Ok, so once upon a time I remember when I would almost wear makeup religiously. I would almost literally apply it each and every day, trying to make sure to cover all of my blemishes over, enhance the way my eyes looked, whilst trying my best to make sure my eyebrows did not look like part of a jungle. And then, there came a point when I thought to myself, why on earth am I using up all this time just to cover a few marks on my face and make myself look a little older, when really I look fine just as I am. Plus looks should not matter anyway should they? Even if you are a shy, plain, fairly boring 15 year old girl. So then from time to time I thought I decided to go a day or two without wearing any. And to start with, I thought I looked far less attractive and almost rough. Nonetheless I would persist through the day. And really I didn’t know why it was such a biggie. Like I was still the same person, still as intelligent/unintelligent as I would have been wearing. And still capable of growing as a person, improving in character, persistence, knowledge and all of these other important factors. So surly looks shouldn’t be considered as important? And surly It would not be the end of the world if I was to not put in 15 minutes of effort each day, just to look a certain way…
In that way it was a sense of self care, by not bothering to wear it and realising that I didn’t need to disguise or hide myself. Plus it gave my skin and eyes a break, as we all know that too much concealer/foundation can actually be harmful for the skin and cause more spots than what they hide, while when too much eye makeup finds its way INTO the eyes, it bloody hurts. And I am no skin or eye care specialist by all means, but I can tell you that by experience. Learning the hard way.
But being 17 now, funnily enough, the sense of not wearing makeup for self care purposes, has reversed to a sense of wearing it for self care. Because I got to the stage where it felt almost meaningless, like what is the point of putting all of this on when I can spend an extra 10 minutes in bed, doing work, tidying up or whatever. As I grew to care less and less about what those passers by who wouldn’t remotely know you would think, while I knew that anyone to judge me for not wearing it, in a negative way, was either ignorant or deep down- incredibly insecure. And it is SO MUCH EFFORT. Plus the expenditure.
Personally, it seems like good news that there’s a seemingly increasing number of people with the similar attitude, of knowing “they don’t really need it.” Because they don’t. None of you do! While asking around, I have heard similar views. Saying that they “feel judged” for not wearing it, and they kind of feel inferior to the group which they are in who may be choosing to do so. While also wanting to break this mould, and not stick to these confines, even though it may be difficult. As-well there is the superficial feeling that those wearing it may be looked at in a better way, when the reality is, is that people actually find you more attractive without it on. Strange really isn’t it. Are people feeling better about themselves for wearing this as they still think they are “ugly” without it, are they wanting to hide part of themselves or are they actually putting it on for themselves. Well, whatever the answer to that may be, it goes to show that natural beauty will not go away and may be most important to people (especially those whom fancy one another), rather than how one goes about “making themselves up. And in my opinion, everybody has natural beauty, each individually unique, but equal in amounts. And this is on the inside and the outside. So in this case, why would someone want to use makeup, just to undermine this?
Occasionally even I like to experiment a little and wear a little from time to time. Perhaps at the weekend, to feel like I am putting a little effort into my appearance, and to myself. A bit like changing up your wardrobe. Plus imagine something like Notting Hill or Pride, without some choosing to put glitter all over their faces (not like I’ve ever been to Notting Hill, but that’s not really the point). Therefore it is cool to wear it once in a while. And whatever your opinion is in these styles, people who do dress fancy for these things, wouldn’t dress like that every day. Or they probably wouldn’t be doing it to “hook someone up”. But instead it is as a means of art and expression, quite frankly to an event celebrating…art and expression.
And adjacient to the view that no one should feel like they have to wear it, no one either should be made to feel they MUST NOT wear it. Regardlesss or age, occupation, ethnicity or gender!
And thinking about it this way, it is a real shame that some people who may not necessarily actually want to wear it every day, feel they must do so; while people who would like to experiment with it from time to time, may feel it is not socailly acceptable.
