While scrolling through my Facebook feed yesterday, I saw that several of my female friends were sharing a Youtube video. In this video, a young woman declares that the majority of women wear makeup ‘for themselves’ as a form of ‘expression’. While I admire her spirit, I can’t say that I agree with her.
Do some women wear makeup for their own enjoyment? Undoubtedly. But I think it’s a bit hasty to say that’s why most women do.
The truth is, there’s a lot of stigma surrounding makeup. Studies have been released showing that women who opt out of wearing it tend to be perceived as lazy or incompetent, while women who wear ‘too much’ are deemed morally compromised or untrustworthy. Therefore, in order to be taken seriously and appear well groomed, most of us apply a socially appropriate amount before going to work, school, etc.
That doesn’t sound like we’re freely expressing ourselves to me. Heck, if I wore makeup just for myself, I’d be sporting red lips and cat eyes 24/7– not the conservative face I do now.
Now, this certainly doesn’t mean that we can’t be confident without makeup on. I don’t wear makeup everyday, and I know many women that also forgo the lipstick and blush frequently. (Besides, who has the energy to when you have 8 am classes? If I don’t have the time to make coffee before stumbling into a lecture hall then I definitely don’t have the time to highlight and contour).
All I’m saying is that the stigmas surrounding makeup are utter crap. I long for a day when a woman can confidently walk into the office with a red lip– or without a stitch of makeup– and be treated as if she were conservatively made up.