I'm a Makeup Wearing Feminist
I'm a Makeup Wearing Feminist
For me, fifteen years of being a girl has meant bras, shaving, periods... and makeup. Makeup has had a strong presence in my life starting from when I was a little girl playing with my mom’s makeup collection, to middle school where I wore blue eyeshadow, and eventually to today. My makeup skills definitely grew as I did, along with my perception of makeup and the reasons behind why I wear it.
I’m a teenager and I’m definitely the first to admit that I feel insecure about my pimples, sparse eyelashes, oily skin, and almond-shaped eyes that don’t really fall in line with today’s beauty standards. These “ideals” of what it means to be beautiful are everywhere. From TV to social media to the mall, they constantly surround and remind me of my insecurities.
But my insecurities don’t make makeup evil and bad, just as makeup/the beauty industry isn't to blame. As consumers we our giving our informed consent whenever we purchase or use products, the responsibility ultimately lies in our hands. Yes, they may be provoking the problem-- but getting rid of makeup wouldn’t solve everything. This issue of self confidence and esteem is something only we hold the power to truly remedy through acceptance and love.
I don’t think I’ll ever reach a point of full contentedness with my appearance, but I’m slowly learning to accept. For me growing up is learning to realize that I can never completely meet these standards, and more importantly that I shouldn't strive to. When I put on my mascara I don’t have to transform myself into Mila Kunis or Kate Upton or Blake Lively.
On that same token, however, I would be lying if I said I didn’t wear concealer to cover up dark spots and redness to inch a little closer towards that beauty standard; I wear makeup to make up for the remaining bits of me that I haven't learned to accept. Writing this article made me realize the that truth, and it's not so pretty. This is where my dilemma began. Why did I need that routine to feel better about myself? Why did I associate makeup with something to be demeaning and devaluing towards women? Am I promoting unrealistic beauty standards? If I call myself a feminist, am I allowed to wear makeup?
But what I quickly realized is this: Firstly, yes. Feminists can wear makeup. I believe that a large part of feminism includes a freedom to choose. It began as a movement to allow women to have the choice to vote, have occupational freedom, not be confined to the 1950s housewife mold, etc. Today I think this can translate to allow women to be more masculine, more feminine… really whatever they like. Anyone should have the freedom to choose to do what makes them happy, given it’s not harming those around them. For me, I take this to mean that I shouldn’t have to be ashamed about choosing to wake up 15 minutes earlier to put on makeup, because those 15 minutes can and will make me feel better for the day.
So what it comes down to is really this: everyone uses makeup in different ways, some not at all. At the root of it lies the fact that we have the freedom to chose what we want to do and what we don’t want to do. And most importantly, our worth and confidence isn’t defined by what we choose, or don’t choose, to put on.
Morgan is currently a sophomore at Diamond Bar High School. Outside of school you can find her singing Taylor Swift, watching Cheetah Girls, and eating unhealthy amounts of cookie butter... sometimes all at once! Among many other things, Morgan is the founder/president of her school’s Girl Up Club, officer of her school's Girls Who Code Club, and Co-Director of Advocacy for the SoCal Girl Up Coalition. She is shamelessly opinionated and loves to articulate those opinions through debate! You can also find her on stage, being the musical theater geek that she is. But above all Morgan is extremely passionate about advocating for equal rights, whether it be between genders, races, economic classes, etc. Simply put, she’s just a girl who wants to help the people around her and write about her experiences along the way!