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Makeup is oppression.. end of story


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#Post 1 of 111 OFFLINE   aquaeyes77

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 08:19 AM

I am a 23 year old woman who has spent most of my life (from age 13 to 22-ish) being a slave to makeup and finally woke up and realized that it is simply unnecessary and oppressive to women rather than "liberating".

 

Let me begin, I developed severe cystic acne from age eleven and onward that was wide spread all over my face and body which lead me to start wearing "full foundation" at an early age. I was made to feel as a lot of girls and women do that I "had" to wear makeup because I had acne and it was unacceptable for me to show my real skin without leaving the house without dermablend and a sh*t load of powder, concealer ect. on. This was a very time consuming stressful process for me, I had to get up at almost 5 A.M in the morning to put all my foundation on and do all my concealing before I went to school.

 

I felt as though I was obligated to do this somehow. In the back of my mind I knew it was some form of "societal oppression" for me to have to do this labour  but was tricked into thinking that I was only improving myself and that makeup helped me feel confident. Wrong! - why is it that teenage boys are allowed to walk around with cystic mounds on their face and get zero criticism while girls with the same skin condition have to slap on the pancake makeup? modern day sexism is the answer. It's not the type of sexism to the extreme that exists in Saudi Arabia where women are mandated to wear niqabs and full body covering - but it certainly is a variant of it that. "Western style" female oppression is the word that comes to mind.

 

I later became addicted to makeup - there was a time I would spend all my money on every MAC collection realeased and started hording a masssive pile of makeup and wearing just as much. I tried to convince myself that makeup was an artform (especially eyeshadow) as the reason why I liked it so much. I thought it let my creativity shine through but if that was the case, why would the art only be confined to my face? why would I not be painting on a piece of paper or the wall if I was truly "artistic". This was motivated by insecurity rather than anything else I later uncovered.

 

Makeup is an addiction fed on insecurity - we keep buying and wearing because we get used to our "makeup face" and begin to think the way we look without out it on is inferior to the way we look in dolled up form. Which is mentally unhealthy when you think about it - we're rejecting our true appearance.

 

I had some pitted acne scars and hyperpigmentation left over from 12 years straight of cystic acne which lead me to believe that they'd never heal and that I'd always have to rely on makeup to get that "normal skin look" (I'm sure a lot of you feel the same). Wrong! I started exfoliating, oil cleansing with grapeseed oil and using retin-a gel in the last five months and I can say my acne scars (which where quite severe) have been eliminated and my skin is near porcelain. And my dermatologist thought the scars were permanent! Ha!

 

I've found a lot of the skin imperfections I thought could ONLY be covered with makeup could actually be fixed with skin care products. For instance my super dark circles that I used to conceal with studio finish on a daily basis have disappeared since I started using a vitamin K cream and bio oil under neath my eye area.

 

I think skin care is the best realm! rather than making up up a fake face. I no longer have to rely on makeup at all for this reason.. and I should have never had to before.

 

Please don't allow your self to be oppressed. Makeup is a mask that women shouldn't feel obligated to wear end of story.



#Post 2 of 111 OFFLINE   KeepOnSingin

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:04 AM

Makeup being oppressive is your opinion. It is not fact!

 

Sorry you've had that experience, but I view makeup as a very positive thing. It helps boost women's confidence, it can change someone's look, and well, it's fun!


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#Post 3 of 111 OFFLINE   Wida

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:09 AM

I like makeup and it's fun to play with. I don't feel insecure, oppressed, or any other negative emotion. I don't feel that I have to have makeup on and I have no issues going out without it. I don't spend huge amounts of money or hoard makeup. I'm sorry that you've turned makeup into something negative, but not everybody feels the same.

#Post 4 of 111 OFFLINE   kawaiimeows

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:17 AM

In *my* opinion, makeup is like anything in the world, it can be use healthily or it can be easily abused. I can see how it can be detrimental to people who develop a reliance on it or use it to feed their insecurities. But for now, I feel that my way of using it (light eyeliner and a little bit of shadow and blush on the weekdays) is healthy and does not leave me in oppression.

