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Female Soldiers Get Makeup and Mags – Annoying or Cool?

I'll admit that I use makeup and enjoy mindless magazines from time to time. Perhaps female soldiers do too and that's why Jill Biden and Nancy Pelosi took part in making care packages that included Cosmopolitan magazine, tampons, eye masks, lipstick, and camouflage pink makeup bags in addition, to the usual beef jerky, raisins, and toothbrushes.

This is the first time the USO has sent "female-centric" care packages and the overly-feminine nature of the products is calling into question whether they are demeaning to the female soldiers — the pink camouflage bag might go a little far in treating these tough soldiers like girlie tweens. Does this rub you the wrong way or do you think it's cool? Feel free to share in the comments what you would want to include instead!

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loveydovey4 loveydovey4 7 years
I think it's a nice gesture... I would much prefer people supporting the troops (even if it is with pink camo makeup bags) than have them ignoring them or hating on them.
sloane220 sloane220 7 years
@studio 16- you don't know that, so lets not make a generalization and presume that most women like to be stereotypically feminine. i think that kind of thinking leads to all female soildiers being sent ridiculous pink camouflage makeup bags. i i can't stand pink, and honestly i would feel patronized by the assumption that i would want something pink simply because i'm a woman. the other items are cool i guess, if some women don't want the makeup or magazines they can give them to others who do. but to act like the items sent specifically to women aren't a way of reinforcing the gender binary is ridiculous.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
isabelle - that's twice someone in the military has never heard of something my friend told me when she was stationed in Iraq. (She's in the Navy.) I'm beginning to think she makes things up or exaggerates!! Here she had everyone sending her playtex tampons because she said she couldn't stand the ones they gave out on base.
isabelle315 isabelle315 7 years
I think the pink camo bag is a little over the top and would have made me gag a little if someone sent it to me. Otherwise, I think it's ok... when I was in Iraq, I was begging people to send me magazines because I think the only "women's" magazine at the PX was Ladies Home Journal or something like that, and yet they carried like 5 different types of men's bodybuilding magazines. I have been in the Army for 5 years and have never seen or heard of military-issued tampons!! As for the makeup, I would say that most soldiers probably don't need it.... I didn't wear makeup at all when I was there, but I was a platoon leader going outside the base frequently. I can only imagine how much worse the comments from the Iraqi men would have been had I worn makeup. Now that I'm going to be a JAG, though, I can see myself wearing makeup if I get deployed again, since I'll be working in an office every day and not out patrolling in hot humvee.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
If I were a soldier they'd have to pry my lipstick and comfy tampons from my cold dead hands. I think every woman should be able to have the little luxuries regardless of profession.
Frenched Frenched 7 years
I think it's cool. I'm sure it's more fun than to receive care package with the usual stuff. Soldier women are still women and a little girliness is always fun and healthy.
KadBunny KadBunny 7 years
I don't think it's demeaning per se, I know girly soldiers are out there (take "Combat Barbie" for example) but.. I don't know. I think it's annoying that they assume all of them must want makeup and magazines. Still, it's a nice gesture though. :)
sugajen sugajen 7 years
Its hard to say not having been in the situation myself. Also they are having to generalize for the entire female military population so I say give them a break. If some girls don't want mascara don't taker it. I like the idea of catering to the feminine population better than a one size fits all method. Even if it is stereotyping!
staple-salad staple-salad 7 years
If I were in the army I'd totally appreciate the magazines and tampons (unless they were cardboard applicator tampons, in which case, I'd appreciate the torture devices), because tampons are a necessity and magazines would make for nice distractions at downtime. However, I would probably just toss the makeup. I don't wear it now very often, and I wouldn't period if I were in the army. Too many more important things and exercising and getting dirty don't exactly mix well with foundation. The main reason I think it's demeaning is because the makeup is so horribly impractical and girly in the wrong way. If I were a soldier I'd be more appreciative of stud earrings or some yarn and knitting needles or a sparkly pink journal or something. Or heck, just what the boys got (including the same magazines if the boys ever get them).
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Cool. I agree -- there's nothing wrong with being a female soldier, and wanting items that are feminine. There's NOTHING demeaning about that. Feminine =/= Demeaned Feminine =/= Weakness In my opinion, femininity in women is a virtue.
Studio16 Studio16 7 years
Women are women. I'm sick of people trying to act like men and women are one in the same and that not all ladies are into girlie stuff like Cosmo and makeup. Are there exceptions? Yes, of course. But 75% of women, even women soldiers, like to be feminine.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
My female friends asked for girly things while stationed in Iraq. Anything pink (desert brown gets boring), magazines and yes - tampons. Military issue tampons feel like itchy rough wool from what my friends told me and they all wanted more comfortable tampons.
JenniferIsabella JenniferIsabella 7 years
even though they're soldiers, they're still women who like girly, feminine things like the rest of us. besides, part of being a strong, powerful woman is the ability to look feminine and strong, simultaneously.
danizzle danizzle 7 years
just because they are soldiers, does not mean that they are not feminine women! Tough girls can look pretty too!
Gdeeaz Gdeeaz 7 years
I think it is cool. One of my friends is in the military and she always likes to have some makeup and magazines with her.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
Although, I would think the military would supply tampons, kind of as a medical supply.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 7 years
I agree, Naomi. I also know several female soldiers who found themselves wishing for things that were a little more feminine while they were deployed. And they also said that they found that a lot of the donated magazines were geared toward men, so they always asked us to send them more women's magazines.
Hello890 Hello890 7 years
While my sister-in-law was in Iraq she asked for feminine/girly stuff. She was just so sick of everything being so boring and blah there, so yes, I think it's great!
x3Lorelei x3Lorelei 7 years
I can understand the tampons and the magazines. But what exactly do they need with makeup?
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