Sometimes, I just want to do my makeup really well, whether or not I’m going somewhere. Then there are days when I like to keep a bare face with nothing but moisturizer on. It’s my choice when I decide to wear makeup and when I choose not too, but of course, someone will always have something to say about it.
I work in a women’s empowerment organization, with a diverse group of women and no male colleagues. On the days I choose to wear makeup to work, I am often asked if I have special plans after work. Whether it’s just a little bit of eyeliner or a full face, the curiosity is there.
When I politely reply that I don’t have plans but just felt like wearing makeup, I am often met with questioning eyes.
Wearing makeup does not equate to lack of confidence, nor does it mean someone is uncomfortable in their own skin.
I believe it’s an individual’s choice whether they wish to wear makeup or not. How I want to dress and portray myself is my choice. While I agree one does not need makeup to look beautiful, I also believe it is a choice we make as individuals.
If you feel beautiful with makeup, then that is your choice.
You do you.
As feminists, we need to respect an individual’s choice on what they would like to do with their body. We should not shame someone or make them uncomfortable for their choice to wear or not wear makeup.
I’ve had so many awkward encounters in which someone will comment on how tired or “ill” I look when I’m out in my natural skin. These conversations normally end with me apologizing or explaining that I chose not to wear makeup today. I am tired of apologizing.
I shouldn’t have to explain why I’m not wearing makeup to someone.
I also shouldn’t have to explain my reasons for wearing makeup. On the days I choose to wear makeup, I am met with curious eyes asking me whether I have a date tonight or plan to go out somewhere.
Why is it that dressing up nice or wearing makeup is automatically associated with seeking male attention?
Women are put down or told to have more confidence in themselves because they should love or respect themselves more.
I always hear the line, “You’re so much more beautiful without makeup.”
I do not wear makeup because I am not confident or insecure. Many others may also believe that I am wearing makeup to cater to the male gaze, but all my efforts into makeup have nothing to do with men. Most guys do not even acknowledge the time spent on makeup.
Sometimes I like to wear makeup to make myself feel good.
I don’t need to wear makeup to impress anyone but myself. It frustrates me that even in spaces that are meant to empower women, women shame one another and ultimately discourage each other. Personal space is not respected and often, maybe unknowingly, we police one another the same way we advocate for others not too.
We fail to respect a person’s choice on how to portray themselves while advocating for choice itself. Whether it’s the choice to wear what we believe is empowering, or the choice to wear makeup.
We tell one another when it is appropriate and not appropriate to wear makeup.
“How could you not wear makeup on a date?”
“Why are you wearing makeup to the gym?”
These subtle comments not only police but can hurt others.
Sometimes, I find myself with makeup at the gym not because I am looking for attention but because I forget to wash it off after work. But whether I wear makeup intentionally or not is my concern, not yours.
We don’t always realize but these judgments can have a severe impact on an individual. It may discourage someone from being part of a potential safe space. As women, it’s essential for us to advocate for one another while respecting each other’s choice.
A woman does not have to conform to anyone’s standards of beauty.
We can’t identify as feminists if we are unwilling to let someone have ownership over their own choices and body.
My body, my choice.
You are entitled to your own opinion, but don’t use them on me.
I am not less feminine for not wearing makeup and I am certainly not more feminine for wearing it.