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Inside Beat

I don't wear makeup to impress you, I wear it to feel empowered

Despite the social stigma, makeup isn't always about "covering up" or hiding insecurity — in fact, for the many who enjoy wearing it, makeup is a tool for empowerment and self-care.  – Photo by Pixabay.com

For those of us who love to wear makeup, putting it on allows us to feel empowered and confident in our skin.

Truthfully, there’s nothing inherently empowering about curling your lashes or gliding on lip gloss. But when the act is coupled with a positive mindset, putting on makeup can become a symbol of something much greater. 

Since the beginning of time, women in particular have been accused of using makeup to attract attention. But, quarantine offers an interesting counter: Why wear makeup when you don’t leave the house or don’t see anyone all day? 

Experts have the answer: “During a global crisis, it might even feel a bit trivial to pull out your makeup bag and go to town on bronzer … but it can actually make a huge difference in navigating these unpredictable and overwhelming circumstances.”  

And for others, makeup is a coping mechanism. Samantha Boardman, a clinical instructor in psychiatry and assistant attending psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medical College, suggests that her patients put on lipstick in the morning if they are having trouble separating work and home life. 

There are even studies that indicate that wearing makeup can lead to higher test scores. But the magic isn’t in the makeup — it’s about how the way that we look can be directly related to the way that we feel. 

When Buzzfeed asked 14 women why they wear makeup, one of them said, "I like the ritual and the precision and the power." These three aspects — ritual, precision and power — are foundational reasons why a lot of people spend the time and money to invest in makeup.

When you spend your entire day inside, as most of us have become accustomed to doing, building barriers between life and work into your daily routine becomes essential.

Before, I had the classroom environment to ease my brain into an academic mindset. Now, instead of trying to pay attention from my bed, I take classes at my desk and make sure that my favorite blush looks good on camera. I skip foundation now, but my minimal makeup routine is something I try to make time for. 

Swiping on mascara isn’t going to guarantee that I get a specific grade. But taking the time to put on makeup in the morning illustrates to my own consciousness that I took the time to take care of myself that day. This act reaffirms to myself that I am valuable enough to be taken care of. 

I once read online that if you're embarrassed to walk outside with a bare face, one completely void of makeup, then that's a sign that wearing makeup is no longer a choice.

Undoubtedly, there's an unspoken pressure, especially for women, to cover their blemishes and alter their appearances to align closer with society's beauty standards. But, just because this pressure exists, doesn't mean that makeup functions solely as a way for women to stomp out their unique features.

Makeup can be an art, and it can also help you to highlight the features about yourself you are the proudest of. So why wear makeup when no one will see?

Because it’s for you —because you love the way it makes you feel.

I don’t wear makeup because I’m embarrassed of the way I look without it — I wear makeup because, in a quiet way, I think it’s a symbol of my own growth. 

I used to take pride in my lack of makeup skills (I feel like a lot of us would like to forget our “I’m not like other girls” phase), but I’ve come to realize how silly it is to shame women for the way they choose to present themselves. 

Makeup can be just for fun. But, it can also be incredibly empowering. Making fun of someone for enjoying something that causes no harm and only invites joy is really a signal of your own ignorance. I, for one, have come to the realization how wonderful it is to be like the other girls.


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