I do not wear makeup for personal purposes, and am very open about this. In private, a lot of the men and clients like to praise me for being barefaced. While I do appreciate the intention, I also noticed that these so-called compliments often come at the expense of women who do choose to wear makeup. For example, while mistaking my laziness and ineptitude at wielding an eyeliner as confidence to wearing my own face naturally, these same men would often ruin their praise by adding that women who wear makeup are “actually ugly underneath” or “liars”. I understand they are not trying to be malicious and are simply trying to commend a girl for not succumbing to societal pressure, but I do not think they realize how inappropriate they are when they qualify their compliments with a derogatory comment.
For me, not wearing makeup is both a personal choice and general incompetence. However, I do appreciate and admire women who are patient and skilled enough to wield this form of art and do not think myself being better than them.
The most common complaint I hear from men is how women who wear makeup are purposely being deceitful by making themselves look beautiful when in truth they are physically unattractive.
Yes, makeup can alter physical appearances, but so can clothes; clothes can be worn in specific ways to camouflage “perceived flaws”. For example, there are many fashion tips given on how to dress to make you look slimmer, such as wearing black to create a silhouette or use high-waist belts to draw attention to the bust and rib area instead of the hips. Yet, you do not hear men calling out these women who dress in a way that accentuates her best physical features (maybe other names, but that’s another story). And what about men who grow beards to fit the modern “lumbersexual” trend? How come nobody is dishing out crude comments about how these men are “fakers who hide under their bushes”? Why are only women the ones who are receiving all these flak for doing what she wants with her own face?
Therefore, when I hear compliments like these that include insults, it does not make me happy. Instead, it makes me feel unjust for these women whom these men are targeting in order to win another girl’s favour. Like, it’s supposed to make me feel warm and fuzzy inside by hearing you call other women “fugly liars”? Sorry, guys, but I’m
Who are they to say that a woman is “hiding ugly” or is “ugly underneath” when she wears makeup? Who are they to call a woman a “liar” if she chooses to make herself feel better by putting colour on her own face? Who are they to say anything when a woman wants to do anything to her own face?
A beauty blogger/YouTuber by the name of Em Ford has recently uploaded pictures of her barefaced look only to face severe backlashes from people who call her “fake”, “ugly” and “disgusting”. The news coverage mainly focuses on the aspects of cyberbullying and the exaggeration of unrealistic perfection in social media. While it is important to acknowledge that women are subjected to unreasonable standards of beauty and are conditioned by society to think less of their natural selves, I would also like to direct attention to another side to this story about how people are so quick to judge and offer criticism to women for making personal choices about their own bodies.
Women who choose to wear makeup can do it for all sorts of reasons. She can wear it because she needs to cover up the scars of her past trauma. She can wear it because it makes her feel more confident and beautiful. She can wear it because it is fun. She can wear it because it empowers her. She can wear it because she has an off day and wants to look refreshed. She can wear it to please herself. She can wear it because she wants to look different. She can wear it as a form of self-expression. Frankly, she can wear it for WHATEVER REASON SHE WANTS FOR HERSELF because a woman who chooses to wear makeup is simply exercising her right to do what she wants with her body, to present herself in a way she wants, just as how everyone is free to dress however they please. Unless what she is doing is harmful or is socially and morally inappropriate, it ain’t nobody’s business but her own how she wants to make herself look.
Yes, it is possible that a woman may not be wearing makeup for the best of reasons. For one, she may be wearing makeup because she feels ashamed of her own naked skin or because she wants to please other people or to fit in. In that case, remember that the reason why women go through the arduous process of using artificial compounds to make themselves more “acceptable” is to fit in with modern society’s unhealthy beauty standards, and be sympathetic instead. If you do not agree with the reason, then focus on the root of the problem instead of attacking the individual who is suffering from the consequences of today’s perverted conventions. Give a woman her freedom to dress, to act, to present and make herself up the way she wants to show the world and accept her rights, her decision, and her choice.
Finally, to the men who want to give their two cents about a woman who chooses to wear makeup: Know that degrading other women to pay compliments to another will never work. Know that whatever the reason is, it is still not and never will be your place to verbally abuse her decision. Know that a womans’ body is no one’s business other than her own.