To Wear Makeup or To Not Wear Makeup | Kaylee Kinninger

To Wear Makeup or To Not Wear Makeup?

by Kaylee Kinninger

Alicia Keys recent decision to go makeup free has sparked conversations: some praising her for breaking social norms and others accusing her of being anti-makeup. She has confirmed that she is not anti-makeup; in fact she loves her eyeliner and lipgloss, but does not want to be held back by makeup.

Now, why has this small change in the morning routine of Alicia Keys caused so much media attention? In short, we are used to the clear, perfected faces that stare back at us on magazines, social media, and television. We are unaccustomed to raw freckles, marscarless eyes, and unperfected skin. We are made to believe that beauty can be found in Sephora, not in a freshly washed faced.

This is not a new phenomenon. In order to understand why we support billion dollar makeup industries, we must look back in time. Cosmetics have been apart of world culture as far back as the ancient Egyptians, who used what we now call eyeliner for aesthetic purposes. So in a way, makeup is an ancient ritual people around the world perform everyday, whether to express themselves, to accentuate their beauty, or to make themselves feel more confident.

But have industries taken it too far? Maybe we are so bombarded with Kylie and Kendall’s thick eyebrows and large lips that many feel they need to conform to this look in order to feel desirable and pretty. Maybe little children who played with Barbie saw her mascaraed lashes and symmetrical face and have grown up believing in impossible standards, attempting to achieve them through bronzer and concealer. Maybe people are pushed into gender roles and made to feel that their looks will take them further than their minds and thus proceed to paint their faces every morning before they walk out the door.

I am not saying that any of this is the exact cause. It could be a combination or none at all.  Also, I am not saying that people shouldn’t wear makeup, nor is Alicia Keys. I love makeup. I love my eyeshadows and foundation. So, if makeup makes you feel powerful and confident or if it’s just fun for you, then by all means, you should contour and highlight all you want. But should makeup be a crutch, the only thing that makes you feel confident in yourself? I think society would benefit from taking a step back from the brushes and powders and spend a couple days without covering up, just to see what it feels like to be free from the mask.