Even being a woman, it will be much arduous to ponder and answer this universal question in a word: why do women wear makeup?
Mind you, let alone a straight answer from them, asking about makeup may even offend some women, be it the juveniles or the adults. So, contemplating this subject would take a little study on various aspects.
As a Roman playwright, Plautus once said, “A woman without paint is like food without salt.” Take that. That statement implies that women are tasteless without their makeup, or precisely, less charming.
Women put on makeup mostly out of a mere hobby or girlish whim, for professional going about, to conceal any facial feature, or even sometimes, to rescue themselves from the existential crisis posed by the contemporary social standards.
Stay put as we, WomenMinds, will try to illuminate some more aspects in the following segments to grasp why women wear makeup.
Brief Evolution of Women’s Makeup
People have been wondering for ages why women wear makeup.
Endless assumptions were still being made to this date to understand why women paint their faces with various colors; however, the answer to this question is ambivalent.
You might want to look up the culture of intertwining women’s life with makeup from Japan’s eastern islands to far Egypt.
In Japan, Geishas painted their lips coral red and filled their faces with white powders while the Egyptian women applied ash soot eyeliners to pose fascinating gazes.
South Asian women used to tattoo their bodies with henna to appear as blushed and romantic to the world.
No wonder why women to this date, are voraciously seeking newer materials of makeup every other day to portray themselves as pretty.
Women’s Various Perceptions of Makeup
So an individual must wonder why do women wear makeup? Women from teenagers to oldies love to wear makeup, and they too wonder why. There may not be many practical reasons, but still, they vary from one woman to another.
You must’ve heard some women say that wearing makeup helps boost their confidence in daily life, and some address the need to highlight their happiness. Many women conceal their scars and insecurities underneath it, while many women wear makeup as part and parcel of their daily lives without any significant reason.
Hence, wearing makeup differs from country to country, cultures to cultures, and even person to person. Thus the diversity of wearing makeup and the myriad reasons behind it have led to so many questions.
Women Wear Makeup to Boost Confidence
If you’ve heard the famous American television personality and model, Tyra Banks, then you must comprehend the essence of wearing makeup. Tyra said that she loves the confidence that makeup gives her.
This is true as most women worldwide tend to wear makeup just for themselves to flaunt their confidence in their skills. You may opine multiple reasons regarding this confidence, such as being presentable, receive compliments for your look, maintaining a professional or social status, or merely appearing better looking. No wonder how different those makeup brushes and bristles can make you feel on other occasions.
You may have the desire to attract your partner, a prospective job, and reclaiming unpleasant parts of womanhood daily. There lies an inkling inside almost all women to push their limits for beautification; hence women wear makeup. You’ve got to admit, after all, beauty is powerful and contagious.
According to The New York Times, if a woman wants to garner more attention and trust from their employees in an office, she should paint herself with a tint of makeup.
The same article also mentions a study run by Harvard University that claims, “Women feel more confident when wearing makeup, a kind of placebo effect.” So, the research suggests that to earn confidence and trust from within yourself along with the people around you, a woman should wear a specific makeup befitting the decorum of her work and responsibilities.
Women Wear Makeup to Hide Scars/Insecurities
Being honest to yourself, it might’ve occurred to you how the process of adorning your face and overall appearance can conceal the insecurities or scars in you. Such apprehensions may live within you being a secondary citizen in a patriarchal society.
I remember watching a Hindi TV series on a popular channel in my childhood, which showcased a badly beaten woman who concealed her scars with makeup to hide her pain from her loved ones. This scenario is indifferent to other parts of the world.
Admit it, if you’d even once stolen your mother’s lipstick and wore it on your lips just for fun. However, if you’d watched the show mentioned above, it would paint a new picture of lipstick’s use in your mind.
You would then realize how a woman can hide her dark secrets with a makeover brush rather than just stylizing.
Apart from hiding facial blemishes, you must’ve encountered those women who instead prefer to mask their facial attributes with makeup. Some may not like their facial features and wish to enhance or diminish those with the touch of cosmetics.
Now you know how and why the top makeup brands and fashion houses use these painful incidents and insecurities to flourish their business.
A significant number of women are lured into believing that no matter how unpleasant you look according to societal definitions and standards, you can always buy some makeup items from a particular brand to turn yourself into a model or an Instagram influencer.
