I have always considered myself a feminist, ever since the age of six when I refused to watch any Disney movies because ‘girls don’t need a boy to save them’. I feel strongly about the issue of body image, and believe that everyone should love themselves exactly the way that they are.
It wasn’t until last week, when I was going through my lengthy morning ritual of applying every makeup product imaginable, that I realised I may in fact be nothing but a gigantic hypocrite. Yes, I believe that everyone is beautiful the way that they are, but I will spout this at my friends while I am powdering my nose or touching up my lipstick.
But here’s the thing: I can see the hypocrisy. I really can. But I still have absolutely no problem with makeup, whether it’s on myself or anybody else. Because when it comes down to it, what is the harm?
I have seen so many videos and blogs lately spouting the evils of makeup on female self-esteem; as well as having comments thrown at me from my friends and family who don’t wear makeup (which is always the case when someone does anything that we don’t). So, as a long time makeup wearer and a short time writer, I am going to do something a little crazy.
I am going to argue the other side.
I don’t think that makeup is a social evil designed to keep female morale down; designed to keep them believing that they can’t be lovely without it. After my families comments particularly got to me last year, I decided to go six months without makeup. And you know what? I was just as happy, my self-esteem was just as high, and I was just as confident as when I do slather product onto my face. But once the six months were over, I went right back to wearing makeup.
Because I like it. Not because without it I am snivelling, unhappy mess on the floor; but because it’s fun to wear. Just as it’s fun to get my hair done and wear pretty dresses.
And even in the cases where people do find makeup boosting their self-esteem and lack confidence without it, I still think that makeup is absolutely fine. Blasphemy I know. But the truth is, a large proportion of society do beat themselves up about their looks. And while it’s all well and good to say ‘have high self-esteem’, you can’t force it onto someone. And if something external is going to make them feel more attractive on the outside, allowing them to shine on the inside, then there is nothing wrong with that.
There are bigger battles to fight, and making women feel bad for needing that extra something to feel a little bit more special isn’t doing anyone any favours; nor does it suddenly force people to feel better about themselves without it.
Unless something is detrimental to either the person in question or others around them, I think the saying that we need to remember is ‘live and let live’.