Recently we heard that during the first three months of his mandate Emmanuel Macron had spent 26.000€ for his make-up. In a conversation with friends when I mentioned this fact, now recognized, the reaction was: " Ah yes ! Today everything is in the image. It's all about superficiality! ". I answered them that on the one hand I did not associate the image with superficiality and that on the other hand I did not think that we gave more importance to the image today than in n any other era of the past and that in fact the image had always had its importance and this in all societies, whether contemporary or not.
As humans, and unlike other mammals, we experience our environment primarily through sight. Indeed, more than 50% of the information received by our brain is visual. The brain interprets all this information and creates the images we see. That is to say, whether we like it or not, to what extent the image that we project and that we have of ourselves are important in our experience and influence the feeling that we have of this experience on a daily basis. There is no less of an image in not wearing make-up than in wearing make-up. To not wear makeup or to wear makeup is the result of a choice, conscious or unconscious, as to the image that we project and that we have of ourselves. But in one case as in the other there will be an image. There are no more images today than yesterday. There is undeniably a difference in the nature of these images. We only need a few images to date the time of the filming of a film, to locate the location of the filming. This means that the images are linked to a place and to a time. But there were no fewer images in 1915 than in 2015.
As for the importance attached to the image, can we reasonably argue that we attached more importance to the image in 2015 than in 1915? In a sense, this would amount to saying that in 1915 the visual information received by our brain occupied less than 50% of its activity. I don't think, just from a biological point of view, that's a defensible assumption.
There is also this opinion rooted in part of the population that to attach to the image is to be in superficiality. Strictly speaking, based on what was written above and the biology ofHomo sapiens, it is a point of view that ignores the role of vision in daily human functioning. I feel much more that such a belief is above all the fruit of a judgment. The judgment which decrees that there are those who attach importance to the image and who are in the superficiality and those who say they do not attach importance to it and who are in the authentic, the natural, the pure, the simple, the sincere, in other words in the truth. A judgment which generates the division of the community and its hierarchization according to preconceived ideas. It is an attitude that saddens me because it is a source of misunderstanding, opposition, conflict and sometimes, unfortunately, more. It is the door open to violence.
Why not simply recognize that we are more attached to one image than another. We all project an image, whether we like it or not we are seen. So isn't it better that the choice of this image that we project is the result of a personal and conscious choice? Such a choice requires a good dose of open-mindedness and willpower. How often the image we adopt is in fact imposed by our environment, our childhood, our education, our spouse, the dictates of the social group to which we belong? Still, no image is superficial, each largely determines our daily lives through our relationships with the other. To take an interest in one's image, to take care of one's image, is not only to show one's autonomy as an individual but also to take oneself in hand consciously. It takes courage, energy, perseverance and knowledge. Isn't it natural that during this development, as with any other, one seeks advice, advice, help? This is where image consulting finds its place and role. It is there to help the person to dress consciously by being as close as possible to the image that corresponds to their environment, their personality, their comfort, their morphology... There is no need to establish a hierarchy between the image we prefer and the one our neighbor prefers. As the ancients said, de gustibus non disputandum is(Tastes and colors are not discussed). There are already enough causes of conflict in the world today not to want to add others especially when they are only questions of personal taste and my God! If the image I project offends your aesthetics, it's up to you to reason with you rather than me to bow to your judgment. Implicitly, by considering that to attach oneself to the image is to be in the superficiality it is to place oneself in superior, in dominating, in donor of lesson, and by the same to create a situation of conflict.
Remains the makeup of Mr. President Macron. Is make-up more widespread today than before? More prevalent in our society than in others? I really doubt it. I have the impression that one could almost even argue the opposite. Think of the Amerindians, of Africa! Once again I have the feeling that this idea is more based on ready-made ideas than on reality. As for knowing if I need to wear makeup to look beautiful and radiant? I would answer as Marguerite Yourcenar said about femininity: “ I don't like labels. To be as womanly or as little woman as you want, it's up to each person to make their choice ". This is a society that allows freedom to choose and respect. Not sticking labels and not categorizing the other and locking them in a box, which goes against an open society and respectful of everyone's choices as long as these choices are respectful of life and are not source of violence and oppression.