Can You Be a Feminist & Still Love Makeup?

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Can it be feminist to wear makeup? While many of us never really give a second thought to our concealer-mascara morning routine, we never really question why exactly we feel the need to apply makeup either. The three-minute video from Buzzfeed (below) features two opposite ends of the spectrum: a blonde Barbie waitress who buys $200 eyeliner and her mousy sister, hiding behind oversize spectacles, who picks her pimples and lets them “naturally scab.”

While it seems as though Barbie wins the makeup argument in the video, concluding that she paints her face for herself and not for men, her sister does have a point about the no-makeup thing. Why is it an anomaly when a celebrity posts a no-makeup selfie? We’ve all seen them and the reaction is usually resoundingly positive.

So why don’t we look at ourselves that way? Why do we, for the most part, celebrate seeing celebrities without makeup while criticizing our own flaws?

Personally, I think that I wear makeup for a combination of reasons. For everyday wear, I usually can’t help but to apply concealer below my eyes to create an illusion of a full night’s beauty rest and to make my unsightly red pimples magically disappear. After that, I’ll apply a powder to even out my skin tone, some mascara (because my eyelashes are practically nonexistent) and sometimes I’ll finish with blush.

Now, when I have an event or a party to attend, the routine gets much longer. I add in eyeshadow, eyeliner, bronzer, highlighter, two different mascaras and lipgloss. In this situation, I agree with Barbie. I apply that much makeup because I actually enjoy it. I like matching my eyeshadow to my outfit and playing with different lip colors. In this situation, the same is lame. I like to mix it up!

As for my everyday routine, I think I try to hide my flaws to boost my confidence. I certainly feel much more self-conscious talking to someone when I have a huge, swollen zit in the middle of my face. In this respect, I want people to look at me and listen to what I have to say, rather than be distracted by an ugly sore on my face.

In response to this video, I don't think wearing or not wearing makeup is feminist either way. I think that as long as women are happy and doing what they want and feel comfortable with their bodies, then no one should label them. But inspired by AnnaLynne, Beyoncé and Bar, I've decided to post a no-makeup selfie myself. I encourage you to shed your makeup and do the same!

About The Author

Mary Paige Nesfeder (known as MP on the volleyball court) is a junior Media and Communication Studies major at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is about as contradictory as the Instagram accounts she follows (her faves are dcfoodporn and yoga_girl)! She finds solace in Jack Johnson, her Pinterest account and a good nap. She can't go a day without talking to her mom or daydreaming about the future.