I started wearing makeup around the age of 14. I would always beg my mom to let me wear just eyeliner for school but she would always say no and tell me my time would come. She would tell me how beautiful I was and that soon enough, my time would come. After seeing other girls at school and church, I was crazy about starting to wear some. Finally, “my time” did “come” and I could not be happier. Soon it became an everyday thing and I would not leave the house without wearing eyeliner. However, I wouldn’t dare wear anything else because for some reason I thought it was “too much” and I’m sure I didn’t know how to use it properly.

The problem with wearing it every day was that when I absolutely couldn’t wear it, the comments from others were never-ending. “You look tired”. “You look better with makeup on”. Of course, this led to huge self-esteem issues and it felt as though I was expected to wear it every day. If I didn’t wear it, I thought my face looked dull and I was afraid people would treat me differently.

Once I started high school, I started wearing more makeup. This is perhaps around the same time most boys would make comments on girls’ beauty choices. They’d say they prefer “their” women “all-natural” and that girls who wore makeup were “fake”. But of course all the girls they did give all their attention to, wore makeup (huh??). For some reason boys felt as though they were being deceived by girls who wore makeup all the time and assumed they wore it because they were “ugly” or because they lacked confidence. Maybe they did feel ugly and lacked confidence, but you certainly weren’t helping.

Just to get one thing straight, in the majority of cases, wearing makeup is a choice. However, it’s not up to you to decide that choice for the people who wear it. Of course there are some women (and men) who believe makeup is a necessity because society makes them think it is. If you don’t wear makeup (shout out to Alicia Keys), people suddenly start questioning your whole life but when you do wear it, you’re heavily judged for it. Whether a woman decides to wear makeup or not, is her decision.

(Alicia Keys makeup-free at the VMA’s)

Personally, makeup makes me feel better about myself. And until recently, I was never confident about going out without makeup because I felt like I looked unpresentable or sloppy. It took me five years to finally feel confident without makeup on and not care about what other people think. It feels SO good to rub my eyes without having to worry about ruining my makeup. But at the same time the satisfaction I feel after I realize how bomb my makeup looks is incomparable. The level of completeness I feel after buying makeup is unreal and honestly no one can convince me otherwise. Yes, I do spend my time watching makeup tutorials and following beauty gurus because I believe this is another thing women must reclaim for themselves just as I believe a bare face is also something women must reclaim for themselves. It makes no sense to me that we are oppressed for our choices in personal grooming when really it is no one else’s business and I could care less about what you think.

Also just for the record, girls do not wear makeup for boys or for “attention”. And what is so bad about a girl wanting attention anyway? I digress. Most guys are incapable of appreciating how straight my eyeliner is or how carefully I contoured my face. Most guys will most likely never realize how much my time I dedicate to my eyebrows nor will they notice their bad vibes reflecting off my bomb highlight. So does it really make sense to say we wear makeup for others? No. I wear makeup for me.