Tuesday, 3 December 2013

The Beauty Debate: Is make up empowering or another way to make women feel unattractive?

Make up is an incredibly powerful tool. With the increasing modernisation of human behaviour and the increased pressures of society, make up is also becoming increasingly popular. Make up originates from as far back as the ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptian times, when it was used not to enhance ones appearance but to protect the lips and hair from sun damage, and to ward off evil spirits. However, in today's day and age, make up has almost become as much of a necessity to a woman as water. It could be argued that this reflects both the increasingly vain society that we live in, or a society with incredibly low self esteem. But the true question we should be asking ourselves is this; is make up empowering or another way to make women feel unattractive?


The need to look good is innate in every human being. This fits in with the old saying; 'If you look good, you feel good'. However, to what extent can this idea be implied to this issue? There is no true definition of what 'good' looks like; it is only a temporary idea created by society. This is shown by the constantly changing trends- what was considered 'beautiful' back in the Roman times is a far cry from what is considered 'beautiful' nowadays. In the Roman times, beauty was based solely on physical and emotional strength, your willingness and a loving personality- looks were not important. On the other hand, in today's society, to be considered beautiful you must be skinny and tall, with elegant features - having a bumpy nose or a few 'jiggly bits' is far from what is considered 'acceptable' in the beauty industry. How often have you looked at yourself bare-faced in the mirror and felt a pang because you do not fit in to the stereotypical 'beautiful' category, such as the likes of the models in Vogue? Its happened to all of us. However, once you've applied a full face of make up and put on nice clothes your self esteem suddenly increases. Why? It's because make up helps to bring out the positives of your appearance and often hides the things you feel insecure about. It helps us to focus on the what we like about ourselves rather than simply seeing imperfections in the mirror.

However, it can also be argued that make up is simply another way to make women feel unattractive. I would be lying if I said that there are women out there 100% confident with their looks. All women have insecurities and these are only highlighted by the 'perfect' supermodels and A-Lister's in society that are constantly in front of our eyes due to the media. The media uses such 'perfect' and 'flawless' models that have been airbrushed so much they look nothing like the model beforehand. Despite women knowing this fact, we are still easily pressured into feeling inferior. As a result, women often feel inadequate even in comparison to other females, and feel the need to hide behind a mask, aka a full face of make up.

On the other hand, it has been said that make up, or a make over, gives women the confidence to be powerful as it alters the way you perceive yourself and how others perceive you. Without make up women often feel vulnerable and therefore use it as a tool to build confidence and raise self esteem. An example of where this has been put into place in the American charity 'Dress for Success', an organisation which Bobbi Brown and her employees have worked closely with. The charity helps unemployed women with low self esteem to get back into the workplace through mentoring and transforming makeovers. This shows that even women at the top, such as Bobbi Brown, use make up for confidence and to increase competence and professionalism in daily life. Conversely, whilst a temporary make over may improve confidence for a short while, the temporary resources will run out soon. These women will no longer be able to afford the resources and this temporary high of confidence leads to a permanent feeling of inadequacy. This could support the idea that cosmetics are a poor substitute to counselling and real confidence building, which provide long term, effective results. 

In conclusion, I feel whilst make is used as a tool to empower women temporarily, in the long term I believe that make up is simply a tool to make women feel unnattractive, or inadequate to these so called 'perfect' females out there who have been airbrushed to the high heavens. I applaud those females who have not succumbed to the increasing pressure of society to wear make up. I love make up, skin care, and beauty products in general. Yes, as reluntantly I am to admit it, I am a beauty junkie and would eagerly choose a new foundation over a meal out. However, I am often faced with the decision to spend an extra 20 minutes in bed or apply some make up -I'll go with the make up because at least i will feel more adequate alongside my peers. Although I feel that make up is another way to make women feel unnatractive in the long term, it is not soley make up. Controversial isssues such as weight, fashion and natural beauty all pose the same problems and thus make up is not the sole contributor to this idea. make up will be contined to be used far into the future, and I can only hope that scoiety begins to support woman who embrace their natural beauty.

Have you gone au-natural recently?

I would love to hear your opinions on this debate and as this was a slightly controversial post please let me know whether you enjoyed it or not!


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21 comments :

  1. Fantastic powerful post there Lauryn good for you!

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    1. Thank you! I am glad you enjoyed it; I was worried that people would not like it because it is such a controversial issue! Also a big thank you for your kind words on twitter! Lauryn x

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  2. This was a really good post, it is interesting to see some different points of view.
    I just believe that if people want to wear makeup, then they should go for it, but if they don't, they shouldn't be pressured by society. We should be able to look the way we want without worrying about what everyone around us is going to say.

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    1. I love your point of view! I think society as a whole puts too much pressure on females; natural beauty should be something to be proud of, not to hide behind a mask! Thanks for the comment:) lauryn x

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  3. Fantastic post - beautifully presented and structured. Love both sides of the argument being represented such a tough topic but you nailed it! xxx

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    1. It was all down to your inspiration! Thank you so much, I'm glad you liked it:-) Lauryn x

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  4. Fabulous post!
    I consciously don't wear makeup because it's such an effort to do every morning, but I totally understand if other girls want to put some on before going to work/uni. A little bit of colour in the lips/cheeks can life moods and hide 'imperfections'.
    The thing I have a big problem with is girls who would rather die than let anyone (including their boyfriend) see them barefaced. This shows really low self esteem, which is heartbreaking because every girl should know by now that they are beautiful.
    Doing makeovers will always be a confidence boost in the short term. But there is a deeper issue with self confidence that I think a lot of people don't want to face. And it doesn't help with those makeover shows/films where a girl goes from being 'ugly' and 'unpopular', to 'pretty' and 'popular' after a makeover!
    I also think that skincare and looking after our skin should play a bigger part in our lives. The more healthy the skin is, the less money will be spent on super expensive makeup.
    I do agree though that makeup has been around for centuries and that will carry on, but I just hope that women won't hide behind it and think looking 'good' is the only way to succeed in the world!
    Joelle
    xx
    FebruaryGirl.

