Browsing around my subscription feeds, I always see a deluge of “no makeup” looks. Basically, the concept is that wearing natural-looking makeup gives the appearance that you are actually au naturale. But you see, these tutorials, ironically, usually require around eight to ten products.
On a day to day basis, the amount of makeup I wear is minimal. Like a mascara and tinted lip balm kind of deal. This is because a.) I need my sleep and b.) I want to be able to be comfortable in my skin. I want to be able to feel beautiful sans foundation and blush, simply with my own natural features.
Not that wearing makeup daily is a necessarily a bad thing either, you should never underestimate the power of a swipe of lipstick or a coat of mascara.
However, we should not be reliant on cosmetics to give us confidence or feel like we are only “complete” when our faces are dolled up.
In a study, 44% of the 1,292 women surveyed said that they feel negative about themselves when they were bare faced. Many participants also described themselves as feeling unattractive, naked, and self-conscious as well.
Even more discouraging, a quarter of the respondents stated that they started wearing makeup as early as age 13 to hide their flaws. That is what’s even more alarming about this problem; that it is starting so young. This makeup culture and accepted norm is being introduced at an early age, which can lead to even more of a reason for adolescents to become depressed, bullied, and ostricized.
Makeup is a tool for enhancement and creative expression, not something similiar to a drug. By this I mean, something that is doing more harm than good, is starting to become accepted in society, and can cause people to become too reliant on it to feel good. It even turns out that cosmetics can be four times more addictive than drugs. This is known as The Kabuki Effect.
I am a makeup lover, obviously since I run a blog with one of the main focuses being beauty, but here’s the truth: If someone took away all my makeup and I had to leave the house, with all my imperfections out in the world, I wouldn’t freak out. Neither would anyone I interact with on a daily basis. Think about it, are you applying makeup more for others or yourself? Which is more important to be doing something for?
One of the biggest debates surrounding the discussion on beauty is whether or not it is only materialistic and shallow. I say absolutely not, it is an art form and should be treated as such.
There is no reason why women should be judged if they choose to wear makeup. And there is also no reason women should feel pressure to have to apply it either.
I’ve been in situations before where people have not been as accepting with my choice to not always wear makeup, and they saw me as being lazy or conceited.
When these women judged me on something like this, it gave me insight into the issue of how beauty, specifically for women, is being potrayed. If you’ve ever turned on the television, perused a magazine, or seen a billboard, chances are you’ve seen the influence. Our harsh expectations of beauty extend into how one should dress, style their hair, what body type they should have, and even if they should wear makeup.
The fact that, if I go out without a painted face, it’s considered an abnormality or as a sign of incompetence, is just ridiculous. Makeup and it’s use should have freedom of choice. Even with as open we’ve become, it seems there are still two extremely divided sides in many matters.
However, maybe the fact that we are starting to prefer natural makeup is actually a postive development, a step in the right direction. It could be an indication of how we are becoming more liberal in the idea of makeup and getting past its stereotypes.
Also check out some of these related reads:
American Women Are Too Dependent On Makeup @ Elite Daily
How Eyeliner Became My Security Blanket @ Byrdie
In The Eyelid Of The Beholder @ Into The Gloss
Up The Career Ladder, Lipstick in Hand @ The New York Times
Beauty Confession-I Think I Wear Too Much Makeup (Sometimes) @ Afrobella