Should Girls Wear Makeup?

There has been a rising ongoing centuries long debate about women and the role of makeup and the ” need ” for women to wear it.  When I was a dramatic 17 year old,  I wrote a poem called the ” Loss of innocence” in it I wrote :

And she painted her false lips

And killed the song of innocence

Bird in Flight Illustration by Maryam DiMauro
Bird in Flight Illustration by Maryam DiMauro

A younger friend told me ” But you are like that girl, you killed your inner beauty by wearing makeup”. This seems to be a weird idea, when you grow up you wear makeup. That’s why when  some girls reach puberty they spend their time playing dress up. You are taught to cover up your flaws, your spots , your wrinkles your hairs. You should be flawless, you should be photoshopped.

My mother always told me never to go out of the house after a certain age without makeup. Girls in my classroom and later on in life would always want to give me the ” Ugly Duckling” makeover.  They would tell me ” You would be so PRETTY IF you wore your makeup right”.

Then there is the other side of the argument. The naturalists, the people who tell you that you shouldn’t wear makeup to uphold a certain beauty standard, that you are beautiful because you are you, the unique person with flaws and all. My x boyfriend hated that I wore makeup, he told me I looked much better without it .

There is something problematic with all of these arguments. The problem lies not in the makeup itself but in the fact that we are seeking external validation of how we want to look in that particular day.  I like makeup. I like the smell of it , I like how it sweeps on my eyelids and makes different shapes. I’m artistic, so I love to experiment. But there are days that I just couldn’t care less and I just can’t be bothered. None of these reasons are to make myself attractive to other people. Makeup should not be a reason someone is beautiful but it can be a tool. Makeup can create different characters, explore new dimensions, and it is something people dedicate their lives to. It is also part of a multibillion dollar industry which wrecks havoc on women’s insecurities to make a buck as well as cause irreparable damage to the environment and to animals for no apparent reason other than corporate greed.

Like with everything else in life, it’s how you use something and not the object itself. What we need to remember is that real value of someone’s beauty comes from their soul, the way their heart sings from one place to the next. This does not change. This does not transmute. This transforms. This inspires. This is eternal, not the cake substance we want to put on our face.

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Selfie Mental Illness??? The Good and Bad of the Selfie

We all have heard the claims that selfies cause mental illness. Truth be told, the amount of narcissistic tendencies that are derived from focusing entirely on our own self can’t be good. But we forget that selfies have existed since the dawn of time, we always were staring at our reflection . We were always obsessed on how we look to others… the problem is that it is exacerbated a million times through social media. The problems are bigger than selfies because we live ina  society that objectifies us and places a value only on our physical selves.

But we have heard a lot of these arguments over and over. Perhaps I can only see what selfies have done in my personal experience. Perhaps it is an interesting study on some positive aspects of the selfie. Before I started to ” selfie” I hated taking pictures of myself. You would have trouble finding me in ANY picture and if you did it mainly was me in the background being as inconspicous as possible. It was me allowing myself to be overpowered by others.  I hated taking pictures because sometimes I didn’t like the way they came out, because others were taking them. I had no control on the image that was produced.

When I started doing things like online dating or meetup groups or increasing my writing profile, I was finding that few pictures of myself existed. I started to take pictures of myself. Instead of seeing my flaws, which etched around me in every corner I saw my strengths. I didn’t see the big nose and large pores but I started to see my smile. I didn’t see my squinty eyes and large forehead but saw my pointy eyebrows and quizzical eyes.

I started to be more confident in how I looked. Yet even in the positive side, I also was become less aware of others around me. I was always content to look around me in coffee shops, to see who was walking about in the train. I always wanted to remain unseen. Yet when I started to see how I looked I started to wonder how others saw me. This is a dangerous game to play . We will never know that answer. I think this is the deepest problem with selfies and social media in general. We think we can solve what others are thinking based on comments, likes , dislikes. Humanity is far more complex than that.

FOr now, I remember that a picture is just a faded fleeting moment of who I really am but I should never shy away from it.

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