The other day, a friend of mine posted a Facebook status where she expressed her anger over a stupid statement said by a female radio host. She concluded that a married woman has no need for makeup because "she does not need to attract any more man." Similarly, I've been hearing about makeup shaming both in real life and on internet thus all the more reason to write this post. How is it possible for a woman to say she demands equality, to be respected by men and yet, she cannot even respect her own kind?
Let me first start by admitting that I am in no way a feminist expert. I don't read biographies or watch documentaries on feminism. I don't always follow the latest feminist post. In fact, I do not go as far as labeling myself a feminist, not because I don't like admitting it but because I am a believer of equality for both men and women. I believe that just like respect, equality for both sides is a privilege owned by every human regardless if you are man or woman. I don't want to have to label myself because respect and equality are basic privileges we are entitled to. Nowadays, the label 'feminist' is often used in association with 'feminazis' which is, in a sense, when women join forces and think it's perfectly cool to trample on the male gender. There's this misunderstanding that if someone goes around screaming 'I am a feminist', chances are there will always be people who accuse him or her as a feminazi too. Feminazis are stupid, feminists aren't. I am perfectly aware that feminism is also the terminology for someone who supports both gender. I just don't go around screaming about labeling myself because to me, regardless of your gender, you should be respected.
Now that I've put that out of the way, let's move on to the next issue — women and beauty. Society's perception of beauty is twisted enough and we don't need them to justify our worth by how we dress and present ourselves. The media is, in actuality, Panem's Capital overlooking our appearance from where their high stage is. We are given these images of skinny, slender models in lingerie and sultry night gowns, seductive poses and all on billboards and commercials; we are told that unless you are white, blond and skinny then you are one or a few steps away from being beautiful. It's bullshit, how they feed us these things, these idealism. Nobody is born with the perfect figure. Your friend could have been born with a monolid and an inverted triangle body shape and still looks dashing. Your relative could have been born with a hooded eyelid, feel insecure about it, maybe fix it and still be able to look just as beautiful. So where's the fault in that? None. If society and the media can set a few standards on what they think is beautiful and ugly then why aren't we allowed to set our standards for ourselves? After all, society is made up of a bunch of diverse people and we are people too so we should have the freedom to do whatever we want with our face, body and mind free of dictation of what should and should not be.
Let's face it, as much as we hate society's distorted perspective and the media's definition of beauty, we cannot stop them entirely. In a world where everybody hides beneath the excuse of speech rights to forget what it means to be polite and respectful, it's only a tiptoe away from making rude remarks about someone's appearance. Words like "you wear too much makeup!" or "why can't you just wear minimal makeup?" leaves a tight, unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach. Whether you're in school, in a relationship or not, a working woman or a housewife, there is no need to dictate a woman's lifestyle choice. Does it hurt you physically when women wanted beaming highlight visible from the moon instead of a subtle sheen? No. Does it hurt you, your pets and your children physically if a woman you pass by wears like five eye shadows on her eyelids? No! What can hurt your pets and children are viruses, Ebola and speeding cars, not women and their choice of makeup.
I get it, we all have preferences. You might not love makeup and you prefer going out bare-faced or you might prefer something subtle, a minimal everyday "no makeup" makeup look. Whatever your preference is, it is entirely up to you. I've said this before and I will say it again: makeup is art. Makeup is not superficial, vapid or shallow. I mean come on, do you have any idea how difficult it takes to blend like, I don't know, 10 layers of eye shadows and make them look ravishing on your eyelids? Do you even know how difficult it takes to learn even our own eye shape before we master which eye shadow color suits our irises? Do you even realize how the wrong contouring technique or the wrong bronzer shade could turn us into Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompa? And don't get me started on the different types of makeup brushes you have to know because, honey, you'd better take note and remember their names. See, makeup is full of techniques, tips and tricks. It's not as easy as those haters think.
While I'm someone who loves minimal "no makeup" makeup look and no fancy bold eye shadows, Kim Kardashian level of contouring, strobing #highlightonfleek on myself, it doesn't mean I'm going to approach a woman who wears all those and say, "your face looks so overdone. Why can't you just stick to minimal makeup?" or "you should stop wearing makeup, you're a married woman and your makeup will attract other men!" Not only that is rude and degrading, we need to remember that makeup is a choice that some of us women love experimenting. Plus, haven't you heard that a woman's sharp and perfectly drawn winged liner could slay you right then and there?
As women, we are preyed enough by misogynists and sexist media that we do not need any more of this bullshit. It makes me sick how I see some women screaming for equality yet they find it okay to bitch about their own kind. I can't help but to think these women who feed on making rude remarks towards other women, these women who behave like that radio host (who, by the way, is working for Cosmopolitan FM, a radio station meant to "empower woman") are women who want the right treatment for themselves and not for their gender. These women behave in a way where they are fine with other women being judged and dictated yet scream in anger when they get treated like shit. It's also ironic how these women fail to differentiate between having opinions and respecting other people's choices. Although freedom of speech and the rights to voice one's opinion are definitely basic human privilege but to have it misused is just a bad choice and no longer a privilege.
To all my makeup loving readers out there, if you like to wear red lipstick and be bold, do it. Even if you don't like wearing makeup and never owned any, that's cool too. If you don't feel good about slathering foundation on your face, that's perfectly normal. If you're in a relationship or single, married or not, and love playing with makeup, you do you! If you like to go full glam and love to wear colors on your eyes, you go girl / guy! If someone thinks it's okay to approach you, judge you for your love of makeup or that your winged liner is too bold, tell them this: "what I put on my face is none of your business. If I like it, I own it."
For reference, in this essay, I also talked about my makeup journey, how I wear makeup for myself and not to impress others. The point of this post is almost similar to that essay, however, I just want to emphasize on the fact that a woman's choice to wear or not wear makeup is a privilege and not something that will hurt you physically.
Isn't it ironic how I see the media is Panem's Capital and yet, Panem's Capital is actually full of people who are, in a way, pro about beauty enhancement? That is such a contradictory to our society who finds it hilarious to throw bricks at people who want to improve themselves! I just find it to be such an amusing irony.
image via walter schupfer