Then I became a gymnast and dancer where makeup was used as part of every performance. I continued to be fascinated with makeup and how it could enhance beauty and be used to tell a story. Using glitter in a cheerleading routine added a little something. Dramatic eye makeup on stage made your character stand out. Makeup has always been a part of my life, and I’ve never considered it to be something bad. Makeup is an art form in its own right.
A letter has been making waves on the internet over the past few days. It’s from a dad to his daughter, written in the makeup aisle at a Target. (I love Target’s makeup aisle!) It’s a letter that has good intentions, and I know my dad has always tried to make me feel like I am special and worthy and beautiful in a world where the media is a source of constant pressure.
But the letter makes it seem like women who wear makeup have given up control of themselves. It makes it seem like you can’t be a strong woman if you decide you like your nails painted and your lips red. This father notes that the makeup aisle is “oppressive” and is a “gauntlet of institutionalized shame.” He also goes on to say, “The world wants you to take your clothes off. Please keep them on.” I know that dads don’t want to think about their daughters being naked, but that’s a choice too.
This letter makes it seem like all women who wear makeup are insecure and that we are helpless against the glimmer of some eye shadow.
The problem is that wearing makeup, just like shaving your body hair or straightening your curls or picking out your clothes for the day, is a choice. It’s a personal choice, and no one should tell you otherwise.
People always ask me if I’m comfortable going out in public without makeup. The answer is yes. I go out sans makeup quite frequently. But the choice I make every day to put it on has nothing to do with anyone else. It has to do with me. I love wearing makeup. I love trying new looks. I get excited when I get a new lipstick or palette or eyeliner. Wearing makeup makes me happy.
I don’t wear makeup because I’m uncomfortable with my appearance when I don’t have makeup on. I wear makeup because it’s fun for me, and I genuinely enjoy it. The fact that makeup can be used to cover up a blemish or bags when I’m looking tired is great, but I’m also perfectly okay with facing the outside world bare-faced.
For whatever reason, we can’t win. If you don’t wear makeup, you’re made to feel like you’re doing something wrong. Like you’re not taking care of yourself enough. If you do wear makeup, you’re made to feel like you’re a fraud or that you’re insecure. Some people use makeup because they feel insecure about how they look. And you know what? That’s okay too. Doing things that make you feel more confident are okay, at least as long as you’re not harming yourself or putting your health at risk.
You should never let anyone tell you that you need to wear makeup. You should also never let anyone tell you not to wear makeup. No amount of lipstick or mascara will change the fact that you make your own choices.
What do you think about makeup? Do you wear it? Why or why not? Tell us in the comments!