Perfect Faces In An Imperfect World: Targeting The Stigma Around Wearing Make Up
When I was 17 years old and just starting university I used to wear make-up everyday. I never had bad skin, but I was very aware of looking younger than other girls. Even when I tried to look older, I was always the one rejected from clubs. Make-up made me feel more confident about myself, like I could speak to all these new people around me without them noticing my blushes or how I looked about 12 without mascara. And I remember the first day I decided not to wear make-up in this new place. A guy in my class asked me if I was ill.
Nowadays I don’t feel the need to create a new face everyday (because honestly I don’t have the time), but when I want to I can spend an hour in front of my mirror with my collection in front of me. I’ve learnt that make-up is way more than a mask. To me, it’s just really fun to create new looks and feel like I can transform into a half-decent looking human being with the help of my Naked Palette. Watching make-up tutorials on YouTube is my preferred form of escapism – what can I say, I’m a 21st century gal.
I still use make-up when I am in situations where I will meet new people, and make-up is definitely a really powerful tool for building self-confidence. Does it make me an airhead? Does it mean I don’t have anything better to do? Obviously not. It’s a dangerous, ignorant and frankly offensive assumption to equate make-up usage with any sort of personality trait that might have girls labelled as ‘sluts’ for overfilling their lips. C’mon people, there are bigger things to worry about, and Kylie Jenner looks hot!
People are often told whether they should or should not wear make-up, especially younger girls. There is still a really bizarre rhetoric created by fathers, brothers, boyfriends, that continues to dictate the way women present themselves in public, without having a proper grasp about what this focus on physicality entails for young women. People judge and people unfortunately use such judgement as a basis to demean or discourage you from expressing yourself, whether intentionally or not. Patriarchal oppression? Alive and well, friends – lock up your daughters! But remember, no-one should tell you what you can or cannot look like.
When I was 17, I didn’t think about my appearance much beyond creating an aesthetic that would look good to other people. I feel now that I accept and respect my own opinion enough to go out looking how I want to. Sometimes I wear make-up because I can and I like the way it looks. Sometimes I don’t wear any make-up because I can and IDGAF.