I have always been inspired by various forms of art, but I was not initially interested in makeup because I did not see it as an art form. As I grew up I would hear my classmates talk badly about girls that wore makeup and that influenced my opinion of them. The most common statement I heard was that girls that wear heavy amounts of makeup must be “easy” because the only reason they were wearing makeup was to get male attention. I heard it so often that I accepted it as fact, and I avoided wearing heavy amounts of makeup so I would not be criticized by my peers.
Later on in life when I began to learn about feminism, I realized that what I was told by my classmates was a lie. Just because a woman wears makeup does not mean that she wants to seduce a man, and even if she did, she is free to do as she pleases with her body. However, the idea that makeup is an art form still did not sink in. I thought makeup was only used to enhance one's features, but the rise of internet beauty gurus completely altered my perception of makeup and taught me to appreciate it for the art form that it is. I saw women and men creating makeup looks and I was taken aback by how much skill went into creating each one.
I watched countless hours worth of makeup tutorials and could not believe what kinds of intricate designs people drew on their faces. I have seen Starry Night recreated on someone’s eyelids, flowers painted on lips, and even characters from movies painted on cheeks. The makeup community would continuously bring out looks that would leave me in awe, and it inspired me to invest in some of my own makeup and try to follow along with the tutorials.
My first attempts at putting on eyeshadow were complete failures that looked like messy splotches of color, but it made me gain more of an appreciation for the makeup artists that made it look so effortless. Just like with all other forms of art, it takes lots of practice in order to learn how to properly use the tools to create a makeup look. My skill level has slowly been improving, but I am excited to continue to try recreating the looks of my favorite makeup artists.
I am glad to see that some of the stigma surrounding makeup has started to disappear because it truly is just another way to express one’s creativity. Many makeup artists have addressed how it is ridiculous that our society shames women that wear makeup and that people call women fake for how their faces transform by using makeup. The intention of people that wear makeup is not to “deceive” others and make them believe they look a certain way naturally. Makeup is an artistic outlet that people use to create something beautiful on their face, but it does not mean that they do not believe their faces without makeup are not already beautiful.
Women have always been held to an impossibly high standard of perfection, but many of us have started to break free from those expectations and look the way we want to. The increase in popularity of makeup that I have seen these past few years is a testament to that. Unfortunately, with all good things, there are people that try to ruin them. On multiple occasions, I have seen photos of a woman with and without makeup spread online and get flooded with comments about how ugly she looks without makeup, but thankfully there are always people that come to their defense.
Do not let others discourage you from exploring makeup. It is an art form that should be celebrated and no amount of hatred will change that.