I thought this post would be fitting in light of the #nomakeupmovement being spearheaded by Alicia Keys in an attempt to encourage women to embrace their natural beauty. In an age where societal pressures have never been more high and where women are expected to look like they just walked off the cover of a magazine, I definitely feel like our perception of beauty is seriously warped. I think that the problem is two-fold: a) The external pressure for women to look a certain way that conforms to the conventional standards of what is considered beautiful; b) Women (me included!) caving to that pressure and unconsciously perpetuating the idea that we have to look a certain way to feel good about ourselves. But that's for another post. The question currently on my mind is...is makeup ever deceitful?
Perhaps a good place to start might be the correlation between a woman's self-confidence and the way she looks. Or the way she thinks she looks. I'll be the first to say that if I feel like I look good, I feel good - there's an air of confidence in my gait, my shoulders go back a little more, I'm simply more at ease. And when I am wearing makeup, I definitely feel like a slightly better-looking, more polished version of myself.
For the average woman, makeup is like confidence in a bottle. It allows her to feel like a better, prettier version of herself which translates to her feeling better about herself in general. I'm sure every woman could use a little confidence boost every now and then so what's the big deal? A little concealer here to cover blemishes, some foundation there to even out skin tone, some blush and mascara...was how it was done back in your mama's day. Makeup application has evolved Hunty, and if your routine doesn't involve looking like you're preparing for tribal warfare, you're probably doing it wrong. Or so say the omniscient Youtube gurus.
I suppose the point of contention is that makeup is no longer just for enhancing existing features. I'll be honest, I've been amazed, shocked even, at some of the transformations I've seen. And I use 'transformation' because some women are virtually unrecognizable after they've 'put their face on'. And I suppose this gives way to idea that wanting to look like someone else, or wanting people to believe that you look like something other than what you actually look like is, in and of itself, deceitful.
As far as I know, women wear makeup for themselves. For the way it makes them feel about themselves.So who exactly would they be trying to deceive? I think there is a common misconception that women who wear a lot of makeup are trying to deceive a man into falling in love with them. (eye roll) Because, of course, every aim to a woman's actions must involve getting man. Like, seriously? IT'S. NOT. ALL. ABOUT. WHAT. MEN. WANT. Physical attributes (simulated or not) may attract a man but it certainly won't keep him. Even if a man is as shallow as a wading pool and falls for a woman in full face of makeup, what's she going to do? Never take it off?
Look, I am of the opinion that a woman should be free to beautify herself in whatever way that makes her feel good about herself. Whether that is wearing hair extensions, or nail polish, or makeup. Or all of the above. However, a woman should not feel like any of these accoutrements make her any more of an interesting, dynamic person than she already is. At the end of the day, all of those things have to be removed and if a woman can't be happy with what's left after everything has been stripped away then the only one being deceived is herself. Yes, makeup can make a woman feel empowered but it shouldn't be the only way that a woman feels empowered. And it definitely should not be the most important way that she feels empowered.
Before writing this post I asked my boyfriend what he thought as I wanted to get a man's opinion. He expressed that he finds 'too much makeup' deceitful. How much is too much? I guess the point when you start to look less like yourself and more like someone else. He actually prefers that I don't wear makeup but I do anyway. (Because no man of mine is gonna tell me what to do!! I kid, I kid. Not really.) I wear it because I want to. Because I'm doing it for me.
He then asked me when do I feel best about myself. And I answered honestly. Many of the times that I have felt really great about myself were the times when I liked what I saw in the mirror. But I also feel incredibly good about myself after I've accomplished a goal. Or when I've done a good deed. Or when I get out of bed before the alarm goes off. Or when I can speak articulately about a broad range of issues. None of those things have anything to do with what I look like.
The time that I felt the absolute BEST about myself was after giving birth to my son. And the good Lord knooowwws I looked like something the cat dug up and dragged into that hospital room. Next time around, I'm going into that delivery room with my face beat for the Gawds.
I'm curious to hear what you guys think? Let me know in the comments!
Love and Light,