Makeup Misconceptions

With flawless stars like Beyoncé being shown in a natural light, women begin to accept themselves in their natural state, while still enjoy makeup’s creativity.

Tia Baldwin and Azaria Lewis

In a series of Twitter photos this week, the “real” Beyoncé was exposed, and not without the outrage and criticisms of fans everywhere.
These famous photos showed Beyoncé wearing makeup, yet untouched or photoshopped.

Despite Beyoncé’s talent and fame, her wrinkles and blemishes were just too much for the fans to handle.

This outrage of Beyoncé being “exposed” in her natural state, shows just how much appearance affects the success of women.

Studies show that “traditionally” beautiful women are more easily perceived in the workplace. In order to reach the standards placed upon them, women strive to succeed by wearing cosmetics.

Makeup and men

The dependence on makeup by women, created by societal constructs and the media, has caused many criticisms.

“I don’t think girls should wear makeup all of the time,” senior Joshua Harris said. “In most cases they become dependent on it and lose sight of their true beauty.”

It is very common for men to believe that women are attempting to impress them. However, according to junior Sophie O’Connor, makeup is for one’s self and not for men.

“I don’t wear makeup for boys, but because I love doing the transformation from a fresh face to one with makeup,” she said. “It’s amazing because both extremes are so beautiful.”

For some women, this notion of men expecting “natural beauty” is unacceptable.

Though most often thought to enhance one’s self confidence, some believe that makeup can become an elaborate form of lying.

“Some girls should use makeup to raise their confidence, but they can start to look fake if they wear it all the time,” senior Terrence Tabb said.

For junior Kristyn Tully, “The whole ‘this is why you take a girl swimming on the first date’ mentality is dangerous.”

“Men shouldn’t judge a girl on what makeup they wear. There is no façade; nobody is lying to them.” she said.

Makeup and self-esteem

Only following the trends of women everywhere, young girls are “hooked from the first swipe of lip gloss,” says junior Sydney Floyd.

“After girls are told they look beautiful with makeup on, it is hard for them to see themselves as pretty without it,” she said.

According to Shannon Dunne, the conundrum that comes with makeup, is that it can raise one’s confidence, all while deteriorating the small amounts what was there to begin with.

“Makeup affects my self esteem because when I don’t wear any, people tell me I look tired, or they ask me if I look sick,” Dunne said. “Knowing that my naked face looks like that of a tired, sick person makes me feel terrible.”

A double standard often occurs when women want to express themselves with makeup.

“If you wear too much (makeup), you’re provocative, if you don’t wear any and you’re attractive, you’re praised for it because you don’t need to ‘stoop as low’ as the other girls to meet the standards of beauty,” junior Laura Larocca said. “Women are expected to look natural, yet flawless at the same time.”

Makeup has psychological effects, which could either mean good or bad things, according to Psychology teacher, Terri Davis.

“Makeup, for the most part, has positive effects on one’s self-esteem psychologically,” she said.

A person who feels good about themselves on the inside, also projects that on the outside. Davis says people who wear makeup are more psychologically sound to project a positive self-image.

Negative connotations can come with people who wear makeup. “Because we live in a society where we are told that we must be perfect, sometimes people who do not have good self-esteem may become part of a vicious cycle and use makeup to hide what they think or believe are imperfections or flaws,” Davis said.

With makeup being used to condemn women, according to these double standards and stereotypes, makeup can also be used to empower women.

“To take makeup back and use it as you please, and not care what others have to say about your creative outlet, is empowering,” Tully said.

Although makeup can act as a source of confidence and expression, it is inevitable that one can be ridiculed by society just for wearing it.

However, as Beyoncé would say, Pretty Hurts.