Nowadays, because we’re so critical of how women look, girls who don’t wear makeup are often considered “brave and courageous” for not “conforming” to the social standards of female beauty. Really? “Oh that Jenny she is a real hero for not wearing eyeliner! But that Sandy sure is insecure for wearing lip gloss!” It doesn’t make any sense at all. If women are rewarded for being done up, why are they still being labeled as having self-esteem issues? And if those girls who don’t want to wear makeup are seen as brave, why don’t we reward them with bigger paychecks? My head is spinning, too.
I thought we were passed this kind of thinking. After all, decades ago the Feminist Movement called to our attention: Why the hell are we girls painting our faces every day? No—why are we expected to? The “expected” part is the important part because it means that any girl who doesn’t wear makeup is allowed to be stigmatized, judged or excluded for choosing not to. I don’t want anyone forcing me into a box just because I happened to be born with lady parts—do you?Today, us gals aren’t (supposed to be) as concerned about how we’re expected to look. We’ve risen above doing the opposite of what “we are told” (i.e. some feminists would stop shaving their legs or wearing bras) just to make a statement against oppression. And some women and girls wear makeup and shave their legs because they actually like how they feel when they do—it’s not always for dudes! Whether you wear makeup or don’t, whether you dress revealing or modest, it really doesn’t matter! Women have brains and are capable of making decisions without it meaning they want male attention and if they do want it, so what? At least that’s the way things are supposed to be. . .
Society seems to have two strong opinions about women: We expect them to look a certain way (like model/actress/pop stars) and we reward them for it. But we are also taught to believe that anyone who cares about their looks is insecure, superficial, and weak! Miley Cyrus (and actually, all female celebs) can be praised for looking like a babe (amongst other talents) and simultaneously be criticized for wanting to look like a babe! Too fat means she isn’t doing her job. Too thin means she must have a mental disorder.
This shiz is annoying. Does anyone care what men look like this much?!
So what do I do? Do I wear makeup and inadvertently uphold the shameful expectations our society has imposed on women—even though, heck, sometimes I just want to rock a bright lip color? Do I not wear makeup (which I get a lot of joy out of) just to protest those standards? I don’t know.
What I do know is that I am sick of having to think about this and discuss it. I am sick of debating about slut shaming, weight, and Photoshop. It shouldn’t be an issue anymore. Makeup should be a choice as meaningless as having chocolate or strawberry ice cream for dessert. There are so many more important issues women have to face because of ignorance: the struggle for abortion rights, rape, and sex trafficking. Sigh. People should be able to look however they want. It shouldn’t be an indicator of insecurity, it should be a sign of self-expression. If my makeup is supposed to be my choice then why do I feel judged whether I wear it or don’t?!
Do you wear makeup? Do you think people treat you different when you wear and when you don’t? Let us know in the comments!