Does Contouring Send The Wrong Message?

Remember last August when we declared that we'd hit peak contouring? And then, we had to take it back, because contouring got even crazier just last month? Well, friends, we've been had yet again. We've reached another contouring extreme. But, this time, it's your bod that's getting the highlighting-and-shadowing treatment. Mic.com reported on a video that shows a model with streaks drawn across her abs and boobs, which are then expertly buffed into fake-sculpted perfection.

A video posted by @fashionvideo.s on


We've always had a pretty middle-of-the-road view on contouring. Makeup is about expression, and if you want to beat your face to the heavens, have at it. But, there's something about this latest batch of contouring videos (specifically the ones in which people are painting on abs) that leaves us feeling a bit icky.

Women are already saturated with around-the-clock images that dictate unrealistic beauty standards. Makeup trends like contouring give us the opportunity to enhance our features. Fine. But what if we've never felt the pressure to have a six-pack before? It's kind of hard to ignore the hype when we see people painting on their abs to look "more beautiful." It goes too far.

Demi Lovato shared a similar view with us in a recent interview. "What makes me sad is to see so many girls on Instagram with their faces painted, literally, and the contouring tutorials and the lip tutorials," she said. "I had a moment where I thought, Are my lips not big enough? And, no, I have great lips. While it's great to learn, some of these tutorials make you think you have to put pounds of makeup on, and that’s not the case."

We're inclined to agree. If you feel like you'd like to add some oomph to certain parts of your body, go right ahead. But if you've never even considered contouring before, don't feel like you have to become a convert. We think you look damn good, with or without it.

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