Women are under enormous aesthetic pressure. Whether it comes from the media’s unrealistic expectations, family, friends, ourselves, whomever: I agree that the pressure is there.
But consider this – some of us wear makeup because we enjoy it. Some of us love smoking our eyes out, contouring until our hands ache and splurging at Sephora. That’s completely fine. That’s our business, no one else’s.
I don’t wing my liner and highlight my face to the point where I’m essentially glowing to impress anyone. I don’t apply false eyelashes or liquid lipstick because I want people to think better of me. I do it for myself, my enjoyment, self-expression and to unleash creativity. And hey, if it makes me feel a little better, so be it. Self-love is important.
I, like others, do these things because it’s fun. Makeup is my art. I might not paint the best pictures or sculpt to perfection, but my face is my canvas.
My self-confidence has nothing to do with my decision to wear makeup. Sometimes I wake up late and just do my eyebrows. Sometimes I wake up on time and can do my makeup to however I’m feeling that day.
I’m not going to let anyone make me feel worse because I may or may not have beauty products on my skin.
We are still ourselves when we wear makeup; it’s not a facade. My education, life experiences and everything else about me is still in tact regardless of how my face looks.
Not every makeup-free woman does so because they want to rebel against society and scream “F your beauty standards.” Some women go makeup-free because of religious reasons or because their skin might be ultra sensitive and can’t handle it.
Think about it – we brace the world with “painted” faces. Do you even realize how much criticism can come from that? People criticize how our eyeshadow is blended, whether our foundation matches, if our eyeliner is smudged, and more.
At that point, it isn’t just a judgment on how we look, it’s a judgment on our artistic skills and abilities, something that some people take more seriously and more to heart.
If not wearing makeup makes you feel stronger, that’s nice, but my makeup doesn’t make me feel weak.
Of course there is the advantage of being able to cover up dark circles or hide a zit. But it’s nothing to complain over or make someone feel bad about. That doesn’t give anyone the right to act like a psychologist and imply that I have deep-seated self-esteem issues.
Loving makeup and art does not equate to shallowness, insecurity or conformity. My beauty routine just differs from yours. Different doesn’t mean good or bad and no one’s better.
As women, we should work towards empowering each other. Women supporting women is important, especially in our current world. Pitting us against each other over something as foolish as makeup is petty and unnecessary.
© Photo courtesy of Karolina Grabowska