Friday, June 21, 2019

Women In The Woods

I observed something that struck me as odd but I'm not in a position to judge it. If I try, I'll probably be wrong. So let me ask for your thoughts.

I went on a group hike last month with a bunch of strangers (through a local MeetUp). The hike was in the woods, about two hours long, and a little strenuous; certainly an athletic activity where you sweat, quite a lot.

The group of hikers was 90% female. Most did not know each other so there was no coordination among them on what they wore, how they prepared, etc.

What surprised me was more than half of the women wore full makeup -- foundation, lipstick, powder, etc. They all wore appropriate hiking clothes but their faces looked like they were attending a dinner party. Again, this was an athletic hike with inevitable sweating.

I wondered -- and now ask you -- why would someone wear full makeup to such an event? I can easily imagine a half-dozen possible reasons but, not having lived a female life, I can't get into the heads of these women to figure out theirs.

Your thoughts?


  1. I think they wanted to "put their best faces forward" to leave a good impression with whomever they might meet.

    Maybe they are single and looking for a partner through these hikes.

    I've gone on hikes like this through a meet up group and worn bug spray, sunscreen and lip balm ; P

    I can't imagine that any of them looked fresh at the end of that hike. Lots of mascara smearing I would think.


    1. That was my first guess. All of the women were single. But, given that the group was almost exclusively female, there were few chances for hetero romance.

  2. Maybe they wanted to feel good or get a confidence boost no matter what the gender mix of the hikers? I know if I were going to meet a bunch of strangers, not knowing anyone at any kind of event, I would definitely "armour up" with my make-up on!

    Also, maybe they had stuff to do before/afterwards and didn't want to be caught bare-faced? Make-up is such a weird thing for women - I really don't go out in public without my "face" on. I don't feel like me! The one time I came to work with no make-up (I was actually sick and looked it!), and it totally freaked out my colleagues.

    Funny how we are conditioned, not just societally but ourselves, in our own minds, that This Is How We Look.

    1. Interesting points. Thanks for your perspective, Sheila.

  3. I agree that seems very counterintuitive. I would have worn a good tinted sunscreen and perhaps some lipgloss with SPF . And of course some chic sunglasses. But nothing more than that...

  4. Your guess is as good as mine 😊 I’m not a fan of wearing much makeup to begin with, but I will say that I have recently started shading in my eyebrows and now I can’t leave home without doing them! I feel weird when I don’t have them on, so that’s likely the only makeup I’d put on for a hike.

  5. I find it bizarre too but then I rarely wear makeup! DEFINITELY not on a hike! I suspect that perhaps many were hoping to make a good impression on meeting potential friends or partners?/

  6. Having done a lot of hiking earlier in my life … I cannot understand wearing full make-up to a hike. Then I guess to each her own!!!

  7. Maybe because it was a group thing - with women they weren't familiar with and felt the need to put their best face forward?

    It's hard for me to understand because I don't wear makeup & it seems unpractical to me but whatever I guess. lol