Why Makeup Shouldn’t Be a Controversial Topic

These past weeks two videos from beauty Youtubers have been prominent in the social media. On the one hand, Nikkie de Jager posted a video entitled The Power of Makeup as an argument explaining why girls and women wear makeup, by putting some makeup on half of her face was the symbol of embracing herself, both “naturally” and “not naturally“. Nikkie also explains how powerful makeup is in terms of transforming oneself to a certain extent. Breaking through, the video accounted for every woman who wears makeup. On the other hand, well-known Youtuber Em Ford lately published a short film,You Look Disgusting, sharing the comments she received online after posting pictures of herself not wearing any makeup. This footage not only emphasizes the hate emerging on social media but also spreads the message of accepting ourselves with our flaws (Ford suffered from severe acne). Both videos are striking and high-powered thanks to the authencity Nikkie de Jager and Em Ford have shown. Moreover, it can take quite some courage to share them considering the constant increase of hate proliferated on the Internet nowadays. Their aim might not be the same, yet I wanted to make a parallel on the controversy that makeup tends to engender today. 

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WHAT MAKE-UP REALLY IS

Makeup is undeniably linked to self-image and reflection. Collins dictionary establishes the noun “makeup” as:

1. cosmetics, such as powder, lipstick, etc, applied to the face to improve its appearance
2. a. the cosmetics, false hair, etc, used by an actor to highlight his features or adapt his appearance
    b. the art or result of applying such cosmetics.

Makeup is widely used in professions such as acting and modeling. Film directors often use this tool’s power to make a truer representation of reality, and this not only in biopics. Theatrical makeup has literally made miracles if we take the examples of the legendary Ralph Fiennes as Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter saga, or Nicole Kidman as twentieth-century author Virginia Woolf (you can check more of these spectacular transformations by following this link). This aspect shows beyond doubt how fun of an activity makeup is. As Nikkie states, why should there be any rules to makeup? Why couldn’t young women wear makeup if they’re willing to? Indeed, there’s a certain restriction that is put to it. For instance, as children we were invited to carnivals wearing animal makeup to look like our favorite animals, lion or cat.Yet, a few years later some schools restrict girls from wearing any makeup, and parents forbid them too. Why should makeup be an art limited to movie sets and modeling agencies? 

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Before/After: Nicole Kidman as Virginia Woolf in The Hours (2002)

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The main aspect of the definition that is put at stake today is one part of the definition: “improve appearance“. Derived from body-shaming, the expression “makeup-shaming” has arisen. Wearing makeup is more and more criticized on social media where new generations advocate for “natural beauty over false eyelashes“. From my own insight on the subject, I have seen more guys than girls shaming makeup but  I haven’t checked any statistics (and unfortunately girls do too). This is really sad coming from a generation that claims that we all should be ourselves no matter our gender, sexual orientation, clothing style or taste in music. The “Just be yourself” motto regrettably turned into “do not wear anything that is not natural or you will become some fake person”. Some people thus consider makeup as a mere trick to attract men. Nonetheless, plenty of women reckon that makeup enables them to embody their inner confidence. Feeling good about yourself surely comes from within, however it can be enhanced thanks to the image you perceive of your own self. 

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MAKE-UP IS ABOUT YOU

I would not make any judgement but I assume that putting makeup on has made British Youtuber Em Ford more self-confident. Nevertheless, her video still points out how even when wearing makeup she received mean comments. From one hand people praise these who chose not to wear makeup, but they also comment on those who chose to wear some. This is a proof of how inconsistent human beings/our society can be. It doesn’t only apply to this activity. It is extended to fashion diktats, ways of acting and sometimes even to our own personality. “If you wanna go for that red lips and crazy bold eyes, just do it“, Nikkie de Jager urges us, also highlighting that it is not about never being “content with your own self” and getting rid of our insecurities by wearing makeup but it’s about doing it if we love it. 

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Nikkie states that the three reasons why makeup is so negatively perceived in today’s society are because women supposedly use it:

  • to look attractive to men
  • because of their insecurities
  • because they don’t love themselves.

Therefore, many people claim that preventing young girls to wear makeup is a way for them to learn to accept themselves, something they could not do if they wore makeup. I believe this argument is strongly inaccurate. As I asserted previously, I believe that self-confidence and self-image come from within. You must learn to accept your flaws but also live with them and if you want to make them less apparent with makeup so you can live better with them, why the hell couldn’t you?  You have the absolute right to love yourself with and without makeup, and it is possible

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This is about loving yourself and doing what you love and what you want to. You should not take into consideration others’ opinion. And you ought to stick to the rule I love it, I do it. Even if your sister, your best friend or a stranger comments unfavorably, take pride in loving something others don’t. Never let them go in your way. Taking care of yourself will always be your own business. Don’t let them ruin your aspirations whether it be about makeup, clothes or anything else!

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13 thoughts on “Why Makeup Shouldn’t Be a Controversial Topic

  1. Hi,
    I found you in the Community Pool. You said you wanted feedback. I find your post interesting since I didn’t know makeup was controversial. I also like your relevant quote by Roosevelt at the end.
    You said you would check mine out as well. Here is the link:
    http://wp.me/P5jxvv-1
    Thanks, nice to meet you.
    Janice

  2. Personally I hate makeup but looking for a new job has prompted me to wear a smidgeon of makeup to interviews and examinations, things like that. And I only do it to improve people’s perceptions of me, even though I think I have a perfectly nice face (okay, I need a haircut. sue me.) even if I am a bit low-maintenance. Dumb social pressures.

    I don’t know if you’ve considered/done it but you might want to consider writing a post about discrimination against overweight women in the job market. Do a little research; it’s a worthwhile and controversial topic.

    1. I understand your point of view.
      Thanks for the suggestion, will do some research to handle the topic correctly. And thanks for reading!

      Giulia x

  3. Who knew makeup could be so controversial?! I am personally not into makeup and can’t say i know too much about it, however it is up to the individual. I guess as long as you’re happy, that is all that matters 😀

  4. I am not a fan of make up but it ticks me off whenever men say we do it for them. Because I for one, do it for my self (and my fellow ladies whenever we’re having fun) anyway, great topic!

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