Breaking Down Makeup Stereotypes

Makeup is something that seems to generate an opinion from just about everyone. People of all ages, all genders and all backgrounds seem to have something to say.

So what’s the deal?

A lot of people think makeup is deceitful. This is typically something a lot of guys seem to think. They think that some girls look better in makeup and then when they take it off and don’t look exactly the same, suddenly they are liars (because we all totally have naturally, sparkling eyelids, right?!).

The issue with this mentality is that makeup is a form of expression. By claiming that using too much makeup, or using makeup in general makes someone a liar, is quite frankly an opinion that shouldn’t be shared. For a while a common “joke” was that on a first date, straight men should take their date swimming so that her makeup will come off. There are several things wrong with this. First of all, it means that only women who are fitting of stereotypical beauty standards are worth dating and second of all it makes it seem as if women who wear makeup are claiming a false identity. (Also, have they never heard of setting spray?)



A lot of people use makeup as a way of self-expression. Makeup to some is an art form, to others it literally creates a livelihood. YouTube beauty gurus are just about everywhere. They create a space for people to learn how to try different makeup tricks. This has now even spread to other social media platforms like Instagram.



Makeup is a way for people to have free will. They get to look how they want and do whatever they want. It makes no sense for people to press their opinions on everyone else in this regard. If one person wants to wear blue, winged eyeliner and bright pink lipstick, there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s also nothing wrong with people not wearing makeup at all.



Another common misconception, is that women wear makeup for men. This makes it seem that women wake up every morning, and think about how exactly they’d like to prep their face in a way that would attract the most men. In the words of Cher in Clueless, “As If!”. No one spends that much money on makeup for anyone other than themselves. Makeup is personal, it’s not about what other people think, it’s about what you like and what makes you comfortable. It’s about feeling beautiful because you tell yourself that, not because you need someone else’s validation.



The topic is a double-edged sword. On one hand there are people who criticize those who wear “too much” makeup and then there are the people who criticize those who go barefaced. Many celebrities have taken on the challenge of showing their faces without any makeup in pictures or when they’re out and about. The most well-known for this is Alicia Keys who chooses to forgo makeup completely. There are a lot of people out there who insult them, claiming that they need makeup.



The issue with people sharing their opinions on the way that others wear their makeup is that it’s not really any of their business what someone else does with their face. Makeup is something personal. It’s not for the public to have a say in. Shaming a person for wearing makeup is much like insulting the clothes that one wears - except it is far more personal because makeup is a way a way to enhance, decorate or simply accentuate one’s features and is used for self expression.  


Makeup should be embraced, minimal or not. It’s also important to remember that with or without it, everyone is beautiful, unique and an individual.