Sissy Stuff – Wearing Makeup
“Makeup? Men don’t wear makeup,” said Paul Otellini, President of Intel in an interview with the New York Times back in 2004. Otellini was about to appear on a high tech titan panel discussion program for Charlie Rose’s TV show. Next, the Times dutifully reported the following:
“Several minutes later, though, there sat Mr. Otellini, in front of a backstage mirror as a stylist daubed peach-colored foundation on his face. And a bit later he was before the camera on a panel with Mr. Schmidt (CEO of Google), John T. Chambers of Cisco and Terry S. Semel of Yahoo.”
OK, I admit I don’t like wearing makeup (and if I did, I wouldn’t admit it). But makeup for television is essential; it is as critical as wearing a bathing suit before entering a public pool or wearing a tie to a job interview at an accounting firm.
Fortunately, Mr. Otellini succumbed to peer pressure; when he saw all of his colleagues getting covered with makeup he didn’t want to go out on stage naked. Of course following the pack isn’t always a wise business strategy, but in this case, it was. Going on TV without wearing makeup is like walking around your neighborhood naked – not a pretty sight for most of us.
What Otellini and most men have to realize is that the makeup is not there to make us look “pretty” or “feminine.” Instead, the makeup is used simply to make us look more normal, less shiny; more clean-cut, less five-0′clock shadow.
So the next time Otellini goes on Charlie Rose, I hope his mantra becomes “real men don’t complain about wearing makeup!”