Why One Feminist Writer Embraced Lipstick (Kind Of)

embedPhoto: Via Twitter.
The continued buzz about why women wear makeup has certainly riled up some feelings among us about feminism and our society's beauty ideals. It seems that many of us (both men and women) have differing opinions about how makeup does or doesn't play into the glass ceiling. Writer Amy Ripley, for one, experienced firsthand how makeup can directly affect a woman's career, as she recently discussed in an essay in The Telegraph.
After a professional interview at age 24, Ripley was told by a recruitment consultant that her interviewers thought she was great but that she "really needed to wear some makeup." Ripley was, of course, enraged — but since she needed the job, she swallowed her pride, bought some eyeliner and lip gloss, and ended up getting an offer. Thus began her complicated relationship with makeup — and with herself. ("I wondered why I didn't have the courage to explain politely that I never wore makeup and would prefer it if I was considered on merit, rather than appearance," she writes.)
Then, after feeling ambivalent about her beauty routine and what it represented for about a decade, Ripley found herself admiring a friend's "sophisticated" red lipstick and decided to seek out a crimson soul mate for herself. This, Ripley writes, was the first time she understood how empowering makeup can be. "I felt like an elegant 1940s Hollywood starlet...I hate to admit it but I do feel more confident — grown-up, not old," Ripley writes.
We can relate to Ripley's sentiments. Makeup is far from superficial — it has the power to make ladies feel invincible. But, it can also have an impact on how a woman is perceived, for better or worse. This story offers up the important point that females shouldn't have to feel that they're being taken less seriously in the workplace because of a presence or absence of makeup on their faces. We're glad Ripley was eventually able to find the joy in a killer tube of red lipstick, and we're hoping that the more we engage in this dialogue about beauty standards, the faster we'll be able to get to a place where a woman's worth — both personally and professionally — is determined by the person herself and not by the contents of her makeup bag. (The Telegraph)


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