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Exclusive Premiere: Jenobi Tackles Female Appearance Standards in «Makeup»

Swedish artist Jenobi's new single reflects on the standards of female beauty. Negative White hosts the exclusive video premiere.

What is considered natural? How is female beauty defined by society? These are only exemplary questions within the larger theme that Jenobi's new single Makeup is tackling.

Swedish artist Jenny Apelmo Mattsson played bass for the Hamburg-based folk band Torpus & The Art Directors but also worked on her own ideas. In 2020, her alias Jenobi was born, an outlet for self-reliant and uncompromising creativity.

Makeup, the second single from her upcoming album Irregularity, celebrates its premiere today with Negative White:

Makeup's composition is simple, with a reduced backdrop for the almost whispered, spoken-wordy lyrics to take centre stage. Makeup is not beating around the bush with its message:

Hey, how are you doing?
You look a little tired babe
Honey, how is it hanging?
Your cheeks look a little pale

The lyrics are, and that is hardly a surprise, far from some fictional event. It refers to an experience Jenobi had in a supermarket. «The pretty employee at the checkout asked me how I was doing because I looked so tired. Of course I wasn't tired, I just didn't have any make-up on. I wrote the lyrics for the song at home that day.»

The single acts as an answer to this and similar comments so many women have to hear every day:

Didn’t put my makeup on
I’m not tired, I’m just busy
Don't you think that I look pretty
With some rings below my eyes?

And now for those men who think: «Maybe the cashier just wanted to be nice.» Ask yourself: When was the last time a stranger asked you if you were okay because of your body's appearance? The answer is most likey: never. And there you have the issue.