What is it about our culture that tells women, and even young girls, that they have to wear makeup to be beautiful? It is the glamour magazines featuring impossibly flawless women with faces full of makeup that make females of all ages feel like makeup is equal to beauty. It is the cultural belief that it is not right to walk out of one’s house without makeup.
I remember being told at a young age that a woman should not leave home without makeup because she does not know when she will meet a new friend or an old enemy. Why are women not allowed to be their natural selves? About a month ago, I joined a movement where women are starting to break this social norm.
Early one morning, when I was getting ready to head to class, I realized that I did not have time to put on makeup. Usually, the idea of walking out in public without at least BB cream and mascara would repulse me. On that particular day, however, I said to myself, “Why?”
Makeup consumes everything in my life — my wallet, my time, and my self-image — but why? I decided to go a day without makeup, and I found that it was not a necessary part of my life. I have not worn makeup since that day, and I feel more confident than ever. For once in my life, I can look in the mirror and know that I look great, and it makes me feel even better that I can have this confidence without caking makeup on my face.
I spent eight years of my life wearing makeup and having extreme self-image issues, but I found this confidence rather quickly.
Alicia Hornberger, a freshman from Prattville majoring in interpreter training, has never worn makeup a day in her life. She is an Apostolic Pentecostal, but she says her religion has nothing to do with her decision not to wear makeup.
“It’s not really what my religion says about makeup,” Hornberger said. “It’s what I believe the Bible says about it. I feel like God made us the way we are supposed to be, and trying to correct his perfect design is an insult.”
Hornberger asked why we should fix something that is not broken. She said not wearing makeup had freed her.
“I am very confident because it is my face that I wear, not something I put on,” Hornberger said. “If a guy tells me I’m beautiful, I know he is talking about me, not a mask.”
Sharrnique McEachern, a sophomore broadcast journalism major from Ashville, just started wearing makeup this semester, but not because she thinks it is necessary.
“Natural beauty is cool. My mom doesn’t wear makeup, and I think she is beautiful,” McEachern said. “(Makeup) is a quick fix for temporary problems . . . I like to know that I can correct breakouts or tan lines on my face . . . It’s easier than trying to find a (skin care) product that will work on my skin.”
McEachern does not feel bad for starting to wear makeup.
“I realized that makeup is not a bad thing, and wearing makeup doesn’t mean you don’t look great without it,” McEachern said. “I don’t feel any less confident now that I wear makeup, and I still know that I can look nice without it, but it does make me feel nicer.”
Being self-confident is more important than wearing makeup or not wearing makeup. I believe that choice can only be made personally. The makeup society should be stopped, and women should instead be told that they are beautiful when they are happy.
If wearing makeup makes a woman feel beautiful, then let her, but she should not be made to feel like it is necessary. If a woman wants not to wear makeup, then praise her natural beauty; she should not be made to feel like she is breaking society’s code of ethics.