Not to Lash Out…

Aren’t you a little young to be wearing all that makeup? Are you actually ugly underneath all that? Who are you trying to impress? These are questions that I hear constantly, but I have a question of my own in return: what does it matter to you? 

I am 16 years old, a sophomore in high school, and I wear makeup to school everyday. Not just some light mascara: foundation, concealer, eyebrows, eyeshadow, the whole nine yards. To some people this is a total outrage, an absolute scandal, yet studies show that a majority of women say that they began to wear makeup at around 13 – 15 years old. Personally, I began wearing makeup regularly in sixth grade, age 12, only using a bit of light concealer and some mascara. 

Reactions to a young girl in a full face of makeup vary drastically. Some people hype me up, praising my eyebrows or my highlight, while others do double takes, silently judging me from behind narrowed eyes. This is what made the decision to fully jump into the world of makeup very difficult for young me. On one hand, I loved the confidence that wearing makeup gave me and the infinite possibilities that it held. On the other, I knew how harshly people judged others for wearing makeup at such a young age. In the end, I realized that it was my life, and I should do what makes me happy, not what makes other people comfortable.

A very common misconception is that I wear makeup to look good for the people around me. Makeup to me is something of an artform. While I’m not anywhere near as talented as some makeup artists out there, when I do my makeup in the morning, I feel a kind of creative freedom that I don’t feel anywhere else. I have never once sat in front of my mirror, trying to pick a shade of eyeshadow and thought, how can I impress that one kid in my science class today? No, I do my makeup to make ME feel confident, and not for anyone around me’s benefit.

I feel equally confident with or without makeup, contrary to many other people’s beliefs. Truly, I really don’t look that different without makeup. People assume that I look like an entirely different being without it, but in reality, that’s just not the case. And even if I was the biggest catfish to ever exist, what would that matter? Some people take it as such an offense when women take off their makeup and look drastically different, but honestly if you can’t tell when a woman is wearing makeup you are just flat out unobservant. It’s not a secret I’m hiding, or a lie that I am upholding; it’s no different than dressing to flatter my body type or getting a haircut that compliments my face shape. 

The thing is, makeup isn’t some big conspiracy or controversial issue. It’s really just some product that I put on my face to make my skin seem a bit smoother. No one should feel pressured to wear it or go without it, because underneath it all, it’s still you. And to answer everyone’s questions, yes, I am old enough to make my own decisions. No, I don’t think I’m ugly under all this makeup. And I don’t have anyone to impress but myself.