 

Also, I DO consider makeup to be a form of art, look at the work of Pat McGrath. Makeup can play a pivotal role in runway shows and I have seen it as a form of expression


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#Post 5 of 111 OFFLINE   emmakey9

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

I think this comes with age, but I've learned that it's very seldom that you change someone's mind based on your experience and opinion. I developed a sense of apathy regarding other peoples' personal choices. So you felt burdened by makeup, that's you. You're not me and I'm not you. I'm not going to list the reasons why I think you're misguided/wrong because you've already made your mind up.

 

Women are more than the sum of their parts, more than the makeup on their face. Wearing no makeup may make you feel liberated, but guess what? Wearing makeup may make someone else feel just as free.

 

I suggest you try to change minds by smiling with your makeup-free face, living your day-to-day life with your personal idealogies. However, registering on a makeup forum just to tell women we are being "kept down" by wearing makeup won't get you very far.


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#Post 6 of 111 OFFLINE   suenotto

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 09:55 AM

Make up, for me is a hobby. I spent the first half of my life not wearing any or or not much, now I have a giant collection. I still don't always wear it or feel like a slave to it, its totally optional for me and that makes it fun when I do decide to wear it.

 

I never feel "obligated to wear" it. In fact my husband always prefers me without makeup, and sometimes I do too, but I believe in choices. To wear or not to wear, its should up to the individual, how they feel about it.

 

Choices=freedom, not oppression.



#Post 7 of 111 OFFLINE   Debglam

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 10:04 AM

Originally Posted by aquaeyes77 View Post
Please don't allow your self to be oppressed. Makeup is a mask that women shouldn't feel obligated to wear end of story.

Aquaeyes,

 

The most important thing in this world is to love yourself.  If you wear makeup because you feel that you HAVE to in order to conform then it can be oppression.  To many of us, it is a form of artistic and self-expression.   I am happy that you have found peace with who you but you shouldn't generalize.  I am extremely happy in my own skin and I also happen to love playing with makeup. 

 

Debby



#Post 8 of 111 OFFLINE   MissJessicaMary

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:05 AM

While I am 28, I recently "discovered" make-up for day to day wear and I also recently entered a short phase where I kind of felt inclined to wear a "full face" (though it was a light full face) most days. Having skin that looked flawless (or less flawed) was kind of appealing to me. But after a couple weeks, it became a little bit annoying (mainly because of the time it took), and also I found I was being drawn to more natural looks day to day because that suits me and my overall "look" and style better. When I dress up for events I tend to like to wear a full face (light foundation with powder) because I do more dramatic eye make-up and it looks better on me with the foundation. I still try to avoid the heavy make-up because it makes me feel a little claustrophobic.

 

I was raised by a mother who wore little make-up and a father who constantly told me make-up was bad and that I should always just look natural. I really did not even start playing with make-up until I was about 17, I think. Then I wore black Egyptian style eyeliner and black lipstick (or just a gloss). No foundation or anything. Then I got into modeling at age 25 and then I had to start learning to do some make-up because many studio lights really bring out any imperfections in your skin. Even then I did not start wearing it outside of shoots very often until I moved to Detroit and started hosting and managing art events and being photographed for online and newsprint publications a lot.

 

To me, a lot of my make-up is self expression and kind of an art form. I wear the most make-up and play with it the most when I do my self portraits. For example, this one:

 

 

I was playing around with my Urban Decay The Black Palette to get a darker, more dramatic eye to go with the outfit. The outfit was a belly dancer/Eastern inspired look built around the necklace which was a gift from a FB fan. I would never wear make-up that dark out on a day to day basis because it would not fit my daily style, but it worked out really nicely for the photo and kind of adds to the drama little bit (at least in my mind). I am wearing a light full face of make-up there, a tinted moisturizer/BB cream with powder, my brows are done (filled in and smoother out), a bit of contouring (very light), plus my lips.

 

And then there is this one:

 

 

I did the look above as a character, Maleficent (but a younger version) from Sleeping Beauty, and featuring the E.L.F. make-up book based on Maleficent. Again, a full face similar to above. To me it is fun to play the character for a little bit, just like I enjoyed dressing up as princesses as a little girl.

 

But now that I went through my phase, I am just as comfortable going bare faced, or just wearing my moisturizer (with SPF to protect my skin) and a very light dusting of rice powder to cut down on the shine. You can still see my "flaws," but I really do not mind. I take good care of my skin and I am not perfect, but I am not ashamed of my skin either. I still like to do more for events because I will be photographed a lot and as the hostess I do like to look good and it makes me feel nice when people compliment my make-up. And now that I blog about it and do make-up reviews and such, people are always eager to see how I did my make-up (mainly my eyes) for whatever it is.

