Why We Need To Stop Shaming Women Who Apply Makeup On Public Transport

Photo: Maria DelRio
At some point or another, most of us living in big cities have applied makeup while riding public transit. Some men, and women, feel this behavior is unbecoming – and they aren't afraid to say so. Public outcry has ranged from men telling women off on the train, to Telegraph reader Sandra's letter of complaint accusing young women of shattering the societal illusion of a painted lady.
Well, I’ll bet 67% of people fart on public transport. I’ve been groped more times than I can even remember at rush hour, and twice been a victim of men pleasuring themselves while sitting opposite me in empty cars – but that’s a different story. On the more mildly irritating end of the spectrum, a man recently hung up a bag of dry cleaning on the rail directly above my head in an extreme display of manspreading, leaving ample room for his own head as he sat down next to me. Drunk people vomit on the train, sober people read 50 Shades Of Grey, football fans get on and cause a riot, people with colds sneeze, and sad girls (also me) listen to Sia’s “Breathe Me” at full volume while sobbing into a receipt. I’m not about to say that those applying makeup on public transport make the world great, but it certainly shouldn’t make the top 12 list of annoying commuter behavior. A woman who can apply a perfect cat-eye flick without extending her elbows even one inch in the moment’s stop between Canal Street and Spring should be saluted, not trash-tweeted.
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With the average commute at 25.4 minutes in the good ol' USA, applying makeup en route is just part of the multitasking, time-efficient life of a busy ‘modern woman.’ Leaving work 10 minutes early to "touch up" in the restroom isn't always an option.
True that anything which gets into other people’s airways is a no-go, but within the five inches of space a person can call their own on public transport, they should be free to eat lunch in peace, and do an eye, a lip, and a cream-blush cheek if it makes their day that much easier.
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