For me makeup is kind of a nightmare.
I’m twenty years old, not that you would know it by looking at me. When I tell people that I am twenty, or I show them my ID, they usually give me a gasp and say: “No, you’re not!” At this point, I smile and laugh about it as much as I can. What they say next is true: “You’ll love it when you get older.” I’m sure I will. However, looking like I’m in my early-to-mid teens now is a bit of a disadvantage. I’m usually not taken as seriously by everyone because they assume I’m much younger than I actually am. The solution? There really isn’t one, but I came up with a band-aid solution — makeup.
I have never really worn makeup until recently. My parents insisted that I was too young for a long time, and eventually, I lost interest in the concept. However, when it came time for me to have a job interview, I became a little desperate and stormed into Ulta clueless. I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of choices, and I had two varying opinions given to me by the store clerks. I went with the cheapest option, and it worked for me, but there was a problem. I looked different. Too different.
Of course, companies will try to convince you that you’ll only look better with their product. When did we decide that we looked better with essentially paint on our face? Supposedly, makeup’s been used since ancient Egypt, and in Edwardian society much later, makeup became popular to make middle-aged women look younger. Now that trend has continued, with products and new tricks shoved in our faces all the time. On top of that, a study in 2015 found that only 18% of claims made by makeup advertising were truthful.
Honestly, it kind of makes me mad that I gave into this ploy to a degree. I want to look older to be taken seriously, and I walked out of Ulta with concealer, eye shadow, mascara, and lip stick. It’s beaten into our society that women (and men) look better when their physical flaws are hidden, and this way of thinking is detrimental to our mental health. A study found that beauty ads lower consumer’s self-esteem most of the time, and no wonder!
In my opinion, we need to be teaching one another that we don’t need to give into consumerism to feel good about our appearance. I’m relatively happy with how I look, but I become insecure when I think that I look much younger than I am to others. This isn’t my fault, or their’s, but it’s the fault of our society. Admittedly, we’ve created society, and maybe we’re in an endless loop of insecurity. Without playing on our insecurities, how would companies sell products anyway?
Hopefully, though, we can beat the societal pressure individually as much as possible.