Cosmetics: Drug of Deception & Power?

April 2, 2012

Giorgio Armani.jpg
left. The Kabuki Effect

Due to the psychotropic substances in makeup, cosmetics are four times as physically addictive as some drugs. 

Add social pressure, and women are psychologically dependent on very expensive and unhealthy products.

Who are the principle users of cosmetics? Spies, actors, clowns, cadavers, transvestites, geisha and women.

By Wray Edwards
[email protected]
(Revised by from Sept. 2010)

At first it might seem cute. Little girls see mommy "putting on her face" (as if she didn't already have one) and ask if they can too.  Seems harmless.  But wait...
One day on the California Zephyr, the author met a woman who was the executive director of a women-only drug rehab program. We got to talking and she divulged the entry requirements for her therapy paradigm. 

 1. The entrant had to give up the drugs, and 2. the women were told they could no longer wear makeup.  This makes sense, of course, as the patients were enrolled to face reality without depending on mind-altering or appearance altering-substances.
When caught cheating,
 80% of the time, it was with cosmetics suggesting that they were hooked...what we call the Kabuki effect.  Cosmetics appear to be four times more addictive than drugs and availability is not an issue.  Often women are heard to say, "I wouldn't go to the mailbox without my makeup."  
Careful observation of how hundreds of women  "put on a face" reveals that they often fall  into a trance by the time they are finished.  This probably has to do with the fragrances (which might have a pheromone or drug-like effect). 

Also, the ritual of applying the substances (many of which are in powder form just like many drugs)  has a stimulating effect.   If they perceive that their image in the mirror
is really good, or by complimentary remarks of peers, they feel "powerful."  It would probably be found that women are experiencing a marked increase in endorphin blood levels.

What passes for "Beauty" in any given society, renders the wearer powerful.  

The line from Keats: "'Beauty is truth, truth beauty--that is all Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know" is completely wrong in the cosmetic context because they are indulging in deception

 And don't fall for that, "I'm just using it to 'enhance' my appearance."  Hogwash!  They are hiding behind a masque.
Very few women are naturally picture perfect.  People with facial biometrics which measure close to 1:1.618 (the golden section) are often said to be attractive, but that ignores coloration, texture, and expression.
When one considers the principle users of cosmetics (spies, actors, clowns, cadavers, transvestites, geisha and women) there are some universal similarities: fear of detection - "if my lipstick fades what will people think of my natural self" (except for the cadaver of course)...a sense of fragility (insecurity) should the eyeliner smear, the nylons run, the implant shift or hundreds of other identity props malfunction.
 At all times, the individual realizes she is following the Mossad motto:"By deception thou shalt do war." 

 War!?  you say.  Well, yes.  Surely you've heard of the battle of the sexes.  Just look at the words used to describe "beautiful"  women... "Wow, she's a knockout."  "Yikes!  "What a bombshell", "Drop dead good looks", "To die for",  and "Killer." 

Just look at the magazines near the check out at the grocery store or fashion ads in the women's mags.  Those facial expressions are often very predatory.  Tribal warriors throughout history knew the value of war paint.
The cosmetic wearer consciously or subconsciously knows that they are not revered for their true selves...they are living a lie.  This tension almost always leads to neurosis.  Try this:  What significant difference is there between a ventriloquist who shoves his hand up into his dummy's back to animate the creature, and a person who shoves their face into a grease puppet which they animate with their facial muscles?  Not much, in this writer's opinion.

One of many poignant comments I have gathered over the years comes from the tragic life of Anna Nichole Smith:  "When they start putting on the makeup...that's when I really come alive." 

How sad.  The empty victory of getting others to like you by the use of artificial images applied directly on one's face. It must be pure torture.  She allowed herself to play a role which was too difficult to portray.  It eventually killed her.  "Thou shalt not make [of] thee any graven image..." 

 Right now we are watching Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton and many other "stars" self-destruct as they fight their global icon battles.
The above examines just the tip of the iceberg, so in future articles, we will visit in greater depth the consequences of ignoring the pleasures of authenticity in favor of subterfuge and artifice.  This subject is at the root of personal and national ethics...for those who become habituated to impersonations will eventually violate every ethical standard in the pursuit of power.

Part Two- Cosmetics: Drug of Power & Deception 

Wray Edwards had a radio show in Tampa. Now he covers the world of boxing. 

(If you want your comments posted, send them to [email protected])

Scruples - the Game of Moral Dilemmas

Comments for "Cosmetics: Drug of Deception & Power?"

Ken said (April 5, 2012):

I appreciate very much the new series by Wray Edwards on cosmetics. It’s a subject that has attracted my interest for many years. I reached the same conclusion which Wray notes en passant: cosmetics are not about beauty, they are about power.

And a corollary is that it is not, counterintuitively, very much about power over men over a man, but really a kind of intramural power struggle with other women. Wray’s subtitle has it right: beauty is power. But of course, it is not really beauty, and there’s the rub.

