Sunday, May 11, 2014

A rant and other makeup related frustrations

I'm sure you know by now that I was a late entry into the world of makeup. There are several reasons for this; one, when I was growing up I was plagued by severe acne. Despite a lot of treatments (all topical - I never took any medication for it) it persisted, and took a huge hit on my self confidence. This major lack of self confidence meant that for years I would go to any length to hide my face, because I didn't want anyone to see my pimple-ridden face. Two, no one in my family used much makeup, so there was no one to tell me about foundation, concealer and the like, so I didn't know there was even a way to hide them.

A memory comes to mind - I was about 13 when I was hit with acne. Now, all I knew was I had these awful things on my face that my mother said was natural; I didn't know the whys and hows. A family friend came up to me one day and point blank told me I had a very pimply face, and asked me why I had so many pimples. I was so befuddled and put on the spot I blurted out that it was because I was rubbing soap directly on my face! To the 13 year old me it sounded like a plausible reason and I didn't understand why she started laughing. Now I realize that she was unnecessarily cruel to ask that of a child who was already shy.

But I digress - I knew that I liked makeup - playing with my mother's limited stash was very exciting to me - but it seemed that as I grew older, all my friends knew all about makeup and how to use it, and I had no clue where to start. That meant that eventually I never tried to do anything about it because I didn't want to look foolish.

Now that I'm in a personal place where I feel comfortable enough to experiment and try new techniques and the like, my environment isn't necessarily comforting. Being a woman in grad school, especially in a science field, means that the moment you're seen wearing makeup you're automatically labelled as a ditz. I've had labmates ask me why I'm wearing makeup; professors give me strange looks; classmates asking me if I had a special occasion after class. No one seems to understand that sometimes makeup is an personal choice and that I choose to wear it for myself.

I'm not going to spend hours on venting about the unfairness and gender inequality in academics; it's a topic that frankly speaking boils my blood. If someone could explain to me how wearing green eyeliner is detrimental to the axons in my brain, I'd be grateful. 

Just because a woman likes to wear makeup doesn't make her a bimbo, or even worse, "fake". 9/10 times we wear makeup for ourselves; because it makes us feel powerful and confident and ready to take on the world. To me, makeup is something akin to war paint - I slap it on, and I'm ready to face the hurdles in my day. Plus, it's a good thing to take the time in the morning to do something nice for yourself. When I do it, it makes me feel like I am special; that I am worthy enough to take care of.

Look, I'm not perfect. I don't claim to be. I have huge pores in my skin (a remnant of my acne days), uneven pigmentation, and skin so oily I'm sure it's not long before someone sets up an oil rig on it. But is that going to stop me from wearing makeup? Heck no! Choosing to wear makeup doesn't mean you have to look flawless when you do. It doesn't mean that you can't be seen with a single blemish, a single dark spot, a single wrinkle. It means you're taking the time to emphasize what is already beautiful about you.

I'm not quite sure which direction I wanted this post to head into; nevertheless I feel it addresses a few things that I've had on my mind for a while. 

I guess the bottom line is this - makeup is meant to be fun. Makeup isn't about impressing other people, or trying to get dates. Just because a woman chooses to wear makeup doesn't necessarily mean that she's self conscious about herself (although I will admit that this is sometimes the case. Not always, though). If someone wears makeup, it doesn't make them a bitch, or less intelligent, or stuck up. It doesn't make them an airhead, a bimbo, or a fraud.

So for those of you quick to pass judgement - while I understand that everyone is entitled t their opinion and I have no right to force my opinion on you, I do hope that you will reconsider saying harsh things about those who wear makeup. Imagine, if you will, your daughter stepping her toes into this fun, girly world and being shut down by someone rude; you wouldn't want that, would you? 

Go ahead and wear what you want. Wear that bright blue eyeshadow, or that deep red lipstick. Wear an orange blush, or a grey-based bronzer. If it makes you feel good, do it! Remember, it's just makeup, and it will wash off.

I know this post is quite off-topic, and it will be the last rant post for a while. I just had to get it off my chest, so thank you for reading! I hope you all have a great week ahead!


  1. I know I know, I agree with you. Oh, she wears makeup, she's a bimbo. Ugh. Its so annoying. But as you said, its for ourselves, and our own self confidence, no one can try and make me change my mind about it.

    1. I've spent far too much of my time too timid to not wear the colors I really want to wear. I mean, there is being appropriate for the situation, but if I want to wear orange lips to take out the trash, I'm going to!