Masked in makeup

One SpunOutter writes about the pressure to wear make-up and disguise our natural beauty

Written by Lauren-Lourdes Ryan


Eyebrows like Cara Delavigne.

Lips like Kylie Jenner.

Lashes like Taylor Swift.

Does this equate to a beautiful face?

From the perspective of the media, I’d say yes.

Whether you follow pop culture or go by your own ideas, every woman and girl has at some point glanced at a magazine, watched a makeup ad or seen a music video and thought “why can’t I look like that?”. For just a split second you completely disregard the way you look and you wish to appear like the “perfect” image of beauty that you’re being shown. In reality this so called ‘perfect’ look has probably taken a team of makeup artists, some pretty heavy foundation and photoshop to put together, but they look good and that’s all we see.

Not that all that work is needed to make that celebrity beautiful or anyone else for that matter, but the majority of people out there view beauty as perfection. In this day and age, many see being ‘beautiful’ as looking like a dolled up celebrity or a stylish model, with smooth skin, shaped eyebrows, dark lashes and big lips.

Overtime, many of us have become accustomed to seeing this look of “perfected” beauty and expect the same level of perfection for ourselves and those around us.

Despite the hard work of beauty activists and many people within the media to combat against this, we are still dealing with the same images of unreachable beauty and though they are making waves, with stripped back makeup looks gracing the covers of big name magazines, it just isn’t enough.

In my option, it’s the big-time celebrities with the help of their team of makeup artists and the media that set the trend of unattainable perfection into motion. Whether it was purposeful or not, the fact of the matter is, their made up faces are a constant in our lives. Jumping from TV show to TV show, from magazines and social networking sites.

The problem with this is, we only see short glimpses into their lives, the times when they’re all dolled up, the moments in-between makeup touch ups. The thing is, we see all of our life, the good parts and the bad. The spot breakouts, overgrown eyebrows and chapped lips that are all normal parts of our lives, and probably theirs too, though we don’t see that side. We try and compare the seemingly perfect snippets of celebrity life that we see with our own lives, and when how we live or what we look like falls short of perfection, it can be a real confidence stripper.

This is where the makeup industry comes into the mix. They offer a sort of magic spell for beauty, a holy grail filled to the top with the specific ingredients for perfection, at a price of course, which many of us are willing to pay.

Makeup brands advertise silky smooth pore covering foundation and gorgeous lash lengthening mascara, with the help of beautiful models and celebrities and you can’t help but want it.

Many of us layer on liquid confidence in the form of foundation, completely change the shape of our face with contour powders, we get our eyebrows plucked only to draw them back on when big brows become popular again. We coat ourselves in makeup to hide what’s underneath and more often than not makeup is used to change or cover up our natural beauty.

I’m not trying to imply that makeup is a bad thing, because it really isn’t. Makeup is a creative outlet. It’s a form of art and you can have a lot of fun with it. You can create your own individual looks, enhance the beauty you already have or use it just to cover up a spot or two, if you want. There’s nothing wrong with wearing makeup. The problem arises when we think that we need to wear makeup, more so than want to wear it.

The makeup industry claims to offer women the freedom to look whatever way they want. But then how is it that many women feel compelled to keep up a makeup masked appearance, due to the pressure of perfectly photoshopped ad campaigns and photoshoots?

It was once said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but if this is true, then why can’t we see the natural beauty in ourselves and in those around us?

When will we feel safe to take off the mask of makeup we’ve been wearing for far too long?

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