Why Women Doing Their Makeup On Public Transport Is None Of Your Fecking Business

Can't believe we have to go through this again.

You’d think that by now, we’d put the debate about women doing their makeup in public to bed, but here it is rearing its ugly head again.

Recently, the BBC received an email from a reader giving out about a woman doing her makeup on the train (yes, someone emailed the BBC about this pressing issue). The 59-year-old man claims he was so affronted that he actually moved carriages:

I think once or twice I just stared at the person thinking that they would eventually notice and feel embarrassed. That never happened.┬áIt’s something for someone’s private space – their bedroom or bathroom. So to find myself sitting on a train and then suddenly inside someone’s bathroom is very unwelcome.

A middle-aged man giving out about how women behave? It’s already not looking too good for you pal. But let’s work through the main gripes people have with women doing their makeup in public, just for anyone who didn’t hear it the first hundred times.

“Why can’t they get up ten minutes earlier and do it at home?”

It’s cute that you think women doing their makeup on public transport are just lazy. We don’t do it for the craic! Of course we’d like to do our makeup in front of our big mirror with good light and all our products laid out in front of us, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.

The woman doing her eyeliner on the bus could be a mother taking a few minutes to herself after packing the kids off to school. She could be a carer who has to spend her mornings getting someone else ready. She could just prefer to use the time at home to hang out the washing or eat breakfast, and sure isn’t she doing nothing on the train but sitting there anyway? You’re in no place to dictate what anyone does on their commute, as long as it’s bothering no one else. And that brings us to…

“It’s disgusting.”

A woman executing a perfect cat-eye on a moving bus is ‘disgusting’? What’s wrong with you? You should recognise real skill when you see it.

But really, I have no idea why some people find makeup application so upsetting. Someone eating a stinky sandwich on the train is disgusting. People listening to music over speakers on the bus is very annoying. Men pissing and spitting in the street is revolting, and THAT very much feels like being inside someone’s bathroom, but they do it all the time to little fanfare.

Here are the guidelines I personally follow: No sprays, no plucking, no clipping nails, no smelly products (like nail polish), no spreading your makeup bag over the seat or the table. Buffing in some foundation or applying mascara doesn’t affect anyone else on that bus.

“I have this weird problem with the process of womanhood and I don’t know how to vocalise that any other way.”


Some people just have a deep issue with seeing the mask of femininity slip. Just look at that ‘take her swimming on the first date’ meme.

This all springs from the obsession with women looking ‘natural’ – remember on Love Island when Alex kept approvingly calling girls with fillers and hair extensions but minimal-ish makeup ‘natural’? They haven’t a fecking clue what goes into being a woman, and it creeps them out to see it happening. Let them get used to it, I say. Yes, we coat our eyelashes in black goo and cover our spots with beige or brown goo and overline our lips with lip-coloured goo. Get over it.

Next time you see a woman doing her makeup on the train and you get a bit worked up about it, ask yourself why. Then, if she’s not spraying perfume directly into your eyes (which she maybe should to get you to stop staring at her), mind your own business. Cheers.