probably on a much lower level though, even if I'm appreciating a hot somebody I'm not consciously thinking "those breasts will be great for the baby!", or "those hips will make for an easy childbirth!"