Why You Shouldn’t Let Anyone Tell You Not To Wear Makeup

As a long-time beauty lover and somewhat expert on all things hair and makeup related, I always stand by a person’s choice to wear makeup or not. I started playing with makeup at a young age. When I was about two years old, I got into my mom’s makeup collection and colored my entire face in with my mom’s favorite red lipstick. I was just always intrigued with it.

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!

Makeup is fine, but this beauty trend is not

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  • Bella

    My dad won’t let me wear it to school and makes me feel guilty when I wear it on the weekends. I want him to realise that I don’t want to wear it to impress boys, I want wear it because it makes me feel good and automatically boosts my confidence. I wear it to school any way behind his back but I still want him to understand how unhappy it makes me.

  • TSW

    Too much *BOLD* was used in the article, so instead of adding emphasis it became meaningless. This was a strain on the eyes (and mind!) to read.

  • Emma

    I think that people wearing makeup because they are insecure about their appearance should be allowed to wear makeup without being criticized. It seems like people think it’s more fine that you wear makeup if you like wearing makeup, but if you use it to cover yourself up it’s suddenly wrong. I wear makeup because i’m insecure about my face and i get more confident with makeup, but people often tell me that i would be prettier without makeup. I get annoyed because hey, my face my choice. 🙂

  • HannahAvila

    My parents don’t allow me to wear makeup because they say it’s not age-appropriate and I’m 15 yrs old. It depends on how you do your makeup. Makeup can be age-appropriate. My parents say I have to be age-appropriate in everything like the clothes and makeup I wear. I understand that they want me to look good but I feel restricted. Who cares if it doesn’t look good or not. I feel that I can’t experiment with clothes or makeup and that I can’t express my personal creativity. Even if I look back and regret some of the things I wore or the make-up I did it’s ok. It happens to everyone.That’s the thing about being a teenager you experiment with different clothes or makeup to find your personal style.

  • Jennifer Hunt

    I am so glad I found this article. Nobody has said what this author is saying enough. This is what needs to be said about makeup.
    I go to university with a lot of ‘anti-materialistic’ people, which is fantastic, but I know deep down that being one of the only girls in my class who has manicured nails and cat eyeliner on the daily is probably not what everyone is used to. I only know this because of an innocent comment someone once made about being materialistic.
    Wearing makeup in the way that I do (and in the same way I’m sure many others do) is not materialistic. It is my choice to do so and my business only. Because I GENUINELY enjoy it.
    I had some major insecurity issues as a teenager, but being 24 now I have since overcome them long ago. I don’t always go out with makeup on, and I am comfortable with how I look when I don’t have it on, unless I haven’t had a good nights sleep or haven’t been very healthy – then I feel like I need it and there is nothing wrong with that.
    My boyfriend is always telling me not to wear makeup and how he ‘doesn’t like girls who wear makeup’. The fact is, is that he met me the exact way that I am. A makeup wearing girl and it is not his right to try to change that. His opinion is not welcome, just as it isn’t welcome when I pick out something to wear. It’s my choice, and girls – don’t ever let a guy tell you anything about what YOU choose to wear. Own it.

  • Hannah Therese F. Avila

    When I told my sister that one Direction is coming out with a makeup line she said shouldn’t they encourage fans to wear less makeup. Nobody should enforce you to wear less makeup or not. One Direction isn’t better because they encourage their fans to wear less makeup you are not better because you wear makeup. Makeup is a choice. Makeup can be fun and can be used as creative expression. If you’re going to wear makeup wear it or yourself. If you don’t want to wear makeup that is also fine.

  • Alice

    I really needed this article. I LOVE makeup, but my best friend is anti anything unnatural. I am constantly being shamed by her for wearing makeup. Shes always saying stuff like she doesn’t need makeup to make her feel beautiful and not everything is about looks. Makeup really is just an art that you do on your body. I love how you can totally transform your look depending on whatever mood your in.

  • LeenaLoo

    This dad has no business telling her what to do. When a young girl is exploring her world, the last person who should dictate what she does is her dad…Guys don’t understand what being a teenage girl like! What if she wants to feel sexy? That’s private! None of Daddy’s business!

