I will try to make this as universal as possible, since I know I have many guys out there following me. Today I will be completely concentrating my mental energy on makeup.
When I was 10 years old, we read a monologue from Hamlet in Performing Arts class. Hamlet proclaims to the gravedigger “Let her paint an inch thick”, in reference to his wife’s makeup. While his message does not exactly address makeup in all its cultural glory (or lack thereof), the quote has stuck with me for five years- far longer than any other Shakespeare ever has or will. It was the first time in my life I ever considered makeup as a tangible, purchase-able product that I could put on my own face.
In 7th grade, at the same time that all sorts of lovely changes began to happen to my body, I first began wearing makeup as a way to combat the horror of my acne-ridden face. But more on that later. Makeup to me was the embodiment of everything teenage, everything cool- it stood for more than a bit of color around my eyes. It was a culture.
And a controversial culture it is. There is a predominant thought from adults and media that girls my age are expected and pressured into wearing heaps of product on our faces to look attractive; but the truth is, makeup is condemned more than it is encouraged. Instead of hearing from my friends and peers that I should wear makeup until my flaws are erased, I instead here degrading things: “if you wear makeup, you try too hard. You’re too worried about your looks. You are shallow, insecure, and depressing”.
The issue is, I like makeup. I really like makeup. In the past, it was an issue of insecurity, I will admit. Now though, I wear makeup not for others, but I can honestly say I wear it for myself. My self-esteem has progressed by leaps and bounds since I entered high school, and with it the amount of makeup I wear has increased. Makeup for me is an art form- it’s like fashion. It’s a way for me to present my body in new and exciting ways, using my face as a canvas. I am [hopefully] far from being a shallow person. It is not my way of fitting in, it’s my way of standing out. I’m young, free to do as I please, and at the point in my life where I’m supposed to be experimenting with myself and the world. I smear my eyelids with gold and paint my lips pink for the pure enjoyment of looking nice and making art.
Case in point: having fun, all by myself at home.
I am generally the kind of person to say that everyone should do anything they please, so long as it doesn’t hurt others, but I will emphasize now: there is absolutely nothing wrong with a girl who wears a lot of makeup. It is not fair to shame anyone on the way they choose to present themselves. More often than not, they are probably just experimenting with themselves and how they interact with their own body. Makeup is a creative, temporary, and safe way to achieve this end.
So next time you see a girl, or anyone for that matter, and you believe they are “trying too hard, insecure, and shallow”, perhaps they aren’t dressing or putting on makeup or presenting themselves for the purpose of impressing society: perhaps they are doing it fully for themselves.