It’s 1am on a Friday night, and I am taking off my makeup. Lashes, eyeliner, lipstick are scrubbed off, as if I was collecting the ashes from my face. I look in the mirror, disgusted. I’m finally facing myself, my raw and bare-faced self with acne scars and rough, patchy-red skin with pimples and all. My skin took a toll on my self-esteem, and for years I could never walk past the front door of my house without some kind of artificial product I carelessly plastered on.
Make-up was always the solution to my problems. It would fill a gaping emptiness inside of me, of sadness, low-self esteem and insecurity. It would boost my confidence and make me feel ‘attractive’. I would rely on it so much to the extent that for years I thought I would never be considered to be beautiful if I didn’t put any make-up.
Pop culture icons like Kylie Jenner, who is considered ‘perfect’ and ‘gorgeous’ set a beauty standard, encouraging girls as young as 12 years old to follow the cut-crease, contouring and lip-filling trend that so many people seem to admire. What about natural beauty? Is there such thing as ‘natural beauty’ anymore?
The entertainment business and magazines barely make any point on natural beauty or try defining it, as most teens just want to emulate the caky-faced, spray-tanned and surgically-enhanced bodies that they see gain the most popularity. In a poll of 2,000 women, Express found that at least 31 per cent say they won’t be taken seriously at a job-interview, date or meeting without makeup and 41 per cent rely on make-up to make them feel more assertive, attractive and self-assured. And get this – a third of women do not like their appearance at all without make-up and one in three women spends less than an hour per day without make-up on.
Does that mean that we’re too dependent on make-up? I mean, yes it can improve someone’s appearance, but our use of make-up should not be a crutch or something you need every single day. And I’m guilty. Okay, so what if we’re a bit insecure? I’ll just need to work on my confidence a little. But we can’t allow makeup to work on our flaws for us.
What I’m really trying to say is that it can be harmful to be relying this much on make-up in the long-term, because you should be comfortable with your whole, imperfect, raw self. The most important thing is to be happy with one’s natural appearance. One is beautiful with make-up, but also without it. After all, natural beauty beats everything. And you’re gonna have to bare it all at some point. So better own it!