Photographed by Alexandra R. Gavillet.
The no-makeup trend just went cerebral: The New York Times has arrived to put in its two cents about makeup and what the presence or absence of it means for womankind. Writer Bee Shapiro explores how, recently, the #nomakeupselfie has replaced perfectly lit (or filtered) photos as the most popular form of social-media humblebragging. According to the paper of record, perfectly applied makeup has become passé among the fashion set — now, it's more desirable to simply appear confident in one's own skin.
Shapiro interviewed Into The Gloss' Emily Weiss, who admits that she sees more and more women claiming to be very low-maintenance regarding beauty: “The more you do [your makeup], the more sort of frivolous you are, maybe.” But, Leandra Medine, who wrote a now-well-known essay on why she eschews those lipsticks, blushes, and eyeliners on a daily basis, claims that she personally is not trying to start a "no-makeup revolution" — she simply enjoys the extra sleep in the morning. So, the no-makeup movement is a split between actively shifting societal norms and laziness? Whatever the motivator, having a perfect enough complexion to face the world sans spackle now appears to be a new kind of status symbol.
All of this leads Shapiro to raise the question: How related or unrelated is this new beauty "trend" to feminism? At first glance, this celebration of natural beauty appears as if it should make women feel empowered — however, we'll have to see if this trend becomes more than just a fashion statement. Many women still experience judgment and even discrimination in the workplace depending on how much or how little makeup they wear. Bottom line: It may be easy for some women to say that a bare face is what's cool, but the reality is that, as Amy Ripley described in a recent essay, women (more so than men) are expected to fit the mold of their employers' standards of beauty and style. Makeup equals groomed and presentable, no makeup equals unprofessional and unkempt, and too much makeup means you can't be taken seriously. Kind of feels like a no-win situation, huh?
We don't think a woman's professional worth, intelligence, and capability should be based on whether or not she's slapped some lipstick on that day. Of course, we understand appearance will always play a role in how people perceive you, but who decided what an acceptable, professional standard of makeup was for women? And, why is that such a hard-and-fast rule in corporate culture?
Ultimately, though, it still remains to be seen if #nomakeup is just another fleeting fashion trend or if it's a cultural movement that will have a lasting impact on how women and their makeup (or lack thereof) are perceived by the world. Head over to The New York Times to check out Shapiro's full article, and let us know: Do you see the no-makeup trend as something more meaningful than just a hashtag? (The New York Times)
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