Is Makeup a Feminist Issue?

24 Jul

There are a lot of celebrity trends we don’t often understand, yet the most recent one is far more appealing, with celebs posting barefaced photographs online to help remind us of the fact that even the rich and famous look (almost) just like us without the war-paint.

When Holly Willoughby tweeted a snap of herself sans-makeup last week, dozens of fans responded by saying how ‘refreshing’ it was to catch a glimpse of her looking all-natural despite her usual glamorous persona. I’m sure most will agree that she still looked gorgeous as ever, yet it also struck a chord for many women who wouldn’t dare dream of leaving the house without makeup, let alone pose voluntarily for a photograph.

Working in the industry that I do, appearance is always important. Research studies made by makeup manufacturer Procter & Gamble have shown that a quarter of company bosses are more likely to hire a woman who wears makeup than one who doesn’t, illuminating the prejudice that is still on-going for women even today.

Since the discovery of Max Factor Pan Stick at the age of 15, I have never been one to stray from the slap. From then on, it has become my greatest ally and all-time confidence booster. Despite my occasional efforts to go ‘au naturale,’ I adore my extensive makeup collection. I love the fact that I get to transform a pale, sleepier version of myself into whoever I fancy that morning, simply with a sweep of bold lipstick or a spot of blush.

For most women, makeup is an easy way to instantly perk us up. Whether we’re hungover, flu-ridden or just feeling plain rough, we can alter this in the space of five minutes with the help of a few trusty items stashed away in our handbags.

We all know that even the most stunning celebrities only achieve flawlessness with a team of expert makeup artists on hand as well as expensive products. Makeup can produce wondrous results, so why is wearing it still often frowned upon? It has been argued for years that women who wear makeup are anti-feminist because surely, they must be doing it just to please men?

Celebrities such as Holly Willoughby, Rihanna and 90210’s AnnaLynne McCord have all been applauded for posting pictures of themselves looking fresh-faced online, with some suggesting that all women should do the same. However as much as I find it liberating to occasionally step outside without a trace of slap, most women express their independence through wearing it, which in my eyes is as feminist as it can get.

Women wear makeup because it boosts self-esteem and quite simply, because it is fun. To deem a woman anti-feminist based upon appearance, essentially defeats the purpose of feminism altogether. As much as I admire the courage of celebrities posting such personal photos online, I vehemently disagree that wearing makeup is all about pleasing other people.

Women should accept themselves with or without it, regardless to what the rest of the world wants them to do. Feminism is supposed to be about having a choice, and if that means fake tan and lashes for some, then I say embrace it. After all, not all of us look just as good in the morning.

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