 

I do also love my skin care. I follow the Japanese/Asian method and use a cleansing oil to remove make-up. I am also experimenting with more natural products and some DIY things like scrubs. And I try to wear some form of sunscreen on my face especially when I know I will be outside or in the car for longer periods of time.

 

I think make-up is what you make of it. If you see it as something you need and cannot live without, then it might be stressful for you. If you see it as art or something to play with, then you probably take it less seriously. There are all kinds of reasons to wear make-up, and all kinds of make-up. If anyone would rather not wear it, that should be their choice for whatever their reasons are, just as it should be the choice of any one to wear as much or as little as they like for whatever their reasons are ^_^


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#Post 9 of 111 OFFLINE   Dalylah

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:26 AM

Anyone who allows any one thing to take over their life becomes oppressed by it. All humans have intrinsic value that is not defined by makeup or anything else.

 

Having said that, some days I walk around with a full face of makeup and some days I walk around with nothing but lip balm and a pony tail. Makeup is an artistic expression for me. I don't need it, I enjoy it, and I'm ok with that.



#Post 10 of 111 OFFLINE   Glossygirl

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:38 AM

Quote:
Please don't allow your self to be oppressed. Makeup is a mask that women shouldn't feel obligated to wear end of story.

 

 

Actually, some argue that the opposite is true. Like everything, I think it boils down to the freedom of choice. That's great if you've had a breakthrough that makeup is oppressive to you, but I don't think that you should be making generalized statements about everyone.

 

http://www.slate.com...han_makeup.html


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#Post 11 of 111 OFFLINE   starryeyed

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 11:42 AM

You obviously didn't check out the New York Times debate on this issue:

 

http://www.nytimes.c...urt-self-esteem



#Post 12 of 111 OFFLINE   Dalylah

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:26 PM

I just have to say that letting anyone or anything define and run your life is bad. This isn't specific to makeup. It's about a human finding their own balance.



#Post 13 of 111 OFFLINE   beautymadn3ss

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 12:47 PM

As some other ladies said, make up might be oppression for you, but not for us, at least not for me. I just started getting into make up this last year and before I would just walk around without make up. I still do, some days I don't want to wear make up and I feel just as good without it as I do with it. I enjoy putting my make up on, it's actually fun for me and it doesn't feel like an obligation to do it. I change my nail polish 3-4 times a week, cuz I love colors and wearing different ones. My bf likes me the same way, wearing make up or no make up at all. 



#Post 14 of 111 OFFLINE   suenotto

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

Originally Posted by aquaeyes77 View Post

 

I felt as though I was obligated to do this somehow. In the back of my mind I knew it was some form of "societal oppression" for me to have to do this labour  but was tricked into thinking that I was only improving myself and that makeup helped me feel confident. Wrong! - why is it that teenage boys are allowed to walk around with cystic mounds on their face and get zero criticism while girls with the same skin condition have to slap on the pancake makeup? modern day sexism is the answer. It's not the type of sexism to the extreme that exists in Saudi Arabia where women are mandated to wear niqabs and full body covering - but it certainly is a variant of it that. "Western style" female oppression is the word that comes to mind.

 

This is a ridiculous analogy because no one, that I'm aware of, is being persecuted for not wearing make up. I know lots of women who don't wear makeup.Years ago when I didn't wear make up, I never felt any pressure to wear it, and I've always been considered (by some people anyway) to be "hot".

 

We all have our own experiences that shape the way we think and feel about things. If you feel makeup is oppressive to you, then don't wear it. That's one of the privileges of living in a free society, its your choice.



#Post 15 of 111 OFFLINE   captainamanda

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

 

First off, I would like to apologize over the fact that you started off with such a sad view on things. It seems as though you started off wearing makeup because you felt you had to- this is usually never the case. Many women don't wear makeup. It seems that your insecurities lead you to start telling yourself to wear makeup. No one is expected to wear makeup, it is 100% your choice (of course, this can change in different professions, like an actor in a sci-fi film, for example). I am sorry that you've had to deal with such insecure thoughts... the mind really is a horrible, yet lovely thing. We are trapped in our own thoughts, and sometimes our minds turn on us and target yourself (such as in your case). If your mind is telling you that you must wear makeup because you're not comfortable within your own skin, maybe wearing makeup isn't the best choice. An individual therapist might help with this, practicing radical acceptance, and becoming more at ease with yourself. I know, it's a scary thought. 

