The concept of makeup has always baffled me. There are many women all across the world who feel the need to paint their faces with pore-clogging products in order to feel good about themselves. Makeup has become daily routine because it’s a big part of “getting ready” in the morning for a lot of women. Makeup, for many, is essential before leaving the house because society has created an expectation that enhancing the features makes a woman feminine. This idea has been spread through various forms of media such as magazines, commercials, television, and films.
Although I now love the way my face looks naturally, despite a break out here or there, I wasn’t always confident enough to walk out into the world every day with a bare face. I used to heavily depend on makeup, almost never leaving the house without it because I hated the reflection I saw in the mirror. Maybe I over-exaggerated my least favorite features at the time and wallowed too much in discontent, however I feel that my exposure to beautiful women both on tv and in magazines greatly influenced the way I felt both about myself, as well as the concept of beauty in general.
When I started middle school, I felt as though I needed to wear makeup for a number of reasons. I thought that it would make me appear older, as well as make boys notice me. I saw that a lot of girls were wearing thick eyeliner, several coats of mascara, and streaky foundation that was several shades darker than the rest of the body.
I was very self conscious because I had a lot of acne for my age. I thought that wearing heavy foundation would make my face appear pimple-free, and I added eye makeup to take the attention away from the cakiness of the foundation around my blemishes. Makeup made me feel a little better about myself in the sense that I was doing everything I could to be as beautiful as all of the other girls at school. I was constantly trying new products in hopes of stumbling upon a magical solution to all of my superficial flaws.
Yet no matter how hard I tried to cover everything up, I still didn’t feel beautiful compared to those who had clear skin and perfect makeup. My appearance really mattered to me because I felt that I had to look a certain way due to what the media advertized to be beautiful. Putting makeup on became more of a chore and less of something that was supposed to boost my self esteem. I couldn’t leave the house without makeup on because it always felt like people were staring at me or silently judging.
Everything became ugly. Every feature on my face seemed wrong, or too big, or out of place. The people I watched on tv just seemed so much prettier. They knew exactly how to do their makeup in a way that enhanced the beauty they already had. I thought that’s what a woman should be. Beautiful. So beautiful because she had such a good body, such a pretty face, great hair, white teeth. This, I thought, is why boys didn’t like me. Why I never had been asked out on any dates. I was ugly, and all of those other girls were so perfect.
Society has a clear standard of what beauty is, a concept which is often a based on aesthetic. According to What is the Real Definition of Beauty from the Huffington Post, author Lexi Herrick says, “It’s been the moments I felt beauty because of happiness, which was not derived from my appearance at all.” I wish I had realized this years before because I wasted so much time worrying about what others thought of me and whether or not I was meeting the “beauty standard.”
In the summer of 2016, I decided to completely eliminate makeup from my lifestyle all together. I felt after wearing it on and off throughout high school that it never really served a true purpose in my life because I was constantly covering up the things that truly made me beautiful.
I was initially inspired by a video I saw on my Facebook feed, as well as on Youtube called Tree Change Dolls I The Feed from SBS2Australia. It is about a mother who removed the makeup and flashy clothes from Bratz Dolls, replacing it with a natural look and more modest clothing. The features added to these dolls include freckles, minor blemishes, unplucked eyebrows and naturally pigmented lips. Sonia Singh, the creator of what she called “Tree Change Dolls,” started this trend because she felt that young girls were faced with unrealistic beauty expectations, especially for their young age.
The creation of these dolls really changed my perspective on makeup because I realized that it covered up all of the natural beauty we all possess. The Bratz dolls looked much more like a normal girl looked like without all of the overdone makeup, and I couldn’t believe what a difference it had made in the doll’s appearance.
There are many advantages, in my opinion, to not wearing makeup. It allows your skin to breathe, it makes you a lot more confident being yourself, and it saves a lot of time, money, and worry. I don’t think that every woman should stop wearing makeup because for many, it is a very big part of their lives. There are people who find enjoyment in makeup because it allows them to express themselves and try new looks, so I’m not trying to say that makeup is completely bad. I just believe that for me, personally, makeup took too much time, money, and work for my liking, as well as the fact that I did not want to feel obligated to wear it for the sole fact that I am a woman.
While makeup can in fact add to or enhance one’s physical beauty, it is not the only way for women to be beautiful, nor is it the only outlet for creativity. Not wearing makeup has helped me rediscover myself, and being complimented for looking pretty when I’m in my true skin is the best compliment I could ever hope to receive.