Now I feel that many may use makeup, almost as a mask. As this helps them possibly hide the real version of themselves, or make them feel better about how they look and who they are. Which I feel is a real shame. With many there is a feeling of “not feeling dressed” without wearing this. Which I can understand, but it is extremely sad really. As that should never be the primary purpose of it!
So why has this become so aperient? Since the age of 11 really, I have seen numerous pictures of people (mainly online) wearing this, as well as adverts. While this subject became quite a big one at schools (especially being at an “all girls school”) as many would use this to look far “older” and “more appealing”, especially in photographs they would share. And I am not saying this in a demeaning way- like suggesting they looked better or worse in the photo or in real life. But it is fair to say that a number of people choosing to look “different” in photographs, do it because they feel like it makes them feel better about themselves, or they think that it is what others want to see. It is a way of fitting in really… Even I subconsciously do it, as with more of my photographs online, I will apply makeup thinking that it makes me look more acceptable and appealing, while I am slightly nervous to post a picture without it…. But this is only a recent example.
For years back these glossy magazines featuring models with goodness knows what done to “improve their experience”, both manually and on a machine- just to make themselves look this “certain way”. Not to mention all of these frivolous adverts which can be found inside these mags, featuring all these wonderful beauty products which allegedly “work miracles”. Unfortunately I think too much of this penetrates into the minds of young teenagers making them feel obliged to put considerable effort into improving how they look somehow, and again it is like the “in thing” which needs to be done if they want to fit in.
However I don’t think makeup is unnecessary. It can be fun Therefore those who choose to wear it, being once a month or every single day, aren’t necessarily shallow, self obsessed or even insecure. Just think of all the cool, fun products out and available to people. For example, think of tall the varying eyeshadow pallets which are available to us; from many themed around “unicorns” (guilty), those inspired by a chocolate bar (also guilty) and that really glittery one in Primark that amazingly I have never brought! Yeah, I know I am not exactly an expert on this, but what I am saying is that purchasing and experimenting with makeup can be enjoyable! And there is proof of that too, the vast number of tutorials out there, which attract me not because the person goes from “ugly to pretty”, bloody hell no! They’re equally beautiful before and after but what I am inspired by is the cool eyeshadow or other means of makeup on their face. Plus I find these spring, summer and autumn tutorials pretty cute, where colour pallets relating to the season are experimented with. Therefore using “beauty” products to alter your appearance, certainly does not have to be for a bad reason. But instead it should be as a hobby or art. As in this way it can simply be used as a pass time, or a s a means of expressing oneself.
While an actual survey by Harris poll showed that more women now wear makeup for themselves than for any other reason: with 48% saying they wear it for themselves while 44% wear it to hide “flaws”. While there may not be that big difference, it proves that many people aren’t just using this due to pressure or insecurity. I think it is possible too that the number of people doing it for themselves may be slowly rising and those who do it to hide flaws may be slowly lowering. Partly because of our (usually) busy lifestyles as well as how greater gender equality here, has given women greater opportunities, making us realise that our fulfilment of life is not constrained to looking a certain way. While as well as all of these “makeup giros” we see online, there are many empowering women, who encourage us to be ourselves. Which may persuade us to realise that we do not have to wear it, but if we enjoy it and it is a way of taking care (like a hot bath) then we should go ahead! And considering this, like mentioned before, why on earth should the use of makeup be prohibited by anyone of any age? It simply doesn’t make sense.
But that prevailing question off being “socially acceptable” comes up doesn’t it? That because it has always been advertised as something young women “could” and possibly “should” wear, why on earth should those of different ages or genders be allowed to pursue it as a hobby?
It hurts me to think that once you get to a certain age, it is far less acceptable to be so expressive. Like if you were to bump into someone sporting neon pink eyeshadow, who looked like they were in their 80s, most likely you would make an assumption, of this being a bit odd. Honestly though, I’d probably feel a little shocked at first, mainly because I don’t see enough of it. And why would that be? I guess that when many people get to a certain age, they feel they are no longer “pretty enough” to be putting considerable effort into their apperience, they simply cannot be bothered anymore (more than fair enough!), or unfortunatly feel that it would draw far too much attention to themselves- from people like me, who may look and be rather surprised, to those who without thinking would just splatter a load of nasty comments!