However, makeup really is an art. Artists have the option of using a canvas, paper, clay, digital media, paper mache, skin, etc. We also have many mediums we can use- paint, charcoal, pen, our hands, pastels, resin, tablets, makeup... just because you are skilled in painting, it doesn't mean you are skilled in using charcoal. Being an artist isn't a universal blanket- just because you are good at makeup doesn't mean you will be able to paint. They are different mediums.

I really hope that you can overcome your insecurities, and if you wish, try again in makeup, but this time don't have your insecurities as a motivator, but a passion for it instead.



#Post 16 of 111 OFFLINE   aquaeyes77

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

Perhaps I generalized a bit. Makeup is not really the problem - it's how it gets used is the issue. If a person is using makeup to make up a whole new face because they don't like their natural looks (Like I used to) only then does it become detrimental because it interfers with self acceptance.

 

I still own a ton of makeup - I'm just not wearing it like I used to. Though I still wear makeup on a daily basis (mascara, brows, blush, gloss) it never went as far as before and I no longer use foundation.

 

No woman should have to feel that without makeup she's less valuable because of a less than perfect exterior. And to feel pressure to have to wear a full face every day is exhausting - and unfortunately a lot of teen girls and women do have this philosophy which is awful.

 

And there is societal pressure if you're a girl and have severe acne or a visible birth mark (Port wine stain ect.) to feel shameful about your skin enough to cover it up. Where as boys and men don't have this high standard to live up to. I remember going to school one day in tenth grade and being sick with the flu and not feeling well enough to cover my acne with makeup so I just went bare face with some Retin-a on and that's all. And I was actually told by a teacher to put some foundation on to cover my skin? he was like "you can't walk around like that, go home at lunch and put some makeup on". How is this not some form of oppression? honestly.



#Post 17 of 111 OFFLINE   BrittneyMarie

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:13 PM

Makeup itself isn't oppressive. If it is to you, then whatever, but it isn't a flaw in the idea of makeup, so much as a reflection of your personal insecurities. I wear makeup because it's fun. I love trying new products and looks, but I don't feel obligated to wear it everyday. For me, it is far from oppressive.



#Post 18 of 111 OFFLINE   kawaiimeows

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

Originally Posted by aquaeyes77 View Post

And there is societal pressure if you're a girl and have severe acne or a visible birth mark (Port wine stain ect.) to feel shameful about your skin enough to cover it up. Where as boys and men don't have this high standard to live up to. I remember going to school one day in tenth grade and being sick with the flu and not feeling well enough to cover my acne with makeup so I just went bare face with some Retin-a on and that's all. And I was actually told by a teacher to put some foundation on to cover my skin? he was like "you can't walk around like that, go home at lunch and put some makeup on". How is this not some form of oppression? honestly.

I'm not sure if I'm understanding the context (beauty school? modelling school?) but if it were general public schooling then there are no cases where this would be acceptable for a teacher to do this and you probably would've been able to make a complaint.

Also I've never been told by ANYONE that I need to put makeup on, and if they did tell me, I would give them a piece of my mind. Makeup is only oppression if you allow it to be, if you let people bully you into conforming yourself to their beliefs of what is "beautiful" then yes, you are being oppressed.


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#Post 19 of 111 OFFLINE   aquaeyes77

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

No this was regular public high school in Canada. It's different up here



#Post 20 of 111 OFFLINE   Dalylah

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

Originally Posted by aquaeyes77 View Post

No woman should have to feel that without makeup she's less valuable because of a less than perfect exterior.

I do agree with this but I don't think most of us on this forum feel this way. It is a hobby for us. All humans "conform" one way or another. I conform each day by wearing deodorant. Now I could skip using it to make a point but let's not go there.

 

Sometimes I think this has less to do with society and more to do with how people are brought up, their family, friends, surroundings, etc. My parents told me I was pretty while I was growing up. They taught me the importance of recognizing intrinsic value in all humans. As a young adult it never occurred to me that someone would hate me simply because they perceived me to be unattractive. Of course that is naive and there are some people who do judge you on your shell only. I don't have time for those sort of people because they fall short in the humanity department for me and that is a much uglier flaw.