– by Jess O’Brien
Make-up. We all have an idea of what it is and what it is used for. Whether it’s your opinion that it is a cheat’s way out of an “ugly face”, a con or simply just a magical way to feel better about yourself – it IS a huge part of our society. Period.
I began to write this article with one simple viewpoint. I was fully ready to rant and rave about how much I wish I could get up in the morning and feel adequate without slapping on some colour and how much I hate society for thrusting unrealistic beauty standards in our faces. Then I stopped myself. Firstly, women: YOU ARE NOT OBLIGATED TO LOOK “PRETTY” 24/7. It is indeed okay to wake up, stay in your slob clothes and shove your grease filled hair up in a bun and run around the house like a loon getting sweaty if you wish to do so. It is society that enforces this idea that women have to meet a certain standard or beauty ideal because it is “gross” if we don’t.
The second thing that occurred to me was that at first, I only saw this subject from one angle myself, which is exactly what I encourage people not to do. At the same time as waking up and thinking that I don’t want to bother with my face or hair or make any effort whatsoever, sometimes it is nice to try and I feel better for it. I really enjoy bringing out the features I like and disguising the ones that I don’t like so much. I have never seen that as an issue. People self improve all the time with fitness, diets and meditation. Why not this? I constantly hear women being put to shame for “concealing flaws” or “changing their faces” purely because they enjoy the art of putting on make up. Most women do not wear make up because they want to “fool people” or because they are unhappy with their looks. They do it to feel good and feel confident – not to hide! So, I will just say this: IT IS NOT A CRIME TO LOOK PRETTY EITHER. Make-up does a lot of wonderful things, however, it isn’t magic. Let’s be honest. You can highlight, contour, conceal and cover until the cows come home but it is still your face. So this stupid criticism aimed at women who improve upon the features they already own, claiming, “this is why men have trust issues” is complete and utter rubbish. You can make yourself look different with make up, but it isn’t plastic surgery. It is still your face, your features, your personality and your body. If a man can’t get to grips with the fact that women do in fact have flaws, he needs to wake up, SMELL THE FOUNDATION and stop being so naive.
Make up for me has been life changing. I know that sounds so ridiculously dramatic, however, from a young age I have suffered with low self-esteem and low confidence. Often, I wouldn’t want to leave the house because I thought I was too ugly to be seen. Puberty is cruel; it happens at the worst possible time. It’s the time when you
want to dress up and impress boys, when you are most body conscious, when you become aware of other girls and compare yourself to them. Then suddenly, HELLO greasy acne, raging hormones and features that don’t quite fit your face or body yet! It isn’t easy.
Make up saves lives. It gives confidence to people and lets them feel semi good about themselves. It makes them feel good enough to go out and socialise and not stay in their room in a pit of depression hiding, thinking they’ll never be good enough. Even if it is used out of insecurity, it’s only because the bar set for this “beauty ideal” is stupidly high, and let’s face it – the bar is an illusion. Nobody is perfect – the women who demonstrate society’s image of “the beauty ideal” are often Photoshopped, airbrushed pictures, and promoting an unhealthy body image. It is actually quite sad that women feel the need to meet this fake idea of perfection. So ultimately, I don’t think make up is a topic that should be up for discussion.
We know opinions are inevitable but make up? It’s a personal choice. I will say one thing that I believe to be true. The majority of women wear make up for themselves. I know girls who are completely confident without it but put it on to feel even better. Who doesn’t like self-improvement? For others, it lets them live a normal, less self-conscious life. So, let it be. There really is no harm done. If you are a man and shocked by how your girl looks without make up and you don’t like her personality enough to stay, then leave her. She probably deserves someone less shallow anyway. Beauty is only skin deep. Someone’s internal character is way more important than how they look. Remember both men and women, you are not obligated to look pretty. Also, you are allowed to look your best at whatever cost. The bottom line is, whatever route you take, do it for you. Not to fit in with society.
Featured Image by Getty Images; Brushes Image by Tumblr; Make up Image by BtyBlogger