Loving Yourself With or Without Makeup

Makeup is one of those things with a lot of different uses. It’s an art, a product, a form of expression, and a beauty enhancer. As I've grown older, I've realized that there are two main opinions surrounding the use of makeup. The first opinion is that makeup is a beauty product and a way by which womxn can embrace themselves. The second is that makeup is dirty. There's often a stigma around using makeup that says that anyone who wears makeup isn’t smart or is too self-absorbed. Growing up with both of these views in mind created a confusion for me that I could not sort out.

There is a day from middle school that I remember very vividly. One of my classmates hadn’t done her homework, and my teacher was furious. In all of her fury, she said something along the lines of: “You were probably too busy putting on all of that eye-shadow, weren’t you?”

I remember my teacher's face being red with irritation, her voice laced with disgust, and her hands clenched at her sides. I remember thinking, "What kind of professional being would say such a thing to their student in front of the entire class?"

Perhaps my classmate simply forgot about the homework, or maybe she was doing something much more important than a basic worksheet. And maybe she was putting on makeup, but does it matter that much? Was that comment necessary? Absolutely not.

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My teacher made it obvious what side of the spectrum she was on, and she also made a reputation for herself that may never leave the minds of my classmates. Most of all, she created a clear distinction that made me incredibly aware of the effects of makeup. Many of us are led to believe that wearing makeup gives you a bad profile and that too much makeup makes you appear fake or selfish. On the flip side, wearing no makeup might give you that boring or “plain-Jane” appearance.

Maybe we should start teaching children that the only thing that defines you is you. Maybe instead of imposing contradictory and confusing views, society should recognize that makeup is a form of expression. It is an art, and it is beautiful. It is not something that defines who you are, decides your level of femininity, or profiles you as someone you’re not.

Drop the stigma that you shouldn’t wear too much makeup, and drop the stigma that makeup is an indicator of bad quality because it’s not. Society needs to step away from the constant bashing of womxn and start recognizing the beauty in them.

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If you’re out in the world and you don’t know what kind of makeup to buy or whether or not you want to wear makeup, here is a piece of advice: follow your heart. It may sound romantic and cheesy or even irrelevant, but it is the most genuine piece of advice I can give you. Your decisions should not be influenced by anyone but yourself.

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When you look in the mirror what do you see?

Beauty. You should see beauty because you are beautiful. The various ways we can express ourselves today, through makeup, clothing, hair, and much more is amazing. We need to embrace all of these ways. We need to make our profiles known to the public. But most of all, we need to embrace ourselves. We need to be best friends with ourselves. We need to love ourselves.

Cover image source: Pexels