How to be makeup free in a society that pressures artificial perfection…
It’s no secret or it might be shockingly new to you, that if you have a homogeneous look on Instagram, you are more likely to generate more likes and shares than your counterparts who don’t relish in that process. That is, a clone-like technique of decorating one’s face to have an all too familiar cartoon-like flawless, concealer and foundation based skin, penciled in eyebrows, heavy, eccentric yet glamorous eye makeup, highlights that shine bright like diamonds and facial sculpting aka contouring that may or may not alter one’s natural appearance. Disclaimer: this is not to say, everyone on Instagram is partaking in this cloning experiment.
These observations clearly demonstrate the existing hypocritical stance society continues to take on this subject of makeup vs no makeup conundrum on social media. For example, on Instagram, a makeup wearing post conjures several likes however there may be lurking comments suggesting the person looks better without makeup. Consequently a barefaced post will engage less users and might generate comments such as ‘maybe try some makeup’. It is important to consider societal views on cosmetics, creativity of the post and the audience when making these comparisons. Social experiments somehow indicate that less is better however this in itself is debatable as evidenced by the disparity in ‘likes’.
The point of this post is to share some tips for those of us that want to stay true to our limited makeup wearing habits. Out of 365 days, the probability of me wearing makeup is roughly 65/365. Those 65 days are reserved for special events, nights out, occasional dramatic yet endurable bad days. After years of soul searching and a previous blog post about this crisis, I still have my flaws (dark circles under my eyes and occasional acne attacks) however I still prefer my stripped down face over my makeup enhanced version. Without further rambling, here are the tips.
Scenario based solutions:
1.Feeling pressured by other people (women or men) to beat, bake or cake your face?
Remember why it is that you limit wearing makeup (e.g. time, financial constraints, less acne breakouts or just pure love for your all natural appearance)
Establish why it is important for you to maintain individuality by not conforming
Surround yourself with supportive and like minded people that accept you, imperfections and all
2.Society pressuring you to achieve artificial perfection?
Again remind yourself the reasons why you are not conforming to these pressures e.g. increased self-love & confidence. Remember you are and always will be good enough in your eyes and whoever else wants to see it
Continue to nurture self-love, awareness, confidence and acceptance, dare to be different, and embrace any intrinsic and natural imperfections.
Whilst it is a shame that limiting the amount of makeup you wear or being bare faced is considered bravery in this day and age, it could be inspiring to others to be bold with their decisions
Unravel years of conditioning that enforced that the only way to be beautiful is through facial reconfiguration. Starting from childhood: opt for dolls that have racial and body type/shape diversity and don’t wear makeup. For your current developmental stage, consider limiting your exposure to unrealistic beauty standards, follow and promote diversity
3.Not generating as many likes on social media platforms compared to makeup wearers?
Social media is at times deceptive as people post their best version at that given time. Even successful social media elites attest that the amount of heavy face decorating is to captivate audiences, a creativity outlet and not a norm in their day to day life (with exceptions of course).
Target a different audience or follow other naturalistas and empowering individuals
Take a break from these platforms if they are starting to negatively impact the way you feel about your gorgeous natural self because social media is notorious for inducing lowered self-esteem
4.Someone told you, you look better with makeup?
Assertively inform the person that this statement has insulted/ offended you, if it has.
Try to understand that your peers are entitled to their opinion.
Whilst some people might be conditioned, conformed to the archaic norm of societal perfection or unaware that people do have a choice to be bare-faced or wear makeup, you can take this opportunity to have an open discussion, sharing views on why you choose not to wear makeup
5.When you were wearing makeup someone once told you ‘you don’t have to wear makeup’ but when you stopped wearing makeup they told you ‘you look better with makeup’
Referring to the scenario 4, again be assertive when informing them about how that comment made you feel and remember they are entitled to their opinion
Remember there is a lot of hypocrisy when it comes to the topic of makeup. Where it should be regarded as a continuum where a woman can interchange wearing and not wearing makeup. It is assumed that one has to stick to one end of the spectrum. You can take this opportunity to facilitate an open discussion about this
The moral of the story is, people have a CHOICE to wear or not to wear makeup. Whatever one’s decision is, accept it without shaming, rudely or sarcastically questioning their decision. If you feel inclined to ask, there are sensitive and effective ways to initiate a discussion of this topic. Remember there is a continuum and women are free to move from one end of the spectrum to the other as they wish.