Makeup culture only harms women


A cursory search of “leg makeup” reveals the absurd new trend

Amelia Foster, A&E Editor

Your teenage years are supposed to be the best of your life, a time when you find yourself. Yet, because of makeup culture constantly forcing beauty standards upon young girls, all too many of them are losing themselves.

Makeup culture is the culture surrounding society’s expectations of female beauty–specifically, how they should constantly be wearing makeup.Teenagers are impressionable, there’s no doubt about it, and when girls are pressured into wearing makeup for every moment of their lives, it damages their self-perception. I’m not trying to persecute the girls who are wearing the makeup, I have no ill will towards them; I am frustrated at the society that has taught them that they only matter when they are beautiful.

I know girls my age who have been wearing makeup since they were in sixth grade, who felt that they must look “adult” when they were only 12 years old. I know girls who can’t look into the mirror when they aren’t wearing makeup without wanting to cry. I know girls who put on makeup just to go to the beach or the pool because they don’t feel like they are worth existing unless they fit beauty standards. These women did not decide to feel this way, societal pressure on outer-beauty taught them to.

Girls who don’t wear makeup aren’t just deemed ugly, they’re actually less likely to be hired and paid less when they are hired. The emphasis on makeup is ingrained in every part of modern society and is shoved on women at every age, but a resistance to it matters most in teenage girls. This is the age where they become not only aware of others but also of themselves, and they can’t know who they are when they’re covered in makeup.

It’s not just the dramatic looks with contour and smokey eyes, natural looks cause harm too. No makeup look can be natural, simply because it’s not what you woke up with–and pretending it is, only harms yourself and the girls around you. Makeup isn’t even just on your face anymore, Sephora–the biggest beauty store–sells foundation for your legs and contour kits for your breasts. When every part of a woman must be covered up with makeup, there is no room to break the mold.

A main issue with makeup culture is that one of the largest critics of women are other women. It may have been started by men who couldn’t stand to see an “ugly” woman, but girls are tearing each other down and calling each other sloppy when they aren’t wearing makeup. We’ll never be able to convince others that we’re worth existing without being pretty if we can’t even convince ourselves.

Worth and value shouldn’t be based on beauty, but when women are only treated well when they are wearing makeup and therefore “pretty,” it’s no wonder these girls feel like they must wear it all the time.