Read my new CultNoise article on how women and young girls are shamed for wearing ‘too much’ makeup. We’ll wear as much or as little makeup as we like, but thanks for your input.
Recently I’ve noticed, especially on social media, that making a statement along the lines of “I love makeup” seems to be associated with negative connotations. If you say you enjoy buying, trying and wearing everything from lip liners to contour kits, people often label you as being one of three things: vain, insecure or false.
It’s upsetting to see memes like this one that attempt to shame girls for using coverup. I almost pity people who make these images because you must feel quite bad about yourself to have to shame other people in order to feel better. Also, to whoever made this, I highly doubt that anyone would actually want to go out on a date with you when you sit at your computer making memes to try to shame girls into not using makeup. I mean, get a job or a hobby or something. Is this really the best thing you can do with your time?
Alongside this new makeup shaming debate, sparked by beauty vlogger NikkiTutorials posting a video on YouTube entitled The Power of Makeup, women are already criticised daily for pretty much everything we could possibly do.
Saying no to a man? You friend-zoned him. Saying yes to a man? You’re a slut. Wearing a long skirt? Prude. Wearing a short skirt? Whore. Not wearing makeup? Ugly. Wearing makeup? Faker.
I could go on…
So, instead of shaming women for, you know, everything, here’s a radical thought: a woman can do whatever she likes. She can wear as much or as little makeup as she wants, she can dress how she wants and she can do whatever she wants and, frankly, it’s nobody’s business.
If all someone cares about is how a woman looks, with or without makeup, then they are the one with the problem. Women aren’t just pretty things, we actually have brains, opinions, determination, passion, strength, dreams, likes, dislikes and personality too. (Shocking to some, I know.)
When it comes to makeup, I’ve personally always liked experimenting with it. I don’t remember ever feeling pressure to wear makeup. I just remember being fascinated with eyeliner and being obsessed with trying to get my cat eyes to be symmetrical. In some ways, I suppose I do use makeup to mask a few insecurities. I’m naturally very pale so I sometimes feel like I look ill without a little colour on my face. And my complexion hasn’t been great since I was in my early teens so I do use makeup to cover up blemishes.
I’m not Beyonce, I didn’t wake up like this and that’s okay. The thing is, I actually like makeup! I like the ritual of applying moisturiser, foundation, concealer etc. I like scrolling through Instagram and stalking makeup artists to steal their tips and tricks. I admire girls who are amazing at doing makeup (it takes years of practise to get it right and it’s essentially a fine art, in my opinion). I like putting on heavy eyeshadow and winged eyeliner and over-lining my lips and wishing I was Kylie Jenner. I just like makeup and I, or any other girl, should never be shamed for that.
On some days, I just put on the bare minimum so I still look natural but on other occasions, I like to whip out my contouring kit and go all out. It just depends what mood I’m in. I’m far from an expert and I’m sure there are plenty of things I do wrong but if I’m happy, that’s all that matters.
Another side of this argument that I find ludicrous is seeing some men on social media posting messages along the lines of “women wear makeup to try to impress us”.
I hate to disappoint you, but not all women wear makeup for men. Our lives do not revolve around perfecting our exterior in order to find a lifelong mate. I mean, do you really think we believe that wearing gold eyeshadow will somehow make a man think: “Oh my god, this mystical Goddess has golden eyelids. How is this possible? I must have her!”? Hm, not so much.
We wear makeup and dress up for ourselves and for other women. What a lot of people can’t seem to grasp is that if we wanted to dress for men, we would just walk around naked all the time.
This whole makeup shaming ‘trend’ is utterly ridiculous. What if women started shaming men for the cosmetic things they do? First of all, plenty of men wear makeup as well, should we start shaming them for that? Should men who have beards be shamed into shaving because all that hair covers their face? Should we shame men for dying their hair? Should we shame balding men for getting hair transplants to boost their confidence? Of course not because that would be horrible! So why should it be accepted to attack women and young girls for wearing makeup?
If you want to wear cosmetics because you’re insecure and putting on some mascara and a bit of lippy makes you feel good about yourself, go for it. If you like to wear makeup simply because it’s fun, go for it. And if you don’t want to wear makeup at all, don’t feel pressured into doing so.
Everyone deserves to feel confident about their appearance and nobody should ever be shamed for the things they choose to do to feel good about themselves.