WWE announced via Twitter that they would be partnering with Prestige Cosmetics to release a Total Divas capsule collection in 2016 under their Total Intensity banner.
I dunno about you guys, but I’m actually kinda pumped for this, and for a few reasons. WWE is currently walking a knife’s edge when it comes to marketing their female performers in a new way (Dignity! Respect! Wrestling! Totally unheard of concepts!) while also continuing to put out the insanely delightful (except you, Nattie) trashfire that is Total Divas. While they may not realize that women can be many things at once and have layered, versatile personalities, they also don’t seem to realize that all aspects of WWE TV are entirely scripted, and they can make ‘Women Who Can Wrestle’ also be ‘Women Who Like To Wear Dresses And Drink Fancy Cocktails.’
One of the problems with pitting one type of woman against another in the way WWE is currently aligning their Divas division is that you enhance what we see as ‘male’ qualities while shunning inherently ‘female’ qualities in order to achieve a false sense of equality. So-and-so can wrestle like the boys, so she’s better than the one who wears expensive shoes and kisses her boyfriend on the tee-vee. That’s all well and good (it’s not), but it’s still ignoring the fact that these ‘real women wrestlers’ are still coated in HD make-up, wearing false lashes, and have enough hair extensions between them to make Natalya ten new cats at least. Highlighting someone’s talent while acknowledging their femininity is still a pretty tough thing to get across outside of wrestling, let alone within one of the most regressive and backwards forms of entertainment out there. Putting the option out there to celebrate your femininity in a male-dominated industry and fandom is actually a huge step forward, and a blow to the toxic attitudes that so often breed internalized misogyny in women.
If they do this right, there’s no reason why this can’t be great for the makeup-inclined fanbase. WWE so often ends up pandering instead of catering with their merchandise, but has made strides in making the non-Cena/Orton/Whomever they think ladies wanna f*ck wrestler apparel available in men’s and women’s styles, with smaller but still existing baby steps in making Divas merchandise available in men’s cuts.
Makeup cross-branding is actually a huge market, with MAC Cosmetics at the forefront. MAC has partnered with Sanrio for a Hello Kitty line, a hugely popular Disney Villain line, and the problematic but ultimately insanely cute (that coral blush!) Archie’s Girl collection. If it’s decent quality, why wouldn’t I want something like, I dunno, Great American Blush ’91 or Mil Mascara on my face? I mean, their tagline is ‘Take it to the matte’ and that is AMAZING and how have they not hired me to make wrestling makeup puns yet I will literally write for free samples don’t pass this up WWE.
Of course, by ‘good quality’ I really just mean ‘will make me look as radiant as Alicia Fox in this one screencap’:
Haha, I’m joking, no makeup in the world could give us that level of perfection.
Sasha Banks is obsessed with makeup but can also crossface your damn head off, and that’s cool as shit. I can’t wrestle, but I can get gooey over a great nude palette. We talk a lot about the power of positive representation in these parts, and an incredibly valuable part of that is seeing things we also like and do reflected in the performers we look up to. Seeing them like and do those things reassures us that it’s okay to be ourselves, and validates those ‘feminine’ things we’re often told are inferior interests, regardless of our gender.
Yes, it’s just makeup, but it’s little things like this that are important to a lot of people for a lot of reasons. Realistically WWE didn’t put any thought into this beyond ‘GIRLS! GIRLS LIKE MAKEUP! LET’S MAKE MAKEUP FOR GIRLS!’ (even though the men on the roster wear more makeup than the ladies oops), but they really need to. If they want to go #AJAll-in on a Divas Revolution, they need to take these things into consideration.
This could be great, or we could see Nikki smearing Hart Foundation And Primer In One all over Nattie because she’s jealous Nikki looks better in lipstick or whatever. Choose wisely, WWE.