I recall my dumbfounded amazement when I criticized a girlfriend of many months for wearing makeup, and was treated to this rejoinder: “Well, you wear a beard to cover your face. What’s the difference?” The reply would have had obvious relevance if I had critiqued her hair styling, but I don’t object to people wearing their hair becomingly. Like commenter “Tony,” my attempt to free my girlfriend from the cosmetic trap was met, not with gratitude, but with an almost pugnacious defensiveness. Wray has not touched (yet) on the multi-billion dollar industry that profits from the cultivated neurosis he is describing, but it is a big part of the iceberg which he admits only describing the tip of. I look forward to the rest of the series.

Christina said (April 3, 2012):

When I was in my teens and 20's, I would not leave the house without makeup. I had a poor complexion and was so self-conscious. After my acne went away and after passing the 30 mark, my "need" to wear makeup all the time started to dwindle.

Now that I am in my early 40's, I spend more time wearing no make up at all--even with the occasional blemish--than I do wearing makeup. I am a girly girl so I love fashion, cosmetics, jewelry, etc, but the point is, these things don't have an unnatural, unhealthy hold on me. As I learned to love myself for who I am right now, flaws and all, the more freedom I experienced from the trappings of societal pressures to look a certain way. It was definitely a gradual process.

The bottom line is: all things in moderation. If anything has an addictive, unnatural grip on you, then you must look at the root problem and deal with it. In this article, some people have a root of fear about not wearing makeup, fear that they will be "found out" or ridiculed for not looking perfect. The issue is not the makeup, the issue is the root of fear in that person's heart.

The same is true with money and food and so many other things. Jesus said "the LOVE of money is the root of all evil" (emphasis mine). Money itself is inherently neutral and serves many purposes, but when money starts to possess us via greed to accumulate or fear of not enough, then it is a problem.

So ladies, if you want to wear makeup wear it! But if you NEED to wear makeup, then there is a deeper heart issue at work. These heart issues can have many layers, so I offer no pat answers except to encourage all women who may be addicted to makeup (or anything for that matter) that it is possible to have abiding peace in your soul at all times, the kind of peace that passes all understanding and is not dependent upon your circumstances. The journey to get that peace may be a difficult one, but it is one worth pursuing.

Anthony Migchels said (April 3, 2012):

The last article on make-up was yet another bull's eye. It is in fact a major problem for women. The neurosis mentioned in the article is real.

But I think a key issue was ignored:
Women are actually much uglier with makeup. Just look at the picture in the article, this face is a caricature.

The idea that women and cosmetics corporations can improve on the innate beauty as endowed on women by the One is insane.

This probably explains why the notion is so widespread.

Clifford Shack said (April 3, 2012):

Make-up is rooted in Original Sin, the false notion, "I-am-the-body"...the case where the Eternal "I am that I am" misidentifies itself with a particular mortal body. Once misidentification has happened, what follows are feelings of nakedness, shame, and the potential feelings of ugliness without make-up.

Al said (April 3, 2012):

I cannot count the hours I spent waiting for my ex-wife to put on her make up. I could hardly stand it. She always looked great without it.
I enjoyed this article and it makes sense. Make up actually shows up in the Book of Enoch possibly written before the flood.

"1 And Azazel taught men to make swords, and knives, and shields, and breastplates, and made known to them the metals of the earth and the art of working them, and bracelets, and ornaments, and the use of antimony, and the beautifying of the eyelids, and all kinds of costly stones, and all
2 colouring tinctures. And there arose much godlessness, and they committed fornication, and they
3 were led astray, and became corrupt in all their ways.

Kim said (September 5, 2010):

Great article. Really made me think.

I am a 47 yr old actress living in Australia.
I think I look pretty good for my age due to good diet and regular yoga etc... I have never had any work done and don't use botox.

I had an interesting day on a television set recently.

I was in the makeup chair about to have my hair done - she had already done my makeup - in the world of television makeup is just not negotiable. Anyway, she and I were discussing my hair. I had some gray in it which I explained I had decided to grow out, as I didn't think it looked too bad...

I was sick of the chemicals used in hair dye and felt, in a world of women presenting themselves in such a plastic way, I would prefer to be natural and opt out of the bullshit. Who knows - it might even mean more work and god knows, unless you are in the minority here, you need all the help you can get. Point of difference etc...

The makeup artist looked at me with a sad smile, shook her head and said

"No, don't do that. You know what producers are like. They'll look at the audition and say 'She doesn't care about herself, she hasn't made an effort. She looks unkempt.'

She then proceeded to apply colored gel to my hair to disguise the gray.

I went to the hair dresser the next day. I still need to pay the bills.

There is a perception out there that if you don't wear makeup and dye your hair as you get older you've 'Let yourself go'... The implication is that you have somehow lost your marbles a little and no longer care about yourself. It's really creepy that people think natural is somehow a bit 'mental'...

