“How can you rationalize being a feminist and wearing makeup?”
I’ve been asked this question more than once by women who believe wearing makeup is reinforcing a male-dominated society.
I’ve also been reminded, “Men don’t like a lot of makeup, you know.” Cool. If that’s the case, I recommend they stick to a bit of light foundation, maybe some mascara
Jokes aside, I’m not wearing makeup to impress men, nor am I supporting a male-dominated society because I love to wear makeup. I wear makeup as a way of honoring the woman I am.
I first started wearing makeup when I was around 10 years old. I experimented with different looks as I got older, eventually embracing the whole alternative emo scene. This meant cutting off all my hair, dying what was left of it, and wearing some serious Pete Wentz-style eyeliner. It wasn’t a good look…for anyone.
My style has evolved over the years, but I still love experimenting and finding new, creative ways to express myself. Because that’s what makeup is for me: it’s a form of art I use to express myself. I have to know my canvas. I have to understand the way light hits my face, what will make my eyes stand out, and what will make me glow in the right way.
None of this has anything to do with trying to impress or submit to men.
I’ve heard some women claim they feel freer and more empowered since they stopped wearing makeup. That’s fair, but that’s simply not the case for me. I can leave the house without makeup on. But I feel half-naked, underwhelming…less me.
Makeup doesn’t define me, but it’s how I choose to present myself. It’s a fun way for my artistic side and my rebellious nature to come out and play. It’s the way I relax before the start of my day. It makes me feel put-together, confident, and powerful: a warrior woman with winged eyeliner sharp enough to outwit any man.
Whether we should or should not wear makeup is not some universal rule that can be applied to all women, nor is it an overarching statement about a women’s stance on equality. It’s a decision we each get to make about what we choose to do with our bodies…something I think we can all stand behind, with or without a little lipstick.
Author: Ciara Hall
Editor: Brooke Breazeale
Copy Editor: Travis May