Beauty, Lookbook

Dear society, stop telling us how to be empowered

Women are given standing ovations for turning down eyeliner like they just turned down drugs.

When you’re sitting in a dentist’s office, you have two choices: either watch Finding Nemo for the hundredth time or pick up a random gossip magazine. While I love Finding Nemo, I think I have it memorized by heart already.

I pick up the magazine, and begin leafing through. The first page’s blaring headline read, “Singer Alicia Keys bravely comes out bare faced.” I flip a couple pages and another headline reads, “Katy Perry goes for a coffee run, looking exhausted, completely unrecognizable.”

I flip back to the front page, confused.

[bctt tweet=”News flash: Alicia Keys has no obligation to wear makeup. In fact, nobody does.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Both woman are sans makeup and while one is praised for her bravery, the other is labeled as ‘exhausted.’

After social media glowed with praise for Alicia Keys after her big naked-faced debut, along with the launch of her new campaign to go makeup free, I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at the irony of it all.

[bctt tweet=”The more we single this out as ‘brave,’ the more we send the message that make-up is shameful.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Don’t get me wrong here, I find it admirable that Keys has taken control of her own definition of beauty. It’s an important statement, and many women look up to Keys as a role model in order to feel secure in their own personal choices. That is valid.

The irony, though, is that this is being regarded as such a heroic act.

News flash: Alicia Keys has no obligation to wear makeup. In fact, nobody does.

There is a serious issue with singling out these bare-faced celebrities as though they are some sort of rare breed of Pokemon. Women are given standing ovations for turning down foundation like they have just turned down drugs.

Check this logic out:

The more we single this out as a ‘brave’ act, the more we send the message that putting make-up on is a shameful act. Katy Perry’s smokey eyes and red lips are no less empowering than Keys’ choice.

My hope is that as a society we can reach a point where a woman’s worth is not directly connected to the amount of cosmetics on her face

[bctt tweet=”No more shame or praise given to a woman for her choices.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Maybe then after we can all talk about the actual definition of beauty: that beauty is in reality not actually definable.

How’s that for irony.

  • Mahreen Alam

    Mahreen Alam is a recent graduate of the University of California, Irvine. She is a Pakistani-American Muslim. She enjoys taking on different perspectives when telling stories. Especially drawing from her own personal experiences, culture, and religion. She hopes to be able to travel to all the places on her bucket list someday.