I have written a few blogs on contemporary issues including body image, body hair and sex and gender. These are definitely worthwhile to discuss since they greatly shape who we are, how we behave, and also differ between different societies and countries. The next issue I would like to address is makeup.
I have never been a big fan and wearer of makeup. I worry that I can never put it on properly and I constantly worry that it’s smudged on my face or I forget that I’m wearing it and rub my face because of an itch. If it starts raining, I cry or if I’m in a really warm atmosphere, the makeup easily runs. I have felt puny and not mature in the past when female friends have helped put makeup on for me, while they are able to apply their own flawlessly.
The only time I wear makeup is for special occasions, such as weddings, birthday parties, or a night out with friends, but even then I can’t help but worry about how I look and whether I should’ve reapplied the mascara. On these occasions I only wear minimalisitc makeup, applying eyeshadow, eyeliner and mascara. I hate wearing lipstick because it tastes horrible if I accidentally lick my lips and it can get onto teeth. A big bug bear I have at work (I’m working part-time in a bar over the summer) is lipstick marks stuck on glasses- they are a nuisance to clean!
My mother only wears makeup for similar occasions (I guess it really is mother like daughter) and she and my father didn’t encourage me to wear it on a regular basis when I was growing up. I remember going through a phase where I experimented with my mother’s make up, powdering my cheeks until I had two large red clown style circles instead of my natural blemishes and applying far too much eyeshadow and lipstick. I was even treated to a makeup tutorial a few Christmases ago; as much as I enjoyed the experience, I couldn’t help but see myself as fake.
My parents encouraged me while I was growing up to like my face for how it is and embrace its natural look. I’m glad that I do.
I choose not to wear makeup because it means I don’t have to wake up earlier every morning to put ‘my face on’ and take it off before I go to bed at night, which means extra time for snoozing.
I choose not to wear makeup because I don’t have to fork out money for the latest products which advertisers say you must buy in order to look good and attractive, in order to look like models and aspire to high standards of exceptional beauty.
I choose not to wear makeup because wearing it conceals what I really look like, who I really am; it hides my natural beauty.
I’m not writing this blog to say people shouldn’t wear makeup. I guess that I’m fortunate enough to like my face as it is and don’t feel the need to apply makeup in order to enhance my features or change them. I already like my eyes and eyelashes, but I feel that glittery eyeshadow enhances my eyes even more and looks nice for a special occasion.
Makeup can give people a confidence boost and it works at making some feel older or younger. I must admit, it is also fun to experiment with to see how one can transform their appearance- it’s amazing what a bit of makeup can do.
Despite these benefits, I choose not to wear it on a regular basis. I spend enough time with hair removal, so I’m not going to waste more of my time conforming to how women should look by putting on ‘a face’. I much prefer a natural look for my bodily appearance, even though I eliminate facial, leg and underarm hair, which surely is natural to have and those who choose to keep these areas of their body free from hair removal should not be discriminated against so much.
Moving on from body hair, it’s no wonder that so many women wear makeup because of how others, men in particular, perceive them. However, there can be negative perspectives towards women who wear makeup as well. I did a quick Google search of ‘makeup memes’ and most of them are really degrading towards women. Here are some examples:
These are only a small handful of the vast amount of disheartening memes that exist on the internet. They suggest that a woman’s natural look is not beautiful, hence it needs to be adjusted with makeup. If a woman looks beautiful without makeup, then it just seems incomprehensible. If a woman wears makeup, then she is ugly. It’s a no-win situation, and it’s really really unfair.
The viral video called YOU LOOK DIGUSTING by a youtuber called Em Ford was uploaded just over a month ago and demonstrates the struggles women have with makeup, definitely worth a watch if you haven’t seen it yet.
If people loved their natural appearances, loved themselves for who they really are, and loved others for how they look, then the makeup and cosmetic industries would collapse. These industries would then probably change their tactics for people to embrace their natural appearance- will this ever happen? Personally I doubt this will happen in my lifetime, but I’m not a great consumer of cosmetics and makeup, and I never will be.
I used to believe only until recently that I didn’t have the confidence to wear makeup. Actually, I have the confidence not to wear it!