Coming to think of it, I only know of one “elderly” instergram fashion influencer, who sports exgentric outfits and occasionally crazy makeup styles. Having been “stealing (her) man since 1928” (instergram bio) as she seems to wear clothing which seems to be “increasingly out there”, it seems as if she is aiming to encourage other models and people out there who may be “getting on a bit” to carry on dressing how they would choose, rather than feel bounded by age or other factors. Stating herself that her age as being a problem has “never crossed her mind” and instead she “just keeps on going”, she is certainly doing her bit to prove that age really should not matter when it comes to how you look and dresss. Adding to this, she feels you should “live and let live” saying that she thinks “we only have one judge in the world” and she say “he is ok with her dressing selections”. And I don’t know what you think, but she most certainly has a point. Really it seems completely meaningless that people should be bound by certain physical factors; which would stop them dressing in a certain way. So why should the same apply to makeup, as simply a means of expression. As I get the vibe that some hold the view that you can be pretty when you are young, however the usage of makeup is kind of essential in order to enhance the “good” features and conceal the “bad” features, then when you reach a certain age, there is no longer any point because the “bad” features have become all a bit too much. Obviously I think that view is completely outdated and simply inaccurate- but really I feel most off us contain this…
And one more ramble before I sum this off, is about gender. People may laugh, shallowly thinking that “oh this is a girls thing only” and that “boys should never get involved in this”. While demeaning our generations boys and men, for “messing about with makeup” rather than playing with toy guns. But thinking of it, males should feel that they are allowed to experiment it for enjoyment reasons, as much as females. And no, that isn’t saying that all males should be obliged to be using it, just like females shouldn’t. Nonetheless, if anyone of any gender wants to pursue this as a hobby, why on earth should they not? Like no activity should be limited for certain ages, or genders. Simple. And although we may not be used to it, really we should get used to it. As it is simply unfair and unjust. At the end of the day, if we really want the usage of makeup as to be a means of enjoyment and self care, than it should be available to everybody! Simple as.
So I think that the positive aspect of makeup does outweigh the negative aspect, and potentially the negative side/aspect to this could and should be elimited. I think it is a real shame though, how if anything, girls are feeling pressured to wear it from a younger age. However I feel that as we get older, it is easier for us to realise that we do not need to hide ourselves by using this- as we are intelligent beings who are capable of doing so much, and none of this requires the usage of makeup for us to be able to do it.. While I think that makeup will always be a biggie on the market; because like with clothing, people do want to be free to experiment with it. Whether that is as a form of self care, a means of self expression or simply as a pass time. Thinking about this further, I think that obviously the pressure to wear it is still aperient, especially with the youngest- but this is partly to do with peer pressure. While as we age, we realise that no! We don’t need to look a certain way to fit in; as we are so busy from day to day and we have worthy ambitions which are worth more time rather than the time we could spend putting a dash of makeup on, just to fit in.
Finally I do hope that the future of makeup will be used for these positive reasons, being as a means of self care and enjoyment; as opposed to purposely suppressing our natural beauty. I hope as well that one day makeup will not have a face, instead that anybody of any age can use it, and feel free to use it! As currently it seems ridiculous that it is limited to one particular group of people, for rather grim, frivolous and traditional reason that we are naturally best looking so we should put the most effort in. Now considering the current circumstances of the world, I could be really pessimistic. But I want to end on an optimistic note. In which I hope that this, and the next generation are the generations who leave this silly stereotype behind. Realising that we are all equally worthy, therefore no one should feel pressured to hide their natural beauty, while the enjoyment some get out of expressing ourselves this way should not be kept to one group of people.