I recently read an article on The Independent called ‘Come on feminists: do the radical thing and ditch your makeup bag‘ and every part of this article has left me feeling annoyed. If you’d prefer not to open the article and give it more views, I’ll give you a quick run down. The author goes majorly off topic from her headline to moan about women that wear makeup, while oddly commenting on the number of ‘poisonous’ ingredients that are ‘well documented’ in makeup. She drops in that the average makeup wearer wastes 9 days a year applying makeup and lauds herself for spending that time ‘campaigning against sexist stereotypes’. Let’s all do an epic eye roll together.
Let’s start by saying that any reference to the toxicity of makeup is completely irrelevant to any ‘feminist argument’ here – It was included without any real explanation and it’s just fearmongering and spreading misinformation. It’s baffling that people genuinely believe that brands would be allowed to sell products with harmful ingredients and ‘poisonous effects’. Join us back in the 21st century. EU regulations are so strict for cosmetics these days that this is just an off topic remark used to further discredit makeup wearers.
You’ll very often hear feminists who, through their own ignorance and archaic thinking, cannot understand how a modern feminist can be concerned with her looks. I shouldn’t have to tell you that being a powerful, confident woman and wearing makeup are not mutually exclusive… but indulge me a little.
The modern feminist does not have one singular image. To be singling out feminists as having a certain appearance surely is the opposite of what feminism is all about? Feminism is about equality and having the choice to do as you please. Whether that be to pursue a career in a male dominated industry or to wear a full face of makeup and blue lipstick. Someone that is ‘campaigning against sexist stereotypes’ should be seeking to dispel assumptions that all feminists are bra burning rebels and welcome all feminists into the fold – men or women – rather than encouraging the reinforcement of a singular image.
To suggest that a woman cannot be concerned with her appearance while supporting equality goes on to imply that women in fact cannot have it all, WHEN WE CAN. Stop trying to pigeon-hole women. Women are powerful beings, regardless of our appearance. We wear makeup because we want to and choose to, not because we feel pressured. When I don’t wear makeup, it’s because I don’t feel like it that day and not because I have no one to impress. I feel good about myself with and without makeup. Makeup is a major creative outlet for many people, so one day we’ll do a natural look, and the following morning do a dark red smokey eye. We have nothing to hide by applying makeup, but even if we did, it’s OUR choice. It is no one else’s business what we choose to do with our face or how we choose to spend our time. If you believe makeup is ‘hideous gunk’, have your opinion and have it quietly. If you’ve never worn a drop of makeup in your life – good for you and that’s your choice – but there is no need to shame other women who enjoy wearing it. You can bitch about makeup wearers all you like, but it’s never going to stop us wearing it – if anything, it will make us wear it more.
For so many of us, makeup and skincare is about self-care and taking time for yourself. Often the only time that a lot of women have to spend on themselves is in the morning when they apply their makeup or at night when they do their skincare routine. We live busy lives and are always expected to put everyone before ourselves, but this is the one thing that we hold sacred. Many people rely on their daily skincare routine to keep any skin problems they have at bay, and without it their skin runs wild. Many women rely on makeup to inflate their confidence when they’re suffering from issues such as acne and it can be the only thing that can get them out of the house. It is imperative for people’s emotional wellbeing! If you were ill, you would take medicine. That’s exactly what skincare and makeup are. And for those who have good skin and wish to maintain it, it’s like taking multi vitamins. Do NOT let anyone – man or woman – make you feel guilty for taking care of yourself and your self-confidence.
People often question why women continue to keep up their appearance once they have a partner, because apparently we’re expected to stop showering, wear rags and completely abandon our appearance? Who knew? The expectation that we’re supposed to forgo our appearance once we find a partner is probably even worse than the idea that we only dress ourselves up for men. It might shock you to learn that men are not at the epicenter of a woman’s world and actually our own self confidence comes first. Women’s love of beauty goes so much deeper than how it makes us look, but also how it makes us feel. When men put on a suit to feel powerful, we put on red lipstick. And yet we are expected to justify ourselves? Absolutely not acceptable!
It’s painfully apparent that this article has absolutely nothing to do with feminism, but rather is just a massive dig at the makeup wearing population under the cloak of ‘feminism’. You are not a feminist if you are bringing down other women. You are not a feminist for attacking other people’s appearance while stating that you don’t enjoy having yours attacked. Patriarchy does not dictate my beauty routine and feminists shouldn’t either. I would think that a woman who has been a feminist since the 70’s should know better than anyone that to criticize other women for their appearance is entirely unfeminist and ignorant. Your appearance and your political stance are not interconnected. As a makeup wearer you have already chosen to take your appearance and your identity in your own hands and do something for yourself. Keep doing it.
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