Makeup has always been a kind of security blanket for Tessa. When she entered high school, her skin looked worse than it had in her entire life. Tessa's cystic acne had spread across her face as an angry crimson war had broken across the planes of her cheeks and forehead. Almost every part of her face was covered either an inflamed mess or scars from what used to lie there. Every day before Tessa would leave the house, weekend or weekday, she would lather her face in different skin colored pastes and paints. This was the only way that she would be able to face the rough halls of her high school without being ridiculed or judged. Makeup is something that is so small, yet so powerful for so many people.
Makeup is so important for so many people across the world in order to help blur unloved insecurities and has been used for centuries. Cosmetics were first used by the ancient Greeks to paint the dead for frightening and protecting against enemies and making sure that the dead were assigned to certain societal groups before burial (Purvis). In Africa, makeup was also used by people to distinguish between tribes. Several other ancient countries used makeup for various purposes, not just for beauty.
One of the most prevalent purposes of using makeup thousands of years ago, was in order to enhance beauty, as it still is today. In the Orient, women used makeup to enhance their beauty in order to help gain a fortune for themselves by finding a husband. Geishas in Japan used makeup to color their faces white and redden their lips to please the emperor or members of the royal court. Roman courtesans also used these tactics. While makeup was mainly used for practical and survival purposes, in the later years cosmetics were used mainly for increasing beauty. Cleopatra is a great example of how makeup was used to enhance beauty throughout history and continues until today. The queen began the fad of coloring the upper eye with Kohl, which most modern-day eyeliners are still made out of. For many people today, the lining of the eyelids with eyeliner is still used as a form of expression.
Makeup is something that is so important to so many people and truly is a form of personal style. It is also a strong type of motivation and validation for so many people that battle sexual and physical stigmas. Makeup artist James Charles has changed the makeup industry for the LGBTQ community. He was also the first male "Coverboy", for the Covergirl company, which has helped enormously to help lessen the stigma of males wearing makeup, "I hope to inspire others to be confident in their own skin and to love themselves" (Charles). Makeup is a style of freedom for many people, and it is so heart-warming to see so many different types of people express themselves through it. Some of the most elaborate and intricate artforms in makeup is the drag show style. This requires a high amount of skill and time due to the intensity of the makeup.
Another famous advocate for the LQBTQ community is Jeffree Star, who began uploading makeup tutorials on YouTube years ago. He began fighting the taboo of drag show makeup by posting numerous tutorial videos online. Jeffree stated, "I used to copy looks from fashion ads in my mother's Cosmopolitan magazines and steal her eye shadows" (Star). The makeup artist started first becoming enthralled with the art from when he was a child. He is another great example of helping to break the stigma against men wearing makeup. Jeffree is a great example of a great role-models for the young LGBTQ community. Makeup, as a whole, has changed so many lives and has proved how important it is for many people. Personally, I had no idea that there was such a big following for makeup artists or how big of an impact they are making.
Makeup helps so many people with covering their insecurities. While it is absolutely true that a person should embrace their insecurities, it is extremely difficult for many people at such a young age. This is even more valid for people who are burn victims and have skin pigmentation disorders. In high school especially, there are so many kids that comment on disorders and physical imperfections, so it makes socializing unbearable and self-love difficult. While it does help to build thick skin later in life, it can be torture for so many people. In high school, a girl named Nicole had down syndrome as well as other disabilities. She understood that people at school viewed her as being different. One day she came to school wearing lipstick and told everyone that it made her feel pretty. That is the magic of makeup. Less than an ounce of pigment jammed into a narrow cylinder tube can bring joy and confidence to a person.
Another person that had their life changed was seventeen-year-old Lewys Ball. He understood that it wasn't normal for a boy to shop for makeup in his small town. He saved up all of his allowances and went into a drugstore with the purpose of purchasing makeup. Lewys always felt very insecure about himself and wanted something that would help him become more confident. The teen understood that this was extremely taboo but desperately wanted to be able to do what other teenage girls were allowed to do without ridicule. He began practicing makeup and later began teaching others how to properly apply makeup. Lewys is yet another an amazing example of how makeup does not discriminate, but rather people do. He didn't care what people thought of him.
The boy simply just wanted to be able to break the social standards of beauty. He faced so much ridicule when posting pictures of his makeup on social media, however, he kept his head held high. Lewys knew that what he was doing was helping many other people in a similar situation. He was a role model for other boys and showed society that they could forget the social norms. Lewys aided in reforming the beauty community and helped thousands of people find their confidence. It does not matter if a bit of makeup helps someone feel confident in themselves. For Lewys and many other people, makeup is much more than a cocktail of ingredients. It is absolutely a way of life and a way of change.
Cosmetics may seem superficial and insignificant to some people, but it is life-changing for many. Insecurities are especially difficult for people to deal with when they are physical; living your life feeling like other people are staring at them is even more challenging. Makeup is something that seems so minuscule, but conversely, it can help a person's self-esteem in monumental ways. Because of makeup, so many people in the world have been able to show their true colors and express themselves freely as well. Whether it is a little rouge to make a girl who suffers from down syndrome feel pretty, or concealer to help cover the harsh red mountains caused by cystic acne, makeup can truly be magical for many people.