Ever wondered how the top cosmetics brands thrive in the market? An article titled “Why do girls wear makeup? You asked Google – here’s the answer” makes a persuasive case that the beauty industry exists so that they can control a generation of women in the name of emancipation.
They keep that unsatisfied audience anxious, hungry, and ever vigilant under the belt of physical perfection. Thus, the number of women using makeup to hide their painful blemishes or natural facial characteristics is rising worldwide.
Women Wear Makeup as A Part of Daily Life
You must be waiting for this point since, as a reader, you could not empathize with the categories mentioned above, thinking- I wear makeup just for myself! Yes, there’s a third kind of woman who wears makeup just for themselves and does not gain confidence, hide any pain, or impress anyone.
Amazingly, makeup for these women is a part of their daily lives like breakfast or lunch is (Are you one of them?). They use makeup accessories, symbolizing their love for their skin or their life in many cases.
Have you ever felt like an artist while wearing makeup? Because most women think that putting makeup on their face provides a sense of an artist. No wonder why almost every woman chooses to express their artistic qualities by turning their face into an art; with such amount of muse and time.
As per a poll conducted by Career Explorer, at least 35% of women have chosen makeup as their livelihood source in the United States. The other 65% have a minimal attachment to makeup, having pursued makeup as their part-time job.
You should get an idea of women loving makeup from this statistic. It shows how many women dedicate themselves to makeup for a living and those who do not follow that route still follow makeup just as a source of artistic abilities.
In the year 2020, the world is burning due to a pandemic called Novel Corona Virus, making it mandatory for everyone to wear a mask whenever they are outside.
However, the pandemic has given birth to another famous catchphrase of recent times. Here, women advocate wearing lipstick inside their masks and say: “Women never adorn themselves for men; if it were the case, they would not have been wearing makeup beneath their masks.”
Makeup Ruins the Originality
Now, brace yourself for some opposite ideas regarding women wearing makeup.
Among all the arguments on behalf of wearing makeup for boosting confidence, concealing insecurities, and expressing artistic qualities, some women disregard all these ideas. Why so?
It seems these ladies believe that makeup works as a fake shield and that women wear makeup to protect their insecurities and enhance their natural attributes, which they should not be doing.
This belief’s origin goes back to the second wave of feminism when the tagline was natural is real. Therefore, wearing makeup to garner confidence or inspiring sexual attention is a big No-No to them.
You must’ve noticed a lot of Instagram influencers throwing a natural look challenge. They believe that posting a bare face on the social media platform can influence more women to love how they look naturally. What’s your stand on this?
Nowadays, the mass for choosing not to paint a face is increasing as they consider this action a symbol of freeing their skin from any societal or individual standard requirements.
Simply put, no woman should look at the mirror and think that the reflection needs to be changed.
Read this: one of the advocates of the school, Deborah Rhode, a law professor at Stanford University, wrote “The Beauty Bias” (Oxford University Press, 2010) and said: “I don’t wear makeup, nor do I wish to spend 20 minutes applying it.”
She maintains her grandeur, saying that she doesn’t want her appearance to affect some workers unjustly. “The quality of my teaching should not depend on the color of my lipstick or whether I have got mascara on,” she added.
While writing for WomenMinds, I believe that both these arguments work. Many women like to wear makeup and feel better about themselves since it gives a sense of achievement and confidence.
At the same time, some feel confident enough to keep their faces as natural as possible. It’s not something I would like to thrash on your personal views about wearing makeup; it just has a clear perception.
I also like to think that many of us love wearing makeup, and it does help here and there. However, you mustn’t consider wearing makeup to make you look great and achieve what you wish for in life. Mind you, that talent and hard work cliché still works.
If putting a layer in your face makes you feel great, I think you should continue doing that by all means without thinking about anyone’s opinion. However, if you can walk and feel pretty with only lip balm and baby powder, kudos to you as well.
We live once, and we should enjoy our lives as much as possible without feeling any societal or personal pressure to look better.
If a woman prefers wearing makeup, she may be doing it due to professional or personal reasons. No one should pass a disregard for the women who continuously do so.
But generally, you must take care of your skin and health if you have a necessity or knack for doing makeup on every occasion. Stay alert from harmful makeup products.
Eventually, your natural skin, beauty, and health matter the most.