So I need to reflect,
Lately I have been having an internal battle regarding the use of make-up. On myself! (before anyone gives me a lecture on make-up shaming). I do understand that make-up has empowering and self-esteem boosting powers as it can transform or enhance people’s features. Since I live on instagram and snapchat (my use is not as dramatic as I am making it), I recently noticed that most women on this social media platform are wearing make-up 24/7 and doning what Refinery29 coined as the instagram face. You may ask, why exaggerate and choose to say 24/7? Well it’s a great selling point but in all honesty I’ve known and seen individuals who will never ever show their natural faces to the public and in extreme cases, even to their friends. Is it my business that they wear make-up for a considerable duration though? No. So why am I mentioning it? Because a part of me was curious as to what their reasons for wearing make-up was which then led me to question my apathy towards make-up.
I started brainstorming ideas that revolved around my self awareness, love and acceptance with my decisions not to wear make-up. This is not to say that people that do wear make-up regularly don’t have these self-loving attributes. Nonetheless, it made sense to me until I had to ask myself ‘then why do contradict myself by wearing make-up to special events or sometimes on my ‘bad days’ if I am so self loving and accepting?’ My answer to that was instantaneous. Simply because I wanted to enhance my features without dramatically changing my look. I want to look and feel good and since everyone will be looking amazing at those events, I too want to shine like star. Reasonable right? Well, I then started questioning myself from a societal perspective. That is, are there pressures for females to look a certain way? Obviously that’s a no brainer since I’ve been preaching about it in my last posts.
But it really had me thinking, with all these incentives and pressures for us females to always be flawless, are we presenting a facade to the public? Personally, I do think that society has made it acceptable and driven women to present an almost egotistical and narcissistic semblance, seeing that there are a lot of incentives out there that invite and encourage women to attempt to reach this unattainable beauty standard. For instance, movie stars are the epitome of unattainable beauty standards. And even they know it themselves because they are covered in Hollywood grade make-up that takes at least a dozen fire fighters to remove. That was a horrible joke. My point is, there is an exigent psychological toll attached to excessively transforming (please differentiate with enhancing features) your physical appearance with exorbitant make-up wearing. And that psychological turmoil is a mixture of body image insecurities, long term self loathe and disapproval which in turn leads to series of mental instabilities.
But in all honesty, make-up is a blessing and a curse which needs to be applied cautiously (pun intended). If I can advise anyone who rather enjoys an unhealthy excessive amount of make-up wearing, it’s that you are beautiful the way you are and definitely do not need make-up at all times of your life. The negative consequences of make-up on one’s self esteem can be quite detrimental and it is definitely an area I am passionate about. In saying that, those who love make-up should continue to do so with that same fiery passion and not be deterred by the likes of myself. To end on a personal note, I believe in self-acceptance of one’s natural face because at the end of the day, if you don’t find security in your stripped down version, where will you find it.