Three random thoughts from a Hong Kong millennial.
1. A weird thing has been happening to me in the past couple weeks: I think, very subtly, I’m being shamed for wearing makeup at work. Most of my life, I have been surrounded by people who enjoy makeup. Yes, a lot of makeup’s history is about objectifying women, BUT it can also be a really fun way to express yourself.
So when a colleague teased me for “caring a lot about my looks” and joked that I “must have a bag full of makeup with me at all times,” I was a little shocked. I have been patronized for not being friendly enough, for being aggressive, but never before for my eyeliner.
I’m finally getting a slight taste of the intense scrutiny placed on women’s looks. Wear makeup and look professional, but not too much. A little makeup is courtesy, too much and you risk being seen as dumb. Honestly, I’m just tired of the idea that women need to look a certain way. Ugh.
2. More on women shaming: there’s a lot of that in the comments on past weekend’s viral video: an RTHK program in which a group of women is asked to choose between two men, actor Neo Yau versus young tycoon Lau Ming-wai.
At first, the women were not told who the men are, and most women picked Yau based on his answers. But after their faces and identities were revealed, most women changed their minds. The switch to Lau was almost instant. (It’s hilarious. Watch the video.)
A lot of the follow-up discussion fell onto how the women were “Kong girls” (a derogatory term) and had their eyes only on money. But come on, hasn’t money been a legitimate concern in at least one point of our lives?
The show is great because it touches on a wider, systemic issue in Hong Kong: that money is deemed the most important factor in many areas including businesses, the government, your career development and more. I know haters gonna hate, but it still pisses me off that people are so keen to put women down.
3. What I’m liking… How did 19th-century singles flirt, in light of the era’s conservative social rules? Cheeky “escort cards,” of course. Some cards used abbreviated slang (“May I. C. U. Home?”), some were a little more forward (“If You Have No Objection, I Will Be Your Protection”), and others just put it all out there (“Not Married and Out for A Good Time”).