It’s no secret that women are under a lot of pressure to look their best every day. Don’t get me wrong, men are, too. But as a woman, I see and feel the pressure much more than I see the pressure on men, so it seems more appropriate for me to discuss the former.
One big culprit of this pressure is makeup. It helps cover up flaws, accentuate strengths, and all-around look like different people. Some argue that this causes more pressure on women to look their best. They say that we should boycott makeup and rock the natural look, embracing our bodies as they are.
Here’s my issue with that point: it’s all-encompassing. They’re trying to create a new standard of beauty, but at the same time they’re alienating the people who genuinely enjoy wearing makeup.
Here’s the thing, though: we shouldn’t care. We need to wear makeup because we want to, not because men want us to. And if you don’t want to wear makeup? Also a great option! As long as it’s because you don’t want to, not because a man doesn’t want you to.
There are days I want to wear lots of makeup. Sure, sometimes it’s to hide a stray pimple, but that’s because I’m human. I’ve got an obscene amount of lipstick, and I enjoy rocking pretty much any shade. I keep my eye makeup pretty toned down: just eyeliner and mascara. Sometimes one or the other.
That’s my personal preference. I don’t hate on other women who choose to wear more makeup than me. If they have the patience for it, great! I just prefer to spend that extra time sleeping.
Other days, I don’t wear any makeup. I don’t mean to say I don’t wear makeup on days where I’m feeling good about my skin or anything. There are plenty of days when I’ve got a big pimple in the middle of my forehead, but I don’t really feel like covering it up. (It’s probably because I’m too tired and want to spend that extra time sleeping.)
Again, no shade on anyone who painstakingly covers up all of their blemishes each and every day. If you want to do it, go for it! Just don’t let it take over your life.
I’m over all of this girl-on-girl hate. “She’s wearing too much makeup.” “She doesn’t ever wear makeup.” “She’d be so much prettier if she just wore a little makeup.” “You look so pretty when you’re all done up like this, you should do it more often.” Why does it matter to you? It’s her choice, so respect it.
I’ve got friends who wear a ton of makeup every day, and I’ve got friends who choose not to wear makeup. I have no problem with either choice, because it’s none of my business.
Do you wear makeup? Why or why not? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
Jenn @ Optimization, Actually says
There was a link up a while ago encouraging women to not wear makeup in order to get comfortable seeing themselves without it. I liked the idea of it – being comfortable in your own skin – but not the “results.” I feel like most of the blog posts were all outraged stating things like, “People asked if I was tired” and so on. Or if they rarely wore makeup, they’d complain that when they did wear it people commented on how nice they looked that day.
And I thought… if you’re putting makeup on everyday to enhance your looks and it was hard for you to go one day without, people are probably used to seeing you with it on. Other people thinking you look tired isn’t them deliberately sniping at you and expecting you to wear it. It’s just them realizing you look different and not being sure why. If your eyes normally look bigger, or your skin looks brighter and now for one day it doesn’t, isn’t it a logical assumption that you seem tired? They don’t know what you put on every day or what you’re covering up.
I guess I feel like it’s easy to get less comfortable with how we look naturally when we do wear makeup all the time. And some of that feeling of social pressure isn’t from external sources at all, but our own insecurity at not covering things up if we’re used to presenting a more flawless face to the world. So people should absolutely do what they want, BUT be prepared for the simple fact that whatever you do most often is what people will come to perceive as normal for you. So when you do something different, they might notice and it doesn’t mean that it’s wrong or bad that you changed it up, just that it was noteworthy because it was out of the usual.
That being said (sorry this is so long), I know there are some cases where people really do have expectations for each other, and that’s total BS. But I think we should be careful not to project that mentality on other people when it’s not actually there.
That’s such an interesting point! I’ve never thought of it like that, but it makes total sense. My boyfriend wears dark colors all the time, so I notice when he wears something bright. It’s out of the ordinary, so of course I comment on it.
Thanks for the insight, Jenn! 🙂 Always appreciated!
I’m much like you– sometimes I wear makeup and sometimes I don’t. It just depends on what mood I’m in. I definitely notice the two sides of this though. I think society teaches that we need makeup to feel beautiful. On the other hand, my mom was always sort of anti-makeup– she didn’t wear it and she definitely didn’t teach my sister and I how to use it. As someone that wears makeup based on personal preference of that particular day, I do sometimes feel that judgement from both sides of the spectrum. And as for other women, I couldn’t care less what they do. I’m on the “do what you want because it makes you feel good” train with you.
