My answer to this is that women should do what they please. Wear make-up, don’t wear make-up. Paint butterflies all over your forehead if it makes you happy. It really does not bother me what personal choices you make about your identity. Men, this goes for you too. Don’t let people tell you ‘make-up is for girls’. That’s those tricksy sexists again making you believe that they get to define you.
That’s really my answer in its entirety. However, a fellow author of mine on Women Make Waves believes women should wear make-up (http://www./women-wear-make-up/) and so, being the argumentative little Northerner that I am, I thought I would present the other side of the debate. Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t wear make-up:
- It’s expensive. As someone who owns three items of make-up in total, much to the dismay of my friends, I am always utterly flabbergasted to discover the price of some foundations. My friend spends £40 on her foundation. On top of that she has to buy mascara, eye-liner, blusher, concealer, lipstick, paint stripper. Maybe not paint stripper; like I said, I don’t wear make-up. Now, I’m not a mathematician, but by my calculations, over the course of a year, she is spending nearly £100million on make-up. That’s just not sustainable. She could spend that money on a holiday.
- You don’t know how to apply it. This isn’t true for everyone, but it does apply to a lot of people. Given that the main aim of make-up is to make you more sexually attractive to others, it can often have the opposite effect. Sometimes you end up looking like an angry orange. And what’s worse is that most of your friends will never have the guts to admit that you look fruit-like.
- Think of the tiny bunny rabbits. Make-up is tested on animals. Unless you consciously look for animal-friendly products, the likelihood is that some tiny, fluffy bunny is cowering in fear in the corner of a sterile lab (as a scientist slowly approaches with a mascara wand) because of you. Don’t fund that sort of cruelty.
- Men don’t wear it. Whilst it may seem a bit puerile to say don’t do something because the boys aren’t, it still astonishes me that women are subject to such stringent beauty standards whilst men are told don’t have a beer-belly and a mono-brow and you should be fine. Advertising companies are laughing at women every day. They know how powerful the words fat and ugly are to us. They never say it explicitly but next time you watch a beauty advert, really pay attention to the sub-context. I guarantee they are whispering quietly that you are not good enough.
- And most importantly, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY YOU ARE. And yes, I am singing that to you through the computer in the style of Bruno Mars. But it is true. What defines beauty changes over time. Four hundred years ago, being skinny was unattractive. Don’t let other people’s narrow and nasty opinions warp your view of yourself. If you still don’t feel comfortable about your looks, I am sure it would be much more effective (and cheaper) to look at yourself in the mirror every day for two months and tell yourself you are perfect as you are. Build your self-esteem not your make-up bag.