Making Up Stereotypes

Anyone who’s agonized over first day of school outfits understands the intense struggle of people judging you based on your exterior. You instinctively know which outfit will get people to think you’re a rebel, which will make people think you’re a nerd, and which will make you seem unapproachable. You know how much makeup to put on so people will still talk to you, but they know they have to win over your affection. There are endless, illogical conclusions drawn from people’s outward appearance. Apparently your choice of clothing and makeup say more about your personality than anything else.

We see girls wearing no makeup and immediately assume they’re socially awkward and spend the afternoon with their twenty cats. We see girls with a full face of makeup, contour and eyebrows-on-fleek, and assume they are deeply insecure and desperately want a boy. Not once does it cross our mind that maybe, just maybe, she wears makeup because she genuinely likes makeup, or she doesn’t put on mascara every morning because makeup doesn’t appeal to her.

Sometimes it feels like females only have two options: boy-hungry girl with insecurity issues or nerdy girl with no social skills. This debacle begs the question: Why does it matter? What is it about makeup and clothing that reveals more about a person than just their fashion choices?

Yes, first impressions are important, and normally hold some truth. It’s virtually impossible to meet someone new for the first time and not make some judgments based on their appearance. But, just because it’s natural to determine a person’s personality by their outward appearance, doesn’t mean it’s right.

We’ve all heard the adage to not judge a book based on its cover. Apparently, though, makeup is exempt from the no-judging rule. Girls are constantly told to love themselves and that they don’t need makeup to be beautiful. They’re told that guys don’t like girls who wear a lot of makeup (as if that’s even true), and there’s not a person that hasn’t heard the sadistic line, “Take a girl out swimming on the first date to see her face melt off.”

Of course, no one thinks that teenage girls don’t actually wear makeup for boys at all. Crazy idea here, but maybe not everything girls do is in response or done to get a response from their male counterparts. Girls can wear makeup because they like makeup, and girls can choose not to wear makeup because they don’t like makeup.

It shouldn’t be an issue if a high school girl never wears makeup. It doesn’t mean she’s not a flirt, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t like talking to people, and it certainly isn’t anything to base her characteristics off of.

Francois Nars, founder of a French cosmetic company, said about makeup, “…truly modern makeup is the freedom to be yourself, to express who you are.” Marilyn Monroe, on the other hand said, “A smile is the best makeup any girl can wear.” Obviously, there’s not a good answer to whether wearing makeup is good or not. Some people use makeup as an outlet of expression, but it surely isn’t the only way a girl can express herself.

All in all, if wearing a full face of makeup and owning sixty different shades of eyeshadow makes someone happy, be a decent person, and don’t tell them they don’t need makeup. If wearing absolutely no makeup and not knowing what to do with an eye lash curler makes someone happy, be a decent person, and don’t tell them that they really should think about wearing some makeup. Let people do what makes them happy without fear of others first-class snobbery. It’s that simple.