That’s awesome, Heidi! I love when women feel comfortable enough to do what they want without feeling the need to preach it to every other woman around her. 🙂
Wow! Preach girl! A girl wears makeup for her own self not for others. I don’t wear makeup all the time. I only wear it to school or when a perfect occasion comes up. Honestly, I think makeup gets very annoying and by the end of the day I can’t wait to take it off. I love it though, because it enhances my features and makes me feel put together.
Mikayla | A Seersucker State of Mind.
Yes, I’m the same way! My eyes are very deep-set, so my eyeliner aaaaalways ends up near my eyebrow. I just want to take it off when I get home! haha 🙂
Heather Serra says
I do wear makeup but I feel my prettiest when my face is bare. I know it’s a shock for some to see me without my makeup, but for me, I look in the mirror and I can see the old me…the girl I was before makeup entered my life…the young, carefree gal. I like wearing makeup…or maybe it’s the reaction I get from it. Being a feminist is all about choosing…and I love that.
I LOVE that mentality. Not wearing makeup reminds you of being a young girl. So great!
And Possibly Dinosaurs
Cynthia S says
Women need to do what makes them feel good about themselves for themselves and no one else. That means makeup or not, clothes, style, etc.
Exactly! Some people make clothing choices I wouldn’t choose for myself, but it’s none of my business. 🙂
Shann Eva says
I used to wear make-up everyday. Then, I had kids. I honestly hardly wear it at all anymore. I just don’t have time, and I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I don’t really care what people think. At least most of the time. I do like to wear it when we go out for dinner or on a date, though, because it makes me feel good.
That’s so great! I love that a) you don’t care what people think, and b) you do it because it makes YOU feel good. You’re a rockstar.
I don’t wear makeup often. It throws people when I do wear it.
I’ve got friends like that, too! And friends who are the complete opposite. It throws me off when they don’t wear it! 🙂
I really think that I have a right to wear a makeup if I want to do it. I am a feminist and I really think that women can do whatever they want to do. I love wearing make up, but I can also not to wear it, it’s not a big problem for me. Anyway, wearing or not wearing make up should be always your own decision.
So true! It’s not my choice (or any other person’s choice) if you wear makeup or not. It’s yours! 🙂
Katie @ Doing Dewey says
We need to wear makeup because we want to, not because men want us to. <- great point! I recently was talking about that song, "I'm all about that bass" because I feel like this song could be empowering except for the bit about men preferring women with a "little more booty". It's not OK to be bigger because men like it. It's OK to be bigger if you're OK with being bigger and can be comfortable with yourself. I think the makeup thing is similar. Do it for you 🙂
YES! Exactly. All of these choices should be for you, not people’s perception of you.
Brooke A. Safferman says
I totally agree with you! I think wearing makeup should be for fun, rather than out of necessity! Recently I bought a bright lipstick from Stila (it’s a purplish color! *squeals with delight*) but I was told by my friend that “guys might not like that”… Since when did girls start wearing makeup for guys’ approval!? The way I dress/wear makeup is for me – if a guy can’t appreciate that, then I can’t appreciate him, lol!! :p <3
xoxo, Brooke of The Pink Lyme ( http://www.ThePinkLyme.com )
Exactly! And for the record (not that it should matter…) I think that lipstick sounds awesome! 🙂
A Life of Love and Joy says
I had a baby last August. I can count on ONE hand the number of times I’ve worn makeup. I just don’t have time. I’d rather spend the extra ten minutes with my little one before going to work.
I love that! People prioritize different things for different reasons. 🙂
Trish Nicholas says
I usually don’t wear make-up. H tells me I look beautiful no matter what, every single day, so it’s definitely not because of him. Most days I just don’t feel like it or see the need. I admit that I’ve found it offensive when I’ve done my makeup and the response from people is things like ‘OMG – you are GORGEOUS! Why don’t you wear makeup more?’ immediately followed by ‘I mean, you’re pretty all the time, but DAMN girl’. I appreciate that people think I look with makeup, but please, think about what you’re saying before you open your mouth, lol.
Exactly! Back-handed compliments suck. I appreciate the thought, but come on! 🙂
Julie Claveau | xFallenmoon says
Gosh do I know what you mean. So sad.
Brittney Embree says
I am definitely not a girl who always wears make up, it just depends on the day. I have never felt the need to have to wear makeup, maybe that is just because I have never cared all that much about what people think of me. Well, ok maybe I care, but if they choose to judge me I stop caring quickly! I wear make up more because it is fun and it is another way to express my personality! Plus, on early mornings, I like wearing eye liner because it tricks the people around me into thinking I am actually awake when really I am just a zombie! haha
Haha same about the eyeliner in the early morning!