If you don’t wear makeup, you’re ugly. If you do wear makeup, you’re trying too hard.
This double standard defines what has become the biggest beauty debate in recent years. Although women have always been held to a strict ideal of beauty dictated by the media, the no makeup movement promoted by celebrities such as Demi Lovato and Alicia Keys has gained incredible traction, resulting in more and more women choosing to rock the bare faced look. And let’s make one thing clear – there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In a world that fosters insecurity in girls at such a young age, positivity and encouragement is more important than ever.
However, there are many, particularly men, that now see those who abstain from wearing makeup as superior. They insult women who choose to pick up a foundation brush or apply mascara, calling the practice disgusting, fake, and much worse. This opinion is expressed over and over in the comments section of makeup tutorials, where they say things like:
While these people may mean well by trying to compliment someone’s natural beauty, they often do so in a way that puts those who wear makeup down. Saying, “You looked so much better before!” insults the talent and hard work that women put into makeup every day. It’s the equivalent of buying an expensive outfit for a date, feeling great, and your significant other saying, “Eh, it kinda makes you look worse.”
The choice of words is often, “You don’t need makeup.” While this may be true – nobody needs makeup – this person is making the assumption that a woman has no choice in the matter. Just because makeup isn’t necessary does not mean that women don’t want to wear it, and telling someone not to wear makeup when they want to is no different than telling someone who doesn’t wear makeup that they should. Both of these scenarios involve the attempt to control a woman’s personal decisions regarding her appearance, which should have no place in our society.
While these comments are tame compared to the terrible insults often hurled at women online, they still perpetuate a culture of criticism aimed at females. From childhood, we are exposed to airbrushed, photo-shopped celebrities and told that if we look like them, then we’ll be accepted. And yet when we use cosmetic products that are meant to mimic that ideal, we are called vain and fake. Many of us have spent years combatting low self esteem resulting from the unrealistic standards that surround us, and if makeup helps in that endeavor, let us wear it. Women look beautiful with makeup, and beautiful without it. How we choose to express our beauty is none of your concern.