I was never one to wear a lot of makeup, so I don’t always read articles about makeup or beauty. But this one caught my attention today. Refinery29 published an article on “10 Ways to Find Feminism in Your Beauty Routine,” and I really appreciate everything it has to say.
Since I don’t wear makeup frequently, I’m already doing number 10 on the list: “go a week, or even a day,” without makeup. Done! I’ll go weeks without it because I usually only wear makeup when I have somewhere important or exciting to go. While I’m proud of this decision, I came at it not from a feminist or love-you-for-who-you-are way, though I absolutely believe that, but from a more self-deprecating perspective: I just figured it wouldn’t help, so why bother spending the time. I’m glad my end result is the same, but I still need to change my way of thinking.
Tricky thing is, I actually love makeup. I love playing with it (it ties into my love of costuming), and I especially love buying it, even though it’s expensive and I don’t use it enough to warrant the price. And I hate that it’s hygienically safer to buy new makeup every three months. That’s crazy, and probably something invented by the makeup manufacturers so I’ll give them more of my money.
I also find it difficult lately that the current makeup trend is more neutral colors, beiges and browns and tans, because that’s not what I think makeup is for. I love color! I like colors that bring out my blue eyes, and I love playing with different colors. Just like the walls in my apartment: why have white, off-white, or beige when you can have purple, orange, or green? I’ll never go back to white walls again.
I especially love numbers 3 and 9 in this list. Number 3 says to be aware of how makeup is advertised. “The images of women used in advertising and media write the script for our culture,” it says, and we can effect change if we promote the right messages. Number 9 warns us not to judge other women. Everyone’s entitled to wear whatever they want and hold up their own standards of beauty. I would also add that the opposite is true: don’t feel like you have to wear what other people are wearing just because it’s “in fashion.” Take that, neutral colors!
Women often have more power than we think, and the products we choose to buy and how we use them can do a lot for wielding that power. We should exercise our choices, while we have them, in every way we can.