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Makeup, a Burden or a Pleasure

“A girl should be two things: who and what she wants” (Elizabeth) according to Coco Chanel, one of the most influential and well known fashion designers and business woman in history. So why would someone not take her advice? Many young girls today often can be discouraged by the media on how they look. Thus, at a very young age, most girls are not comfortable with their own appearance. So, they conform to the way society says their bodies, face, hair, and clothes should look, which can sometimes mean permanent alterations to their bodies. This is why makeup can be the best way for young girls to love the way they look, and be who they truly are, without permanently changing the way they look. Also, wearing makeup will provide a girl psychological, social, and physical benefits. Makeup is like art, you paint it the way you feel and how you want it to look. So according to Harry Winston, “People will stare, make it worth their while” (Barrie).


Psychologically, wearing makeup can provide a girl with more confidence and better self esteem. This is because wearing makeup can quickly provide a temporary change in a girl’s appearance, thus increasing her confidence (Scott 3). As a result of negative experiences a young girl can have in her life, and the messages she receives from them, her self esteem can significantly drop. Also low self esteem has been linked, by the National Association for Self Esteem, to a many negative behaviors among teens; poor academic performance, earlier sexual activity, criminal behavior, alcohol and drug abuse, disordered eating (LaTour). To counteract this, wearing makeup can boost self esteem in young girls, allowing them to prosper in their everyday lives. According to Nancy Etcoff, an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychology at Harvard University,  “Women feel more confident when wearing makeup, a kind of placebo effect” (Louis). I know this to be true personally. For as long as I can remember I never felt confident in my body and my looks, so I began wearing makeup at a very young age - eleven years old. I remember finally feeling beautiful and confident in my own skin. Ever since then I have been wearing makeup almost everyday, and I have never felt more confident and beautiful. In fact, beauty is confidence, applied directly to your face.


Socially, makeup can allow a person to control how people see them and how they interact with people. According to Dr. Vickery, who has a P.H.D in chemistry, said in the article “Up the Career Ladder, Lipstick in Hand” published in 2011 by the New York Times, that cosmetics “can significantly change how people see you, how smart people think you are on first impression, or how warm and approachable, and that look is completely within a woman’s control, when there are so many things you cannot control” (Louis). This shows how someone can control the way people see them through makeup. Also, there was a study done by researchers such as Professor Etcoff, people from the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and Procter & Gamble, who sell Covergirl and Dolce & Gabbana makeup. This study consisted of 25 female subjects, all white, African-American, or Hispanic and between the ages of 20 and 50. They were then photographed barefaced and with three other makeup looks -- natural, professional, glamorous. Then one hundred and forty-nine adults judged the photos for 250 milliseconds each; the results were surprising. The people judged the women with more makeup on as more competent than when they were barefaced (Louis). Consequently, this just shows how wearing makeup can really change how people view others.


Physically, makeup can allow a person to look however she wants without having to surgically change her appearance. Having plastic surgery can cost a person hundreds to thousands of dollars. So why would someone pay for that when it is to easier achieve similar results, through makeup, for as little as ten dollars? Want a sharper jawline? Contour it. Want a tighter looking face? Contour it. Want a thinner nose? Contour it. Also, many people have different imperfections on their body or face, such as acne, scars, discoloration, and many other things. A quote from Thomas F. Cash’s 2002 Book, Body Image: A Handbook of Theory, Research, and Clinical Practice, says “A blemish on the skin can lead to embarrassment, humiliation, or other negative body-image experiences, which in turn can diminish self-esteem” (Scott 5). With makeup, it is fairly easy to cover these marks and make a woman feel beautiful again.


Although there are many advantages to wearing makeup, many people think there are also a lot of disadvantages. One example is that makeup may irritate some people's skin and eyes. Usually people do not look at the ingredients in their makeup products, and sometimes these chemicals can be irritating to people that may have sensitive skin (Warjri). Another example come from my personal experience talking to people about why they do or do not wear makeup. Most people said they do not want to wake up earlier to do their makeup every morning. This is completely understandable, yet most people find that it becomes part of their routine and they actually enjoy doing their makeup in the morning. Finally, young girls should have confidence in themselves without the need of makeup. Makeup is meant enhance a person’s natural beauty, not to cover it completely up for the wrong reasons. Yes makeup has the ability to change the way you look, but a girl should also learn to love her natural self.


So why would someone decide to wear makeup? Well, because every woman wants to feel confident, competent, and comely.  This is also the reason why more young women today decide to start wearing makeup. Just go outside and see all the people wearing makeup; notice the way they talk, the way they walk, the way they feel. Then go to your local beauty store, like Ulta or Sephora, and buy yourself some makeup and feel good about it.




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