Some have drawing and painting. Others have cooking and writing. Some even collect stamps. So why is there a wary eye when I bring up that my hobby happens to be makeup?
It is a guaranteed sedative for me. Life is chaotic, but the way a brush strokes across my eyelid to create the perfect shading is all under my control. The ability to create whatever I want to on my face, to portray whatever look I wish to toward the world today is all mine.
Yet, almost every time I bring up that that's how I choose to spend my hour in the morning — the hour I have worked toward freeing up, an hour others may spend journaling or meditating — someone makes a sly comment or grimaces in a way that calls me out to be vain.
The way I chisel my face with bronzer or point my wing outwards isn’t conceited, it’s an art form — something I and so many others love.
Historically, makeup dates way back. Emperors and empresses used to illustrate power through painting charcoal similar to the way we mark eyeliner on our eyes. Makeup has been a part of many cultures through the use of natural resources, so to say that my use of makeup makes me out to be vain is to also chastise our ancestors of the same critique.
If a man spends his time assessing, studying, or even collecting cars, he is seen as masculine, strong, and well-versed in a manly interest. If I spend my time doing the same with makeup, I am seen as conceited. It’s an art form, and it’s something that I may use to escape the stresses and pressures we all experience.
To dismiss people’s love for makeup through unrelenting words is a form of social control enforced by people who want women to spend more time exercising “useful” hobbies such as cooking or crafting.
By shaming the use of makeup is to make women quieter in society, to keep them from being as showy as their male counterparts.
The emergence of men wearing makeup is nothing new, but as more and more are doing so in society through either a full face every day or through Drag makeup, it is discriminated as weird and “less than masculine.” Though, historically, makeup knows no gender.
Putting these standards on makeup is keeping many from achieving their creative potential, finding a hobby they may genuinely have interest and prosperity in, or exploring a realm of art.
It’s time to stop genderizing and discriminating against makeup.