The zebra printed box that resides in the top drawer of my dorm room dresser is a box that is rarely ever touched. Filled to the crevice with nearly every pigment of eye shadow, color after color of lip stick as well as onyx black mascaras and eye liners, this box rarely sees the light of day. The tiny bottle of liquid foundation and a tube of black mascara lay on the top of my microwave by the door, as a way for me to quickly do my makeup and go, but other than that I rarely ever touch the makeup box I used to pride myself on so much when I was about fourteen and started “painting my face”.
Lately, I feel as though I have lost the need for the box entirely. As I entered high school I would cake on mounds of makeup to hide the subtle yet infuriating imperfections with my skin, and subconsciously myself- I felt as though I could hide behind a mask in which I could mold, nobody could tell me who I was because I made myself who I was through my makeup. The change in my reliance on makeup is a combination of my laziness to put makeup on every morning and the realization that my outer appearance does not mold who I am as a person. Even now as you are reading these words that I have written, I doubt any of you know that I currently have no makeup on, my hair is in a high bun and I am wearing silky black pajamas with my blue furry moccasins- these details are irrelevant- just as they were irrelevant when I was fourteen. You don’t pay attention to details of a person’s outer appearance nearly as much as pay attention to how the person speaks, how they behave, or what they have to say. Unfortunately however; as a society obsessed with glorifying unattainable standards of beauty, it is a common occurrence to see people judge others based on their appearances, which leads to the insecurities almost every human being on the planet has. Girls in particular feel the need to mask themselves behind alternative, “prettier” versions of themselves. Makeup, push up bras, hair extensions- as often as a male will criticize a woman for wearing these, they will also make a comment about how they love girls with long hair, or big breasts, or perfect skin and in turn women seek to have those characteristics so that they too can be desired by somebody.
I saw a guy post this picture not too long ago on Twitter. The caption read, “and this is why I have trust issues.” Another post with the same picture read “GUYS- this should worry you!”
Yes GUYS- this should worry you. It should worry you because it is a prime example of how women feel the need to conform to such standards of beauty- not because you are afraid the girl you meet who appears to look as the latter of the two images really looks like the picture above without makeup. It should worry you that you are so concerned with making sure girls looks like the girl in the second picture, more concerned with who the girl is, why she posted the picture in the first place.
As you can see I have yet to scorn the women who choose to conceal their natural beauty- and as feminist as it may sound- I’m not going to. Truth be told if I’m preaching that a woman’s outer appearance is irrelevant to her as a person, then if she chooses to mask it with makeup-that is her prerogative. The problem I have is the standards set by society which turn that choice into a feeling of obligation, one that women shouldn’t have to face.