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    1. Wow thank you for the fabulous long comment! I applaud you for not succumbing to the pressures of society and not wearing make up! I completely agree, being a teenager my skin is always a bit spotty and never perfect, thus I wear a little concealer to hide these blemishes/imperfections.

      I think you have put into words what I was thinking! If you aren't prepared to let your boyfriend see you 'bare faced' then you obviously don't trust him enough. The girls suffer from such low self esteem and I think caking themselves in tons of make up, fake eyelashes and layers of lippy will only dampen their mood even more because resembling a satsuma will never be classed as truly beautiful.

      I think that is what I was trying to get at. Whilst make overs have great short term results, the self esteem issue is most likely a lot deeper and cannot be solved so simply. Real confidence building and support groups is the right way to go-these make overs only imply that you have to be beautiful to be happy.

      I prefer skin care to make up. That statement is great; if you have good then there is no need to wear a mask of make up; it will be your natural beauty shining through.

      Thank you so so much for the lovely long comment. It was really thought provoking and i whole heartedly agree with everything you have said!

      Lots of love, lauryn x

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  5. This is an amazing post, really interesting and thought provoking.
    I only wear make up once or twice a week now & have start going more natural for my skins sake, I don't see it as much of a necessity and others shouldn't either. Whatever feels right & whatever someone wants to do I don't mind, but I wish we didn't all feel so much pressure. Xxx


    www.jesscaedmunds.com

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    1. Going to school every day I focus mainly on my skincare; if I happen to wear make up I will wear a little bit of mascara and some concealer. The truth is, society moans about pressure, but it is us, we are society who create the pressure in the first place. Its a cycle that will only every continue. Thank you so much for your love comment Jessica! Lots of love, Lauryn x

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  6. Wow I don't even know where to start! This is probably one of the few amazing posts I've read. Not only is is empowering its also showing th the dirt on how society is today. This post is wonderful I'm very happy you did this. Thank you very much

    Fashionkween.Blogspot.Com

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    1. This comment has truly put a huge smile on my face! Thank you so much, I cannot even begin to explain how happy that has made me! Society seems to be so much improved since the victorian times and so on, but when you look more closely you see that that is not actually the case. A huge thank you once again! Lauryn x

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  7. Great post! I totally agree which is why I wear make up in the day time I like to do it so it looks relatively neutral. But then you see people who are covered in orange fake tam and false eyelashes falling off... And you have to wonder whether it is really worth all the effort! If you have watched snog, marry or avoid it is easy to see the real beauty of skin when they give girls a make under!

    Keep up the fab work xx

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    1. I think the women who aspire to resemble a satsuma are either incredibly naive or have low self extreme. I watch Snog Marry Avoid and most of the time cannot help but laugh at the women! Slapping on all of that fake tan is ridiculous...its beyond my understanding why women still aim for such a look! I completely agree; the make-under makes them look so much for likeable and professional! That's another really interesting debate idea! Thank you so much, Lauryn xx

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  8. This is such a good topic. I personally love makeup and how much it can enhance your natural features! A lot of the times I feel A LOT better when I put on a bit of makeup, but I also go out of the house without any makeup all of the time-- I think it's a personal balance for each person.

    carly; sundays grace blog

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    1. Yes! I go days without putting make up on and then the days I do it feels almost more like a treat! If you wear make up everyday it becomes a chore and it takes the fun and experimental side out of it:) Thanks for your comment! Lauryn x

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  9. I wear make-up to cover up Rosacea. But I do go out without it.

    I think certain industries (fashion, beauty, media) are often there to make people feel inferior. We get criticised for being natural, we get criticised for wearing too much. We need to be fighting this and instilling people with a sense of confidence from a young age

    Roxilicious82 @ Simply Roxilicious!

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    1. I couldn't agree more with you. My sister is 11 and is already self conscious about her looks, asking for make up this christmas. I'm not saying that we should stop young people from using make up; but they shouldn't be pressured into doing so. Lauryn xxx

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  10. Really interesting and thought provoking post - Personally I love everything to do with makeup - buying applying wearing and removing so for me it is a pleasure but I hate to think I am adding to the pressure other women may feel

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    1. Thank you! I feel the same way as you, I would hate to feel pressured into wearing make up simply to feel adequate - make up is a luxury, not a nessecity. lauryn xxx

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  11. I really enjoyed how you treated both sides of the argument. I often go bare faced because I'm lazy, and I feel like if people are offended by my bare face then it says much more about them than it does about me. I think the process of how make up became a way of making oneself feel better is a really interesting one. We can't have evolved to find painted faces attractive, yet faces with make up on are generally considered more attractive! It's a weird one.

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Thanks for commenting, I'll get back to you as soon as possible!