Today I thought I might write an opinion piece. I haven’t done one of these in a long time. Now, I’m going to warn you first that with opinion pieces, they’re unplanned and messy unlike most of my posts. There are no pictures, it’s just what I have to say about the topic at hand. Opinion pieces flow out of me and I’m not going to bother correcting and structuring it. We’ll see where we end up.
When people come up to me and ask me what I blog about or what my passion is and I reply with the answer cosmetics or makeup, sometimes depending on the person, I get too much of a shrug or a raised eye-brow. When I asked people on twitter the remarks they get, @Miss_Flossy replied that “Someone once assumed I was dumb because I wear makeup.” Well hey, I get that too.
You see, although I know that this does not apply to everyone, many seem to think that make-up or wearing make-up is fake. Albeit that yes, you are adding something to your face to enhance your beauty and that yes, it can sometimes become an addiction. Once you start to wear makeup, you can’t really stop. Well, for me at least. It is a rare occasion when I will walk out the door with a bare face. You kind of become accostomed to it and you kind of become comfortable under that shield of powder and foundation, that wonderful feeling of confidence in yourself that you know you look good because you have your “face” on. Maybe it’s the media. Maybe it’s the fact that all the popular girls on TV wear makeup and all the “real” girls tormented by these popular girls wearing makeup, don’t. Maybe it’s common instinct to defend the real girls and I’m not saying that wearing makeup is a necessity but maybe it’s that inner calling of a once tortured inner self that scorns makeup wearers alike. Whatever it is, most people who declare that makeup is fake often say that we don’t celebrate “true” beauty.
But I guess the point today to address is well, what is “true” beauty? True beauty is internal. You could be Miss Universe but if you are rotten inside, mean, insiduous and horrible, and have slept with married men to get to where you are, I would never ever call you a beautiful person. Thus, whether someone is truly beautiful should be based on our values, kindness and mannerisms rather than our external apperance. I think that makeup helps us bring out our confidence, feelings of empowerment and control which ultimately aids to nurture our inner beauty. It helps to fix ourselves.
Makeup should only act to enhance your appearance, not mask it either. Just like speech and art and poetry, makeup is a form of self expression. Each and everyone of us have different personalities and different styles. Just like clothes which can also enhance and alter our appearance, makeup does the same. Why isn’t wearing clothes fake? Why is makeup more fake than clothes? They both do the same thing. They express styles and it is ultimately and addition to your apperance. We may feel that clothing is necessary and makeup is not. Maybe that’s why. Like @Got_takoyaki, some also argue thatmakeup is an art form. The faces are the canvases and the makeup becomes the paint. War paint. Performance paint. Whatever paint, makeup is art. It is again a form of self-expression.
I reckon there’s a deeper meaning to it though. Makeup might make us look better, but the reason why we do it is because it makes us feel better.@peachykeen_15 says that makeup helps her to be the best version of herself and that she wouldn’t be happy half doing anything in life, why stop at the way she presents herself. @Adeline_er says that makeup is used to enhance her natural features and hence isn’t fake as she hasn’t altered anything on her original face.
I think however that ultimately, it all boils down to personal choice. When you look into the mirror and see yourself, do you believe that you’re beautiful? Well, imagine this. If you are undergoing cancer treatment, if you have been bullied again and again at school perhaps for the appearance of your skin, if you are facing ill treatment in the office because of how you look and you look at yourself in the mirror, it’s not going to be 100% there that you think that you’re hot. Most often than not, you don’t. You start hating yourself. You wish you were someone else. I think that no matter how many times people tell you that you’re beautiful, you will only think that you are beautiful if you yourself believes it. It’s the same with all the theories of life.
But say that that cancer patient looks to her side table, grabs a brush and her favourite blush, the sweetest pink. Say she does. Say she careful opens up the package and takes the brush, sweeps it tentatively side to side and then looks into the mirror and in small strokes, applies the blush slowly, almost savoring the moment. When she is done, she looks into the mirror, turns her head side to side and smiles. She smiles. She hasn’t smiled in so long. She smiles because she feels better about herself. She feels more confident. She feels powerful. She feels beautiful. Let’s say she feels like she can take on the world. Would you come to her and point at her and laugh, “Haha, you’re fake now!” – I didn’t think so. Isn’t all that matters is if that a person is happy, that that person does what he or she wants to do, that makeup itself becomes a factor of personal choice rather than a factor of others. If putting that blush on makes her happy, so much happier, then let her put that blush on.
A lot of people ask me why I ever started makeup or why I ever started blogging about beauty. I really was quite the nerd in High School. No silly person would have ever guessed, not even myself, that I would blog about beauty. I mean I always had that desire to be hot like all the popular girls but I wasn’t like them. They weren’t very nice anyway. All I really put on was an eye-liner and I would look into the mirror and tell myself, “Well, Roseanne, this is as good as it gets.” With a side smirk and a blank stare into the mirror and a comb through of my hair, I walked out of my room, ready to face the day no matter what people thought. I didn’t have time for myself. I barely cared about what I wanted or even how I looked. I had too many things to do and often those things were for other people.
And then my heart broke. It broke into I remember telling my friend how it feels to be heartbroken. It feels like your heart is made of glass and it’s dropped from the top of the empire state building and crashes onto the pavement and the wounds feel like they’ve been swirled around in the desert and salted. Pain. You know, you hear and you see it in the movies. You see people get sad and heartbroken but you really only know when you’ve had it yourself and it’s a pain that you can’t just stop. It’s a pain that you ultimately have to rise up, defeat and learn from. I did. It’s something you have to do yourself, alone. I had never felt so alone in my life. Looking back, it feels like you’ve climbed mountains and crossed rivers and re-built buildings you never though you’d have to. I have to say that makeup to me was an integral part of the healing process. I started to wear makeup to school and in the morning I would wear makeup for myself. It was “me” time. It was the 10 to 15 minutes at the start of my day that would make me feel important again. Because when you break up with someone, you feel lost. You don’t know who you are anymore but makeup helped me feel powerful, in control and pretty. I felt pretty. I didn’t feel useless and pitiful, I felt pretty. That really helped me.
Makeup isn’t fake. It isn’t about short, slutty skirts, mean cheerleaders, homewreckers or sell outs. I believe that sometimes we come to conclusions thinking we know both sides of the story but I don’t think we always do. It’s like thinking a toy does something when it actually does a bunch of other things that we didn’t know it did. Likewise makeup yes, if applied wrongly can be disastrous, but if applied correctly, can serve to empower women and that is something that I’ll always believe in.
What do you think?