Social Action Rep. Katie Boyer was inspired by our #FreshFace Friday campaign to share her own thoughts on makeup and self-confidence
Guest Blog by Katie Boyer
Growing up I never considered the pros and cons of wearing makeup. I wanted to start wearing makeup as soon as my friends did. Like many others, I was an awkward and self-conscious tween trying to fit in. All my life I had been told girls are supposed to wear makeup, girls are supposed to look pretty, and many other unrealistic standards that I was supposed to live up to.
The first time I questioned these routines, I started to make choices without worrying about what I looked like or what other people would think. (Who would want to be friends with someone who only liked me when my face has makeup on it anyway?)
This change first became part of my life when I moved to college five years ago – I realized I didn’t need to wear makeup every day. Being in a new environment, I had new freedoms and new habits. A lack of worry, time and money was all it took for me to try the “fresh face” look and it became a permanent look. I felt a new sense of freedom when I stopped covering up my face with liquid and powder. This was the first time I felt comfortable in my own skin.
Why did it take so long for me to realize that this was even an issue? Why did I feel the need to hide my rosy red cheeks and cover up my freckles? We know that society values outer beauty but instead of questioning it and trying to make a change for the better, we do the easy thing and go along with society’s social demands, trying to fit in and reach unattainable goals. There is nothing wrong with our faces the way they are.
Just like shaving your legs and armpits or worrying about being skinny enough, wearing makeup is another unspoken societal pressure that just seems to grow and grow. Taking away just one of these worries has had an important impact on my daily life. Besides saving time and money, my confidence has grown.
Makeup is clearly linked to women and girls’ confidence, and this is where the main problem starts. We should be confident in our own skin (literally) with or without makeup. Getting into the habit of wearing makeup for every outing (especially casual things like errands and school) makes us feel like it’s necessary and that we are inadequate without it. If you instead save makeup for a special occasion, it should make you feel good – you don’t need to use it to cover up your face but to enhance your favorite features.
All makeup isn’t bad but it needs to come in moderation. I wore more makeup when I was 13 than I do at 23. We can change this trend. Girls don’t need to be feeling the pressure to put on makeup, it took me years to realize this and I want to help others get there sooner.
I couldn’t have had the confidence to make my life makeup-free without the support of my friends and family. I pledge to continue to spread the self-love to show others that it can be easy. I will to share my experiences with friends and encourage them to find the inner confidence to be proud of their outer beauty.
I pledge to love and appreciate my face and my body the way they are. My goal is to help others work toward loving themselves every day.
Katie Boyer is a feminist living in Oakland, CA. She spends her free time writing, blogging, bicycling, listening to music, and spreading the good word of equality. Follow Katie on Twitter, Google+, and her blog.