problem-with-makeup-modern-feminity

The Problem With Makeup

When I was your age…I wish I’d known that I already had everything I needed within myself to be happy, instead of looking for happiness at beauty counters. ― Ilene Beckerman

Makeup can be a trap.

Girls grow up beautiful as they are, and one day – be it puberty or earlier – they feel compelled to put on makeup.

I dated a girl once who, if not for her excessive makeup, would’ve been very attractive. But makeup was heavily covering up her face, and I couldn’t comprehend how she thought that was healthy for her skin.

Makeup could be wonderful when it’s used to accentuate, rather than cover up.

But there’s something to be said for peer pressure and social acceptance. Makeup is one trap that makes women feel the need to “keep up” with other women. This is exacerbated by social media, which makes it even easier for women to compare themselves to each other and artificially manufactured standards of beauty.

From a standard heterosexual dating perspective, men don’t care much about makeup.

The blunt truth is that the physique is the attraction switch for guys. For the ladies looking to attract more guys, working out is the most efficient way. Getting in shape will do more for your confidence, looks, and ability to attract men than any makeup could.

Makeup is addictive in its convenience and flexibility. An adept hand could alter looks in a manner of minutes. But I absolutely cringe for girls when… that time comes.

At some point, for girls who wear heavy makeup, their partner’s going to find out somehow, right? going to find out somehow, right?

It must be painful for a woman to see that look of surprise on their partner’s face when the makeup comes off. It’s not due being any less attractive, but just the sheer contrast between having makeup vs no makeup.

“Very sweetly, he always told her he loved her just the way she was. Although, honestly he had no idea. She shuddered to think what she would really look like if she stopped waxing, plucking, highlighting, manicuring, applying make-up and dressing with care and concentration.” ― Carmen Reid, How Not To Shop

I’ve been grossly generalizing so far, but believe me, I know the value of makeup. Makeup can be used to accentuate features. It can decorate, for special occasions. It can cover up the occasional blemish. It can make women feel empowered to be in control of their appearance. All that and more, is the true power of makeup and I can respect that. It’s no wonder that the power to change someone’s appearance is a multi-billion dollar industry.

But every girl has to know when too much is too much, and that is very subjective.

Nonetheless, here’s a test: if you feel like you can’t go out and face the world without makeup on, you’re relying too much on makeup.

When physical appearance becomes directly connected to self worth, makeup becomes a trap.

How do you convince a woman you care about that she’s most beautiful when natural? Slow and subtle does the trick.

Compliment her on her looks when she’s not wearing makeup. Compliment specific things you find cute about her, especially her behavior. Genuinely understand her and reserve all judgment. Even if the makeup doesn’t come off, she’ll appreciate the confidence it gives her.

I have the best intentions with this post but feel like it may irk women reading this. Some of my female friends put on lots of makeup and I love them to death. If only they understand how beautiful I think they are, just as they are.


Also published on Medium.

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