Cosmetics: Empowering or Self-Deprivation?

Cosmetics: Empowering or Self-Deprivation?

Jazel Pena

Makeup has been sold and utilized for thousands of years, being used to accentuate natural features and also for cultural purposes. Ancient women were very mesmerized with youthful beauty, and they often employed cosmetics strategically to achieve that youthful look.

Now, many women and men have embraced cosmetology, professional or not. However, many opponents of makeup have claimed that cosmetics are used to “trick” possible suitors and is also a sign of low-self esteem or a lack of confidence.

Such statements are not entirely wrong, but when you dissect all the possible reasons a person may wear makeup, the primary use of it is simply for self-empowerment. Although the claims made by opposers that a person would like to highlight their most appealing features or simply draw attention away from their lesser appealing ones may have some justification, the use of makeup is predominantly an outlet for a boost in one’s own self-confidence.

Take it from an avid makeup-wearer herself: makeup makes me feel prettier and when I feel prettier, I am definitely more confident.

Some women and men are uncomfortable with their natural face or their “naked face,” and enhancing their features with makeup makes them feel more attractive; special even. If you feel uncomfortable with your innate features, you will forever be unhappy. People who use makeup in order to “look better” are not necessarily doing it to instantly be more attractive, but in order to feel better about themselves altogether. To feel good about yourself is empowering, and if makeup is what makes you feel that way, then so be it.

Social norms have become increasingly infatuated with youthful beauty, and women have done their best to try to respect the trends by using makeup to make themselves appear younger than they actually may be. This seemingly “ageless” beauty they maintain makes them more intimidating, and thus, more prestigious. As cliche as it may be, “pretty people win.” By being beautiful, women were held higher and were empowered – literally.

Although makeup somehow does distort and change a person’s features, when you feel good on the outside, you feel good on the inside as well. Makeup is more empowering than it is self-degrading, and opposers of cosmetics need to open up their eyes to this.

Every single one of us has our own quirk, hobby or interest that makes us feel better; for some it’s makeup. So why do we attack wearers of makeup when they are evidently only doing what makes them happier? Why attack wearers of makeup when they are just trying to feel better about themselves?