Sarah Grace Goodlen
Makeup has been used as a form of expression since the beginning of time. It is a fun way to experiment and feel attractive without the commitment of a haircut or body modification. The versatility of makeup has cemented its place in society, with a long history of beautification through the past few generations. The eyeliner we wear today bears striking resemblance to the wings worn by ancient Egyptians, giving them a feeling of power and beauty. Poisonous lead was used as foundation to cover up blemishes and discoloration, causing health issues in those who participated in the trend. However, where is the line between makeup as an artform and makeup as a crutch for insecurities?
Many men and women feel more comfortable going to school or work after popping on some mascara and lip gloss. Others square away time for a full beat, while some can go barefaced. Makeup is a very personal and individual thing. It can accentuate features, or blur imperfections to make you feel confident and beautiful. There is nothing wrong with feeling pretty when you put on lipstick. The problem comes when one feels they cannot leave the house without cosmetics.
It is very easy to get attached to wearing makeup. It may seem obvious that a thin, black line does not make much of a difference, but when it becomes a part of your daily routine, it almost becomes a part of your actual face. Makeup as a mask chips away self-confidence until it literally becomes an addiction. The difference between this kind of addiction and others is that cosmetics are normalized and socially acceptable. Makeup itself is not bad, but it can become an individual issue. Makeup-wearers need to look at themselves honestly and wonder why they are using makeup and if they would still be okay with themselves if they did not use it.
The transformation of makeup can manifest itself in a variety of ways. Maybe the most dramatic form of this cosmetic self-expression is drag. Drag queens are, often, but not always, men that use makeup, wigs and fashion to transform into typically female-presenting characters. Large transformations depicted by Youtubers and Instagram Influencers can allow those stars to make a paycheck just off of makeup tutorials and product reviews. Makeup serves as a fun way to connect with other people, to hone your skills and to experiment with wearable art.
By supporting a spectrum of made-up looks, we are proving over and over that makeup can be used to accentuate the face in a variety of ways. More than ordinary makeup is celebrated in our society, including weird, avant garde looks that will turn heads on the street. That is what makes it art; it does not necessarily have to be conventionally attractive to be beautiful. Glitter freckles and blue lipstick can make you feel like an otherworldly, iridescent fairy and that is just as acceptable as nude lipstick and a smokey eye.
The most important thing about wearing makeup is that it is being worn for the person wearing it. If it makes you happy to pop on some highlighter, but you understand your worth without it, go ahead and rock that Champagne Pop.