Miscellaneous

You can be naturally beautiful too but first you should buy some make-up

By: Kristen Millar

Au natural, it’s the look that every woman is expected to strive for but in order to accomplish this you’ll need some eyeliner first. Women are bombarded by advertisements with many gorgeous women: Beyonce, Eva Longoria and Anne Hathaway just to name a few who are selling the concept of natural beauty by promoting unnatural products that any woman can use.
L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Lancôme and M.A.C are only a few of the many brand name companies that can help women improve grey hairs, wrinkles, blemishes and a couple of flaws, so you know, you can be naturally beautiful.

I am not against the cosmetic industry. I have created by own daily beauty regiment that I implement each morning before class, work or just leaving the house in general. The issue at hand is that nothing about the cosmetic industry promotes natural beauty and the only thing that implying that message does is damage women’s self perception of what is beautiful and how a woman is pressured to conform to wearing these products to make your eye colour pop out or to make your lips look plumper.

A personal story to examine this issue comes from my high school days when I was fifteen, dorky, independent and unaware of make-up. This incident occurred when I went to the girl’s bathroom and an older student told me, “You would look better if you put on some eyeliner and foundation. It would make you prettier.” Naturally I was devastated and I made the unfortunate choice to talk to my very traditional grandmother who told me, “She has a point.” These words, though not intentionally malicious, is one of the influential statements on my self esteem ever since. I can’t leave the house without wearing make-up without being embarrassed or feeling incredibly insecure.

Whenever I see other women who have this ability to go without a touch of any make-up I feel this incredible envy that these women feel better about their natural beauty than I ever could. That brings about the question that by wearing make-up everyday do I compromise my feminist values by continuing to support an industry profiting off of many women’s desire to achieve this fake natural beauty? Am I perpetrating the continued societal value that women’s bodies are more valued than their intellect or talents?

I hope that someday I can find my own answers in regards to these questions but what do other McClung’s community members think?

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One thought on “You can be naturally beautiful too but first you should buy some make-up

  1. Really good post.

    I personally don’t wear makeup because I don’t want to support an industry that has systematically made me feel like shit for 20 years.

    “Whenever I see other women who have this ability to go without a touch of any make-up I feel this incredible envy that these women feel better about their natural beauty than I ever could.”

    —>I think I understand this feeling, but believe me, I feel no better about my “natural beauty” than you do. When I first stopped wearing makeup, I literally cried every day. That’s how hideous and inadequate I felt. I still feel like that some day. But the truth of the matter is, above that inadequacy I feel an unstoppable feminist fury that there is an industry that could make me feel so ugly. The beauty industry is ugly. Incredibly, incredibly ugly.

    That being said…I don’t think wearing makeup makes you a bad feminist. Yes, you are helping a pretty gross industry get richer, but not out of malicious intent. It sounds like you, too, aren’t down with these corporations. But you’re struggling and that’s okay. Sorry if I sound super patronizing, but I hope you find what will make you feel cool (or at least cooler) with yourself and your natural appearance. Those makeup industry schmucks don’t deserve your hardearned feminist bucks.

    p.s. sorry this is such an essay…and that it’s months after the post.

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