I think it means you're past caring what this plastic society thinks about you and that can only be a good thing. If women can stop buying in to this crap there will be no stopping us and it will be a better world.

Josh said (September 5, 2010):

n our armor clad world, women wear makeup to express (without words) many things about themselves.

I drilled my fiancé, "Why do you wear makeup?" She spends around 8 hours a week in front of a mirror!

Henry, she explained to me how much can be derived from a quick glance at a womans artistry.
Things like a womans financial status, insecurities, sexual promiscuity, and stability can all be deduced apparently from the way one paints their face.

Karen said (September 5, 2010):

The article on women's make up is interesting, to say the least.

However, I think that there is a crucial area that was left out of your article.

There are some men, who do not subscribe to the natural, old-fashioned woman we hold to be ideal, do their part to encourage the "big cosmo" culture we see today.

I am a 45 year old woman. I do not wear make-up. I have long hair, past my waist. I NEVER cut it. I am submissive, almost afraid of men, as Jesus wants me to be.

Do you know that I am constantly overlooked in favor of those women who are closer to the "big cosmo" ideal.

Thank you for your kind attention to my comment, and keep up the good work.


Laura said (September 5, 2010):

At 65, I wear minimal makeup to cover sun damage, brown spots, blotchy skin tone caused from decades of fun in the sun, boating, fishing, rafting, swimming, beach bumming, etc. I wear lip gloss, not lipstick. A little eye makeup and face powder to even out the mess. I was never a make up user until I got older as I had a natural blush; So, ladies be subtle, some of the older ones look like they're wearing a plaster mask, incl tv personalities and news ladies. The younger ones (some) are plastered like hookers, and most under 40 don't really need to use it.

Rob said (September 4, 2010):

My comment:

“When a woman becomes sexually aroused, her lips, breasts, and genitals become larger and REDDER as they fill with blood.

The use of Lipstick is a technique thousands of years old, that is intended to mimic the REDDENED GENITALS of the sexually aroused female.”

Therefore, Lipstick is used to promote SEXUAL LUST.

SOURCE: Book: Body language.
Author: Allan Pease.
Page: 95.
ISBN NO: 0 - 85969 - 406 - 2.

Tony Blizzzard said (September 4, 2010):

The article on makeup shows just how unnatural women have become. Ironically, as they gain unwarranted and unearned power over men in the modern world, they become more and more pathetic in their make-believe, Barbie doll world.

Everything is about looks and other material trappings; nothing of real value disturbs the now typical female mind. ("Feminists," an even stranger, more pathetic, brew, are NOT typical women.) Modern women, when I inform them that makeup began with prostitutes trying to remain alluring beyond their years and their wear and tear, usually react with a sheepish smile which reveals that they know they are doing the same things for the same reasons. Not a good sign.

The anti-natural strangeness of the modern female approach to life is appealing to men in their youth but that attraction tends to fade even faster than women's physical attraction as years pass. A woman who remains natural in her essence has every worthwhile advantage over those who live a plastic, Madison Avenue created existence. If only there were more such women.

Unfortunately, too many young men are showing the same tendencies which, in men, are not only unnatural but also effeminate. One prefers not to contemplate the outcomes of these young people's lives. Hopefully the pendulum is close to the end of its arc.

Gabrielle said (September 4, 2010):

I'm not sure I necessarily believe that there are addictive substances in cosmetics. They are most often full of dangerous chemicals, but not psychotropic that I could see.

However, this article reminded me of a blog entry I wrote some time back. I may have even sent it to you before! I think women are addicted to make-up because they fear anyone seeing them 'naked'.

Most women that I know who MUST wear make-up seem to think that they aren't dressed without it, and society pushes that notion very hard. You can't go to a job interview without wearing makeup (usually) because they dismiss you as not 'taking it seriously'. Here is my original post if you'd like to look at it. Thanks!

Ren said (September 4, 2010):

I live with a woman and when we go out she knows that when she wears smellies, I refuse to go. I hate having my dinner spoiled with the smell of a perfume that strong that it interferes with your food.

When you walk in any town, women walk past showering you with perfume that lingers
on in your nose and always wonder if they do that to evade men! I would not touch them
with a bargepole!

I note with amazement the strenuous efforts of the cosmetic industry to entice men to wear
deodorants (shown famous sport stars spraying clouds of stuff)

What real man will use it especially if he want to attract a female ( preferably a natural
smelling one)! He would kill any natural attraction he has and thus would end up with the wrong female as is shown only too well by the number of divorces in todays world.

In the 50's divorce was hardly an issue. Commercialism and feminism have broken any
possibility of permanence because of straight out cheating!

So get back to mother nature and throw away all crap used to deceive.

Henry Makow received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto in 1982. He welcomes your comments at