Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Magic in Make-up

Make-up means different things to different people. To some it is a ritual undertaken every morning, part of a routine to set yourself up to conquer the day. For others it's a way to hide or conceal something so that you can fit in. What the media tells us though is a mix of messages; that make-up is a commercialised tool for women to use in order to impress boys. I've also seen a lot recently, which I'm guessing stems from the media portrayal of the use of make-up, that feminists shouldn't wear make-up. That make-up can only be used in a man's world. That make-up is for pretty girls and girly-girls.

~ news flash ~

You can wear make-up and be a feminist. 

You don't have to think that a woman's sole purpose in life is to please men in order to wear make-up.

You also hear "she doesn't need to wear make-up", "she looks prettier without make-up" or "who's she trying to impress with all that make-up".

For some people, make-up is a way that they can fit into society and used for what the media tell us to impress the opposite sex. But for some, it is so so, so much more.

Make-up and skin care is a passion of mine, like music or tennis might be to someone else. I spend time researching and learning and trying different products because it's something that brings joy to me, therefore adding value. After being bullied at school for having bad skin, make-up was something I used to conceal and to hide and to paint on a different version of myself. I swap my recommendations with friends, telling them about new products or hacks or a different way to get a good smokey-eye. Now that my skin is better, I don't wear make-up as much (especially as it can be a hassle when living in a van on the East Coast of Aus) but it's still something I look forward to doing. It's 20 minutes to yourself. It's a boost of confidence. It's the time you get to prepare yourself for the situation ahead, whether that's work or a night out.

It's a treat, it's something to save for, it's the sparkling counter at Christmas full of limited editions and gold star packaging. It's the way you want to express yourself and reinvent yourself and transform into someone else. It's an artistry, it's a passion, it's a skill. It's palettes of rainbows to match to your outfit or fancy dress code. It's something you can study and master as a profession. It's something to share and to tell your friends about. It's a tool to cover a scar or a spot or something you're bullied about. It's a way to blend in or a way to stand out. It's a whole tool kit of techniques to interpret society's rules of pretty in your own way.

Heck it's a way we prepare ourselves for the inevitable sexism that will happen on our commute or in the office or your local cafe or just on Facebook. There's something about 'putting your face on' that gets you ready for whatever craziness is going to happen that day.

We should be able to wear as little or as much make-up as we like, without questions or sarcasm or assumptions. Make-up has created this incredible community of people who share a love for the same thing. For brushes and lipsticks and eye-shadows and eye-liners. Mascara and primers and pencils and blushes. There's a magic in make-up. It brings people together to share ideas and inspiration. There's no entry cost to this complimentary community. There's no pricey membership or class divide. There are flat-lays, YouTube tutorials, glistening shop windows and knowledgable MUA's. Anyone can join.

The UK beauty industry is worth over £17 billion. A number that keeps growing, whether customers are feminists or not.
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