Sunday, 8 November 2015

The 'Power' of Make Up is a double-edged sword. So stop defending it like it's the best thing ever.

In response to: #thepowerofmakeup

Any reasonable person realises that the heart of the make-up industry preys on and encourages women's insecurities to sell their products. 
Are your eyebrows thin and sparse? Use this!
Imperfect dark spots? Use this!
Eyelashes short and stumpy? Use this!

There is nothing wrong with having thin and sparse eyebrows until fashion dictates it.
There is nothing wrong with having a few natural dark spots until fashion dictates it.
There is nothing wrong with having short 'stumpy' eyelashes until fashion dictates it.

In relation to this, two things really bug me.

1. Firstly, unless you're Michelle Phan/a make-up artist/equally comfortable going au naturale in public, then you're lying if you say you only wear make-up for yourself and not to look good for other people/satisfy whatever corporation-driven beauty standards are currently trending. 

I HATE IT when women go ape-shit defensive on Facebook when somebody actually says "make-up is bad". They'll say something like "shut the fuck up loser and stop telling women what to do"/"pitting women against each other" after aggressively contending that make-up is awesome for boosting self-esteem and making you feel beautiful and empowered. By that reasoning, why not just take it up a notch and get cosmetic/plastic surgery for everything you feel shit about? 

I agree that when you have a big night out and you want to cover up something you feel really insecure about, make-up is a very useful tool to help you boost your confidence. I also agree that make-up CAN be a valid expression of individualism (I have a friend who wears glittery green lipstick and paints her eyebrows red). But people who say these things without acknowledging make-up's downsides are in complete fucking denial.

Why do you feel empowered only when you wear make-up? Why can't you feel empowered without make-up? Because you're insecure about how you look naturally. And why is that? 


Almost all of our insecurity is systematically built up by the exact same shit fed to you by make-up corporations through their inescapable, ferocious advertising. Maybelline entices you to think that beautiful people are born with it, and 'others' can just use their products i.e. if you use Maybelline products, you too can be 'beautiful'  like Adriana Lima (lel). Yeah, thanks Maybelline, a cosmetics company, for 1. setting our beauty standards 2. highlighting our insecurities 3. encouraging us to buy your stuff.

The undeniable truth is that the majority of women don't wear make-up for themselves. Deep down, they DO feel obligated to wear make-up whenever they go out. At work. At parties. Even a trip to the supermarket.

It's why the whole #nomakeupselfie is a fucking thing in the first place. So don't freaking suggest that make-up is a 'solution' to our insecurities... that it's empowering. It's not. 

Instead of defending make-up, we should be defending NO make-up. 

2. Secondly, from what I've seen on social media, girls younger than ever before are experimenting heavily with make-up. Twelve year olds now feel like they have to wear make-up to look good at school because all the other girls are doing it, and largely because they see pictures and tutorials on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram etc. 

While I don't have a personal problem against anyone interested in make-up (and of course, many of my friends are very into it), I WOULD have a problem with society's increasing obsession with make-up if one day, my 13 year old daughter asks me to buy her five different MAC lipsticks and an URBAN DECAY palette because she doesn't want to feel ugly compared to her classmates who all contour their faces with a gazillion different products.

Anyway, I know that scenario ^ is already the norm in many places but I just hope good parenting will give her enough confidence to say "fuck you" to the pressure of wearing make-up in circumstances when she shouldn't have to.  

Another thing - more than ever before, men are also being pressured to look good. There are now make-up lines being developed for men and it is largely accepted as fact that no male K-pop star wanders outside without having applied a layer of foundation. On K-pop websites, there are now 'before' and 'after' pictures of male K-pop stars with and without make-up. 



Who the fuck wants to wear a billion layers of primer, foundation, highlighter, bronzer, powder, eyeliner, mascara, brow filler every day? HOW DO YOU DO IT??!?!?!

It takes a ridiculous amount of time to put on and take off; it 99% of the time doesn't even feel comfortable because it's heavy and there's always the fear of smudging your make-up or caking it on something else. You basically cannot touch your face when you have that much make-up on and it sucks. You can't rub your eyes when they're itchy or even rest your head on your fist sitting at a table. 


End of rant.

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