Lately, it seems like there's been a lot of shade thrown at women who wear a lot of makeup. Blame the #NoMakeupSelfie, blame #WokeUpLikeThis, blame whatever you want. The fact of the matter is that women who wear a lot of makeup are now being viewed as trying too hard.
Which is why Teen.com's post on what not to say to girls who wear makeup really hit home for me. The GIF-ladened post includes phrases that are frequently thrown at women who love wearing makeup. It is, in a word, infuriating — but only because it brings up such an important point.
Recently, I wrote a post about whether or not the #NoMakeupSelfie was throwing shade. In that post, I divulged the fact that I spend about 40 minutes each morning on my makeup. Considering the other (possibly inflammatory) opinions I shared in that post, I was pretty surprised when quite a few commenters lashed out at me about the time I spend painting up my mug. "Isn't spending 40 minutes on your makeup the definition of trying too hard?" one commenter asked. "It's silly to spend so much time looking like you're not wearing anything," another commenter added. Hilariously, these remarks echo those that Teen.com advises against using in their post.
There was also a recent comment on a post about Kim Kardashian's new haircut that was equally aggravating. "You can literally see the foundation on her face in this picture," the commenter spat. "What a great role model." I'm sorry, I didn't realize there was a certain makeup ratio that, if ignored, turned you into the worst role model of all time.
Suddenly, I was seriously pissed off. And, not just for myself, but for all of the women out there who choose to wear a lot of makeup. Because — who the hell asked you?
Not that I owe an explanation to anyone, but the reason I spend so much time on my makeup is because I enjoy the ritual of putting it on. I smooth on my foundation and concealer, give it a few minutes to settle, and then I powder. I'll sip my coffee and listen to music while I swipe lipstick shades on my hand. I will put my nose to my mirror and sketch out 50 cat-eye swoops until they match up perfectly. But, ya know what? This ritual is my time. It's meditative and relaxing. Applying my cosmetics blisses me out more than any yoga session or two-mile run ever could. This does not make me dull, vapid, materialistic, silly, or less of a feminist.
Sure, there's effort involved in applying cosmetics, but I don't think that means I'm "trying too hard." (What the hell does "trying too hard" mean, anyway?) Of course, on the other end of the spectrum, plenty of women who don't wear all that much makeup (or just get caught by the paparazzi without it) get roasted, as well. It's like some ridiculous pissing contest.
At the end of the day, no one has the right to tell a woman what type of "beauty" is right for her. If you want to layer five base products and glue on false lashes every morning, go ahead. If your moisturizer-and-curled-lashes look makes you feel like the hottest chick in the world, incredible. Own your beauty rituals, no matter how many steps they take. Makeup, like fashion, helps us present ourselves the way we want the world to see us — it is an extension of our style, our personalities. And, that can be a powerful thing.
Now, excuse me while I touch up my lipstick...
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