It’s an all-out assault – women’s magazines print photos of stars without makeup and the headlines boast about how amazing they all look. The trouble is, beauty is relative and I’m not certain that this parade of “I just woke up and look at me” selfies does anything to make women feel empowered. First of all, 95% of the women in the photos are under the age of 30 – and who really needs makeup then anyhow? We also can’t verify that a touch of lip gloss or concealer isn’t subtly applied to their faces prior to snapping the photo. Either way, the message is that we should all be impressed by them and then feel bad about ourselves if we don’t look as good sans makeup. Ouch.
I am tired of being compared to younger, pampered women who live their lives in the public eye and spend their days perfecting their skin, their hair, and their bodies. We all have our own, unique perfection. We all have our own way to shine through. So these glossy photos make me wonder about the make-up versus no make-up choices that women make.
Makeup can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians and over the centuries women have put their health at risk to apply cosmetics made with arsenic, lead, and mercury. Today there are government regulations in place regarding ingredients, and the cosmetic industry spends millions to promote not only their products but an image. The goal they sell – to be beautiful and to defy aging.
When the all- out campaign from these companies to promote the use of products clashes with the photo spread touting the “no makeup look” it could leave women feeling confused. That’s where knowing the true you and feeling empowered to shine through with our without makeup can help women feel confident in their choice.
There are those who love to play with different looks and to apply various levels of makeup. For them it is an art form. My sister falls in this camp, she loves to sit and apply cosmetics in new and different ways, playing with color and shading. I am more of a minimalist, a swipe of concealer and a touch of eyeliner and mascara and I consider myself made up. I have friends who never apply a single stitch of makeup and they look fabulous. The bottom line: we should all feel confident in our choices to wear makeup or not. Knowing that we each have our own unique perfection and the manner in which we choose to express it should be no one’s business but our own.
Why is it considered vain to wear a lot of makeup if that’s how you feel that you shine through? If you take care of yourself, then why are you considered a rebel if you don’t want to slather on cosmetics? Yes, beauty is relative. So the next time you see a magazine promoting how amazing young starlets look without makeup, or you watch an ad from a cosmetics company for their latest “plumping” mascara, remember all you need to do is take care of yourself, and allow the true you to shine through whether you wear makeup or not.