Sunday, 20 July 2014

Makeup Shaming

Today, while surfing the interwebs, I came across this article.

And it enraged me.

I have a very real problem with this whole "women wear too much makeup" thing that people throw around, egged on by magazines.Why does it make me so angry? Because if you go out in public without any makeup on, people say you look tired, or sick. Because the argument to "go natural" is a particularly nasty form of reverse psychology. 

The overwhelming insinuation in all forms of media is that women are "ugly" without makeup. But then those women are accused of essentially "lying" about their looks by wearing makeup. The women who do wear makeup, especially those that tend to favour dramatic makeup, are shamed for it and told they are wearing a mask. We are encouraged to take no-makeup selfies (complete with sexy filters) to show our "true beauty", but unless you see someone in life, standing in front of you, you'll never see all his/her imperfections. I saw some horrific, hateful ccomments on so many of those no makeup shots, saying how ugly those bare-faced women were. The same bare-face haters would then spew vitriol on photos (very often re-touched and/or filtered) of women with lots of makeup on 

It's so sad to me that going without makeup has come to be considered "brave", and that makeup is villified, when the messages we receive are contradictory and highly manipulative.

What ends up happening is that no matter how much or how little makeup you wear, it's never enough.


1) The Beauty Propaganda Machine has totally warped what we believe women look like.

2) Women struggle with self-love because they will NEVER good enough.

And then this happens: The perpetrators of the media pressures (magazines, beauty/fashion "Experts", and those people who drink that special brand of koolaid) - who tell us we should do this or wear that, or try this look, or follow these Do's & Don'ts - then use photos of made-up celebrities that are usualy VERY heavily re-touched and enhanced (yes, even the "candid" red carpet shots) and they say "SEE??? MAKEUP! LET'S BLAME IT ON MAKEUP!!!!"

Makeup is the fall-guy, and is somehow to blame for our warped ideas of what women should or do look like. I'm speaking as a professional with more than ten years in the beauty industry. The "makeup" in MOST of those shots, illustrating how "terrible" these supposedly beautiful women look without it, is NOT Maybelline or Hourglass or MAC. It's Adobe Photoshop. 

The problem is that it's not always on purpose. We have ALL been drinking the koolaid for so long that many of these writers don't even realize they are a vital part of the Propaganda Machine. All of these articles are pretending to say "beware, these women are covering up their real selves with makeup", or "look how vain these makeup wearers are" or "go ahead, ditch the makup, you look great", when in fact the message is loud and clear: "You're hideous. Wear makeup."

The media essentially shames you into believing that everything you are is wrong and ugly, and you should strive to reach their impossible beauty standards, the only illustrations of which should actually be classified as computer generated images, not photographs. 

And because the standard iswholly  unattainable, we constantly fall short and become more and more discouraged, more and more self-loathing, more and more convinced that "beauty" is something we can never have or be. 

But we will never look like the women in magazines. The women in those magazines don't look like that in real life.

Makeup is not a magic wand. It's not the stamp or burn or blur tool. At best, it's a nice Instagram filter.

I truly, HONESTLY, don't think anyone is ugly. I have never looked at someone and thought that they were ugly. That's such a strong, nasty word that I would like to have banned from use in reference to someone's looks. Save it for truly disgusting personalities. I have definitely seen beautiful people with ugly attitudes. Save that word for instances of cruelty, violence and horror and the roots of such instances, where it belongs. "Ugly" has no place in the vernacular we use to describe facial or body features.

I happen to think makeup is great fun, like an awesome pair of jeans or heels that make you feel sexy or a great pair of earrings that make your eyes pop. I am sick and tired of hearing people blame makeup for our insecurities. It's the media that is responsible, not makeup itself.

Yes, I know that people use makeup to cover up insecurities. But where do you think those insecurities come from? We are CONSTANTLY being told we should have flawless skin, no under eye circles, no pimples, long eye lashes, full lips, straight noses, sharp cheekbones. BUT we must do it so that it looks TOTALLY natural.

Guess what? Blemishes are natural. So are under eye circles and uneven skin tone, wrinkles, short/wide/flat/big/long noses, round/long/square/heart-shaped/diamond-shaped faces, almond/round/hooded/deep-set/sloping/monolid eyes.

You should do it or not do it for  YOU.

There is nothing wrong with covering up your dark circles, because they can make you look tired even if you don't feel tired. 

There is nothing wrong with evening out your skin tone. 

There is nothing wrong with playing up what you feel are your best features. 

There is nothing wrong with being creative and drawing lines on your face if that is what you like. 

And there is nothing wrong with not wearing makeup if you don't want to. 

I do believe we should all dilligently work to a place where we love ourselves and each other as much as we can, without the limitations of impossible beauty standards, even when we're not wearing the miracle-butt jeans or heels or the awesome earrings or the sexy smoky eye. Makeup is an accessory, and we have the right to play with it or not as we choose to. 

What needs to stop are the mixed messages coming from all sides. Stop scape-goating any and everything other than the ridiculous beauty propaganda machine. 

STOP THE SHAMING of women for wearing/not wearing makeup. 

Enough already.

1 comment:

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