  • J

    I love this article so much. I have to deal ith people constantly telling me everyday that im insecure and I shouldnt wear make-up and all this BULL. I get so tired with the self proclaiming girls that flaunt how they dont wear it and think they deserve some kind of award. I cant thank you enough. I WEAR makeup because I want to. Not because I HAVE to. I make my own choices not anyone else. Man I just love this. 🙂

  • tay1035

    AMEN. AMEN. AMEN.
    I wear makeup because *I* want to, NOT because of anybody else. Just like I dress the way I do because *I* like it. It’s not to impress anyone, especially not MEN. With the dawn of gender equality it’s like the world has forgotten that while men and women are equal, they are DIFFERENT. Our thought process is different, the way we process our emotions is different, and our anatomy is obviously different. I am just as capable as a man, but that doesn’t mean I have to BE one. Wearing makeup is a feminine thing, but femininity ISN’T bad. People need to get this through their brains. I do things because I want to, not because I feel “pressure from society” or feel like I need to live up to OTHER PEOPLE’S expectations of me. I make my own decisions, and no man, not even my own father, is going to tell me why I should or shouldn’t put makeup on my face.

  • Tahnee

    I like you, wear makeup because I think it’s fun, I love to try new things and I like a little shimmer everyonce in awhile. I am not ashamed to leave my house barefaced, In the summer I go out barefaced or with only a little mascara on more often than not.

  • Amyrixx

    I always wear makeup. Not because I feel awkward without it, but because it enhances what i already got. I love how contouring can make all the difference, while still showing you. And how a little mascara can make your eyes pop.

  • gilda

    bless this article.
    it was kind of sad how the dad was telling her not to let society tell her what to do, yet he’s telling her to not wear make-up, or do her nails, or to keep her clothes on.
    all of those things are her choice, and as long as she doesn’t choose them for the wrong reason they are her choice to make

  • Sophie

    I quite frequently get made fun of at school because of my choice not to wear makeup. I go to a small, private school, and I am one of nine girls in my grade. All the other girls wear makeup, while I chose not to. I have extremely sensitive skin, making it hard for me to find makeup I can wear without causing a break out. I’m naturally pale, which also prompts the question of “Why don’t you just use bronzer?”. It took me sometime to get comfortable in my skin, but I do recognize that it’s my body and my choice. I used to use my sensitive skin as my excuse for not wearing makeup when talking to people, but now I honestly say “I don’t like wearing it”. I’ve also responded to the bronzer question with “It’s called porcelain and I’m rockin’ it!”. That typically shuts people up quickly. I still don’t judge you if you wear makeup, just like I won’t judge you it you don’t. I honestly don’t see how it can affect people’s views on others as much as society makes it seem that it does. I think we should just let people make their own decisions and leave it at that.

  • GracieLou

    I totally agree! I am 13 and wear make up all the time. Nobody should tell anyone else what to do, or that what they are doing is wrong.

  • Beverly

    Amen! I love wearing makeup! When my cat eyes look really good it makes me happy. Red lipstick adds a boost of confidence when I need it but in no way do I try to cover up who I truly am with makeup. I wear it because it is part of my personality. Red lipstick and flicked out eyeliner are my trademark. I’m not ashamed of who I am and I don’t think wearing makeup makes me any less of a strong, confident, and independent woman. Thank you for writing this.

  • Rachel

    Honestly, I think the letter was fine. The father actually wrote “I will surely understand if someday makeup is important to you”. It seemed that his main point was that society and the beauty industry put a huge amount of pressure on women to look perfect and that she shouldn’t feel that she has to wear makeup, not that she shouldn’t. I agree that makeup is a personal choice, but the letter didn’t really say it wasn’t.

  • Lola

    i love this, this is exactly what some people need to understand! 🙂 thank you so much this is what is true about any one who decides not or to wear make up 🙂

  • Sweettreat

    Another thing is that makeup might change the way you look but it cannot change who you really are. There is no makeup for personality. By the sound of that letter you mentioned, I think the dad should realize that his daughter is still going to be the daughter he knows no matter if she’s wearing makeup or wearing clothes or whatever.