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If You Don’t Like Makeup, Look Away

by Sofia Acevedo Valencia

Makeup and its usage is a centuries-long debacle that stems from individuals’ choice to be liberated, be themselves and show off who they truly are. But every now and then, “woke” hot takes come along whose only goal is to shame others. They put themselves in a vulnerable position that they believe is reserved for them.

You cannot relate to a societal issue that does not affect you.

Physical appearance is a big problem in society due to the impossible standards we’re all supposed to conform to, but limiting people to what they look like and if they’re attractive or not is simply so shallow.

If you navigate life only seeing people for their outer appearance and think the world only revolves around that, that must be such a sad life.

If you only find the urge to compliment people you find attractive, then maybe you should do some self-reflection about how you have been brainwashed by society itself.

One thing is true, there is a stark contrast between confidence levels among different types of people. We all thrive off male attention and approval to an extent. Men perform for other men and eventually receive some semblance of reward.

On the other hand, marginalized groups can try their entire lives and do the unimaginable. However, it will simply never be enough for a man, let alone the rest of the world.

I am someone that has experienced cultural shifts and misogyny in different parts of the world. Though men’s efforts to put down women differ from country to country, it’s the same misogyny I have seen every feminine-presenting person in my life go through.

To be brief, makeup is an effect of our capitalist and patriarchal society to make women feel like they’re not enough.

The problem I have with the argument that makeup is oppressing us is the way this point of view is presented by individuals that will never understand what it’s like living in a man’s world. There are very limited situations in which a white, cisgender man will go through harassment and that is because of his place in this society.

You want to imagine a perfect world where women are subjected to only bowing down to the beauty standards you have created because that is the only form of oppression you will allow yourself to think of.

You don’t want to wrap your head around the fact that society makes minority groups feel so miserable with themselves that some of them lose the will to live or get killed for self-expression.

It’s quite easy to judge someone on the way they choose to present themselves when you have had no problem with that your whole life. You could have had confidence issues, the way you carried yourself, but you have never gone through life as a woman, an LGBTQIA+ individual or a person of color.

Wear too much makeup, you’re asking for it. God forbid anyone wears concealer, lipstick, mascara or eyeliner and we’re catering to the male gaze and their endless fetishes. We’re ingenuine, fake and a farce when we subject ourselves to the treatment men have pushed onto us since the moment we exist.

Wear no makeup, you’re a prude, a puritan, you don’t put yourself out there and you’re playing hard to get. Why are you trying so hard to be different?

Why should we feel guilty for wanting to look beautiful for ourselves? Do men really think we do everything to serve them? Despite its setbacks, makeup does not only encourage creativity but has created communities across the world going decades back.

Capitalist consumption and being subjected to so many different life-altering products that promise to come close to changing our actual physical appearance have always been a problem.

But maybe if everyone took a second to step out of their comfortable little privileged bubble, it would be quite clear that makeup users have been aware of this and battling these preconceived notions since the beginning of time.

We don’t need to be told we’re oppressed because we live it, but awareness from our male counterparts is something.

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