Recently, I’ve heard a lot about makeup wearers vs those who choose not to wear makeup. And I’m going to preface this entire post with a simple fact: to wear or not wear makeup is a personal choice, yet it does not define you in any way. Really. In my friend group, I know of exactly 2 friends my age who adore makeup and use it as frequently as I do. I’d be willing to go out on a limb and say that I am one of the 10, maybe 12 girls at my school who wear a full face of makeup on a daily basis. And, you know what? I am judged by my makeup. I’ve gotten everything from “you wear way too much makeup” to the nearly inevitable “wow, you look pale…are you okay?” if I skip makeup for a day. I wish all the time that I could sway my anti-makeup friends to join my fun as I peruse Sephora. It’s just not for them, though. I get it. Honestly, those aforementioned comments rarely faze me anymore. I’m much tougher-skinned than I was when I began wearing makeup.
In my eyes, makeup is art. Makeup is an extremely unique form of art because you can wear it on your face, change it up every single day, and walk into any local mall and buy more tools to create your artwork. Makeup can be anything you want it to be: natural. Beautiful. Simple. Extravagant. Incredible. Awesome. Bizarre. Edgy. The list is interminable because makeup is incredibly versatile. Part of the reason I’m constantly trying new products (and disposing of old, expired, or unloved products) is because I love varying my look. I have a few go-to looks: natural with subtle eyes and lips; bold lips with clean skin and mascara; or a subtle gold smokey eye with pale lips. I love substituting colors, textures, and products in my looks. It keeps makeup application fresh and interesting…and, honestly, one of my favorite and most glamorous parts about being a woman is sitting at my vanity, brushes in hand, and applying my makeup with care and precision. It is wonderful.
However, in the age of feminism, makeup represents something many believe should be left in the past: traditional gender roles. As women, we are “expected” to wear makeup in the work place. To our weddings. To parties. To clubs. At least a light coat of mascara, or a touch of blush on our cheeks, or a quick swipe of lipstick. To this, I have one thing to say: I’m 100% with the feminists. I sure hope my preface made that clear. In my opinion, makeup should be (and is getting closer to being) a complete, personal, and stylistic choice. Makeup is not an expectation. As women, we’re bombarded with them: be thin, be tall, be pretty, be gorgeous, be flirtatious, and don’t dare have a meltdown in between. No way. God forbid we be imperfect, disheveled, or–dare I say–bare-faced for one moment in our busy, expectation-ridden lives.
I’ve noticed a quote floating around Pinterest. I may have even repinned it in one of my 2 AM pinning sprees. However, this quote, apparently from the legendary Coco Chanel, bothers me. It goes like this: I don’t understand how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little, if only out of politeness. And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.
All I can say in response is NO. Just no. Women should not–and I repeat, should not–be wearing makeup “out of politeness.” As if wearing makeup were some kind of common courtesy, as if it were a necessary demand with which we must all comply. No! Because, I’ve got news for you: if this elusive “destiny” really has a date with you and blows you off because you haven’t slathered a thick layer of orange goo on your face…well, you’ve got to go find yourself a better destiny. Maybe this was once the spirit of makeup. Maybe this stupid idea, so ingrained in our society, is a product of the rigid gender roles and expectations of years passed. Yet, girls…you can wear what you want. That goes for makeup, clothing, accessories, all of the above. Wear what makes you comfortable, not anyone else. Because a “destiny” worth pursuing will notice you for your confidence and ease of mind, not your shade of lipstick.