How many of us have heard the phrase, “Real women are/do…” followed by what is usually nonsense? Often times these types of statements are about women’s bodies or presentation and how “real” women do or don’t do certain things to their bodies and should be commended for that. How about, “real women don’t degrade other women?” Today I want to talk about the beauty ideals surrounding makeup! There’s been this idea floating around that women who wear makeup are somehow less valuable, less authentic or less confident than women who don’t wear makeup. And that bothers me!
Recently, in the last few months, I’ve become very interested in makeup. I love watching makeup videos, observing contouring techniques (thanks Kim K!) and buying new products. This newfound hobby has not always been a part of my life though. I was once someone who believed that women who wore makeup were hiding their true selves, and maybe for some women, that is why they wear makeup, but makeup should be used to enhance one’s natural beauty not hide it. I used to trash talk girls at my school who caked on products because I felt like they were so insecure that they had to hide their faces. I am so ashamed of the person that I was, but I’ve learned with time that makeup is a mechanism by which women can flaunt their features and bring out specific traits that they want noticed. For example, I’m learning to love my lips and when I want to bring attention to them, I wear lipstick. Since the start of the summer, I’ve become a lipstick junkie. My collection is certainly small compared to true makeup gurus, but I’ve acquired quite a few shades that boldly enhance my lips and make them look pretty. This is not to say that I don’t like my lips without lipsticks and glosses; I like them so much that I want to show them off!
I’ve watched a lot of makeup transformation videos in that past few months that show how makeup can truly bring out one’s natural beauty. If someone has prominent cheek bones, highlights, bronzers and blushes are often used to enhance that feature. If someone has distinct, bright eyes, different eye shadows, liners and mascaras can bring out one’s eyes or eye color. With this perspective, I understand why so many women love makeup so much. It’s part of the reason that I have recently begun to invest time and energy (and some mulah) into my appearance with the use of makeup. I like the idea and concept of intensifying different facial features on any given day or occasion. Don’t get me wrong, my confidence doesn’t falter if I don’t have makeup on, but I can understand the women and girls who feel immensely more confident with a made-up face than a bare one.
There are many women with skin disorders or heavy acne who use makeup as a means of boosting their confidence because they don’t want to feel isolated due to something out of their control. Society often views individuals with skin issues in a negative light, and although our confidence shouldn’t be determined by society’s beauty standards, it is understandable, under certain circumstances, that some women may want to invest in various coverups and concealers to avoid judgement and negative attention.
With all of this being said, what I want you to take away from today’s blog is that, when it comes to makeup, you should do what makes you feel happy and feel your best. If you feel at your best and most confident with no makeup, a little makeup, or a face full of it, go for it! Makeup can be a great tool for some, but perhaps a “no thank you” for others and that’s okay! But don’t knock down someone else because their beauty routines don’t align with yours. Everyone feels confident in different ways and aspects of their lives and if makeup is yours, awesome! If not, awesome! As always, love yourself and your face because it’s yours!