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Makeup has a mixed audience. Some are against this form of creative expression. They say that it’s “lying” about your real appearance or that it’s “fake,” but I’m here to speak for those who think otherwise. I believe makeup is a form of self-expression. It’s a form of empowerment. It’s a form of being who YOU want to be.

As a makeup wearer myself, I understand how empowering it can be to take control of how you want to be that day. Don’t let anyone tell you that what you’re doing is unnecessary or “too much.” Ultimately, makeup should be for you and your own enjoyment. The concept of makeup is something you do for yourself and not for others.

I was at a cross country race with some of my friends when one of them commented on how a racer was wearing “too much makeup.” She said that there was no reason that the girl should be wearing makeup at an athletic event, and another friend agreed with her. I’m upset with myself for not speaking up, for not saying that it shouldn’t and doesn’t affect them on any level, so who gives them the right to judge the girl?

Sometimes it’s not even the idea that someone is wearing too much makeup. For some it’s the idea that wearing a lot of makeup or even the appearance that you’re wearing a lot of makeup is only exclusive to special events. One day at work I showed up with a burgundy lip color because why not? It felt like a fall type of day, and I hadn’t worn that color in a while so I decided to wear it. The rest of my makeup was the same as every other day of work, but I had several people come and ask if I had something special that day or if I was going out that night.

   There was no ill intention with the questions I was asked; my coworkers were just asking out of pure curiosity. However I started to feel self-conscious because of my appearance as if I wasn’t supposed to be wearing that lip color, and even then it wasn’t even a full on burgundy. It was just different than my usual nude lip. By the end of work I had gradually wiped it off, but it made me realize how much a societal construct there was around the concept of makeup.

   There are so many people that praise the idea that no makeup is how it should be, that it makes you “real,” but wearing makeup shouldn’t be something that it condemned. They pride themselves in not wearing makeup as if it somehow makes them better. However, if wearing makeup makes you happy, then go for it. If not wearing makeup makes you happy, then do that too. It’s not a matter of one being better than the other but rather that it’s up to personal preference.

   Each person has their own preference, but don’t force those ideas and opinions on other people. If there’s a girl who doesn’t wear makeup, don’t tell her that she’d be pretty if she wore makeup. If there’s a girl who wears makeup, don’t tell her that she’d be pretty if she didn’t. It’s not up to you as an outside person how someone should feel about themselves. It’s ultimately up to that person to decide.

   Be comfortable in your own skin whether or not you wear makeup. The point of this discussion is that you have a right to your appearance and to your feelings. I’ve worn makeup since the 8th grade, and now I consider it a daily routine for whenever I go out. Obviously I look different when I don’t wear it, but I’ve come to terms with that fact. I make the time in my day to get ready because it makes me feel good. It has nothing to do with other people or how I want other people to think of me. I do it because it gives a positive influence on my day.

   Makeup is a powerful tool. The usage and lack of can be empowerment for us all. Don’t ever feel pressured to be on one side or the other, because it should ultimately up to you to decide for yourself.