On Friday, my friend Lily and I went out for some cocktails and a girly catch up. As we were sipping our cosmopolitans, we got onto the topic of beauty and makeup. What a surprise hey?? Now, Lily is really my only friend who shares the same passion for cosmetics as I do. Of course, most of my friends do wear makeup occasionally, but they don’t have that same interest in the market and industry as me. It’s always nice to chat to someone who doesn’t think I’m weird for getting all excited about the fact that Chanel are bringing out a new highlighter or that I’ve found the perfect nude lipstick (MAC Velvet Teddy, I’ve got my eye on you!) Lily also has serious skills in the makeup department, so I keep trying to persuade her to start a blog! I’ve had no luck yet though.
Anyway, as we were chatting away, we moved on to a subject which really gets on our nerves: The common myths and misconceptions about girls who love makeup. Lily has beautifully clear skin and people are always asking her why she bothers wearing foundation or bb cream. They can’t seem to accept the answer of “because I want to” and seem to think there must be deeper issues. I also get irritated with the constant double standard which girls are up against; if you wear makeup, you must be insecure; if you don’t, you’re not “feminine” enough. Well, I’ve had enough of this nonsense, and I thought it would help to rant about it here, and to see if anyone else shares my frustrations.
Here are 5 irritating bash-my-head-against-a-wall myths:
If you like makeup, you must be….
This is the biggest bug-bear for me and it’s one I hear often. I am a very happy, confident 21 year old girl. I know I’m not perfect and there are certain things I would like to improve about myself, but in general, I think I’m doing alright. I definitely don’t feel that I need to wear makeup, and there are many days when I go without it, especially if I’m just popping into town or on to campus. But if I’m going out for dinner or to a party or special event, I want to dress up dammit! Not only is it fun, but I feel glamorous and sophisticated. I’m happy for my boyfriend to see me lounging round the house in my leggings, hair-scraped back without a scrap of makeup on, but it’s also nice to sometimes dress up and feel that I look my best. Wanting to make an effort to present yourself well does not make you insecure! Insecurity comes from the inside, not the outside.
There seems to be this baffling idea that girls with an interest in makeup or fashion are shallow and unintelligent. The amount of times I’ve heard successful bloggers such as Zoella or The Londoner referred to as “vapid” or “insipid” and the beauty blogging industry as a whole condemned as having a negative effect on society and young girls. Well firstly this is utter rubbish. Many of the blogs I read are extremely well written, interesting, witty and clever. Just because they happen to be about makeup, it doesn’t make that any less true. Secondly, I think it is completely wrong to discourage girls from writing about something they feel passionate about; whether it’s beauty, travel, books or cooking. All of these are valid interests and criticising them just emphasises the idea that “girly” things are less important or noteworthy. You never hear boys being called shallow for having an interest in football do you?
Often women who dress up a lot are categorized as being “high-maintenance” or “fake”. I always think of the “cool girl” speech from Gone Girl which laments how girls always feel that they have to appear chilled and easy-going, but at the same time look hot and perfect all the time. Or how the media often derides women for not looking “natural” but then when a celebrity doesn’t look perfectly pristine, she is slated. Since blogging, I’ve found that every single comment has been overwhelmingly positive and I’ve been so grateful to everyone who’s taken the time to read my posts and offer support and advice. There has not been one trace of negativity from anyone! I believe that it’s the media who whips up all this bitchiness, not real-life women.
(4.) Desperate for male attention.
Eurrggghhh this is one of the most annoying. My friend Lily and I are both in relationships, so on Friday we weren’t out to meet anyone or chat to guys. However, we still wanted to put on a nice dress, do our hair and nails and wear some makeup. I wear makeup for me and because I want to, not to please anyone else. Yes, of course I believe that everyone likes to look nice in some way because of how others will see them, but is that so wrong? We all like to be admired and complimented; as long as you’re not dependent on others to make you happy then it doesn’t matter. One of my favourite parts of a night out is having all my friends over, getting ready and doing our makeup together, and just enjoying ourselves!
I truly believe that you should never judge a book by its cover. There may be a girl with platinum blonde hair extensions, fake tanned with lots of makeup, who likes to wear tight dresses and heels. Yet she may also be a neuroscientist. How did Zoella manage to get 7 million YouTube subscribers, her own cosmetics line, a record-breaking debut novel and her own house for a reported £1 million, all before the age of 25? It was down to a clever mix of talent, business nonce and a great marketing strategy. Now that doesn’t seem stupid to me.
As for myself, I study French and Philosophy at university, I love to read and I love to debate serious social issues with my friends. However, I also love to write and talk about makeup. Those different sides to me show that judging someone on first appearances makes you look stupid, not them.
I know this is a little different to my usual, light-hearted blog posts, but this is just an issue that has been bothering me for some time and I wanted to share it. Do any of you feel the same way? Are you ever judged for wearing/not wearing makeup? How do you deal with that?
Thanks for reading,
Disclaimer: In this post, I have used images which I perceive to be in the public domain. If these images belong to you, please contact me directly and I will remove them.