In the world of beauty, we deal with a lot of contradictions, the biggest of which is probably tension between using a ton of products versus trying to get back to a bare face. And while we haven’t added “makeup shaming” to the dictionary just yet, the idea is that one person makes another feel humiliation or distress based on the level of their makeup. At the end of the day, our philosophy is that y’all should wear as much or as little makeup as you damn well please—no shaming allowed. Writer Steph’s story about putting makeup-shamers in their place is very poignant. She shares her experiences and thoughts here…..
Photography by Paola Kudacki
Makeup shaming is such a twisted quagmire of double-standard BS. Women either wear too much makeup, which is admonished as flashy, “sad” or trying too hard or women who don’t wear makeup are lectured about daring to be ugly in public, not trying enough, looking tired or sick and in general offending the world with their plain visage.
Let’s get real. Any makeup-wearing, beauty-interested woman or bare-faced loving babe, has most likely at some point felt the direct or indirect judgement of people who, for whatever reason, have strong opinions on how their faces, hair and body should appear. Heck, it happened to me only a few months back when a female colleague suggested I don’t wear foundation to work as it comes with the assumption that I am trying to impress the men in the office. This stems from a misguided sentiment, rooted in the fallacy that women only wore makeup for male attention, as if only the opinions of men mattered. I will pause for a collective eye-roll. Ugh-as if! It’s time to put that ill-fitting old paradigm to rest once and for all.
As women, we’re constantly faced with people telling us what we “should” and “shouldn’t” do in terms of how we look, think, and act — from the way we dress, to how we do our jobs, to what we’re entitled to do with our bodies. Social media is ripe with memes joking that you “can’t trust a girl with too much makeup,” and there have been a few ridiculous “studies” out there claiming that men prefer women who wear less makeup. With all these unwarranted opinions, I decided it was time to take a step back and understand why women choose to wear makeup in the first place.
As women, we are in charge of our own appearance. We are painting our faces, dressing ourselves, and doing our hair to go about our lives however we feel that we need to or want to on any given day. First and foremost, makeup empowers me. As a frequent sufferer of anxiety, low self-esteem and constant self-criticism, makeup for me has more to do with confidence. I’m not sure that my LB cream, bronzer, and mascara make a huge difference in who I really am-but it makes me greet the day with enthusiasm and promise. Not wearing makeup for me is sort of like forgetting to brush my teeth: it just doesn’t feel right. But that’s just me. And the great thing about my feelings is that they only apply to my life.
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I don’t want to add specific rules about makeup to the list of ingredients women need to succeed. We’ve got enough of those. So here’s a thought: whether you’re a less-is-more kind of person or the “I won’t leave the house without foundation” type, you have every right to do YOU. It’s surprising and disappointing that some people still feel entitled to comment on women’s makeup and bodies. But luckily, we’re in a progressive age that celebrates self-expression and artistry-which, when you think of it, is really what makeup is for.
So next time someone gives you any unwanted, irrelevant feedback about your makeup or body, hit them with this. Start concerning yourself with things that matter than what women put on their faces; because it honestly has nothing to do with them. Let’s learn to love ourselves and tune out criticism.
I don’t know if it’s our generation or something about women, but we don’t praise ourselves enough. To honour putting the haters to shame, we’d love you to post a selfie in the comments section below, or even on your personal Instagram, that embraces your own approach to beauty. Whether you’re a less-is-more kind of gal or makeup loving enthusiast, let’s celebrate being women. Happy snapping!
Story by Stephanie Russo