Don't judge the girl by her makeup

March 12, 2014 | 11 a.m.

Stereotypes based on physical appearance undermine our humanity

Opinion | Krissi Dines for The Clarion

I wear a lot of makeup. I like makeup. I like putting it on, I like buying it, I like thinking about it. Sephora is a dangerous, overstimulating,
beautiful place for me. The cosmetic section of Target is like a siren, seducing me to put another shade of lipgloss in my cart. Don't worry, guys, the first step to beating addiction is admitting you have a problem.

But you know what I hate even more than I like makeup? People assuming I’m hiding behind it. I’m not sure when cosmetics and confidence became two things that couldn’t coexist, but they have. Since coming to college, I’ve been told multiple times by men in multiple ways that I should not wear makeup, because “confidence is beautiful.”

That may be true, but what exactly is it about my liquid eyeliner that screams, “I’m so insecure, please save me?” Is it the shade of my red lipstick that whispers, “Help me, I’m drowning in sadness?” No? Then what? I’m honestly curious. I don’t understand what my bare skin says about my confidence that I can’t say myself.

It wasn’t until someone told me that I shouldn’t wear makeup that I even became aware of the social prejudices toward women who do wear makeup. So, I’d like to clear a few things up: I do not wear makeup for anyone but myself. Like I said at the beginning of this article, I like makeup. The time I spend in the morning putting it on has nothing to do with how I hope I’m seen by men throughout the day.

This is what I want people to understand: those 15 minutes I spend in front of the mirror are the only 15 minutes I get in a day to focus solely on myself. I allow myself that time because I deserve it. We all deserve it. That time takes different forms for each person, and just because mine is in the form of cosmetics does not make me a bad person or an insecure woman.

Investing in yourself can look different for each person. Sometimes it just happens to be a noticeable, physical thing, like makeup. But I challenge anyone who’s reading this to look at the stereotypes often associated with what we can gather from someone’s physical appearance. Tattoos? Edgy. Thick-rim glasses? Hipster. Fake-tan? Shallow. Buff? Conceited. Makeup? Insecure.

This isn’t a fair way to view the world. This mindset will get us nowhere and hurt those around us. By assuming that your personal opinion of beauty is universal and expecting others to conform to it, you will remain disappointed for the rest of your lives. That’s no way to live. Please do anything you can to accept people for their humanness and love them as fellow creations of God.


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