Why do Women Wear Makeup?

One of the biggest flaws in American culture is the fact that when girls become teenagers, it is considered “normal” to wear makeup. You will not find a single magazine cover featuring a woman who is not wearing tons of makeup, because according to societal standards, it isn’t pretty; it doesn’t sell. I started wearing makeup in 7th grade, and I remember my dad saying that it was stupid to put black under my eyes. In his generation, it wasn’t as common for girls to start wearing makeup so early. I am comfortable enough to go without it now, but it makes me sad that so many of my friends feel the need to spend 20 minutes every day fixing their “flaws” and changing their face.

Some people (including myself) say that they wear makeup because it is a fun thing to do, or because it makes them feel good, not because they feel like they have to. This attitude toward makeup is positive and healthy. Makeup is another form of art, and I think any creative outlet is awesome. However, this way of thinking does not apply to the majority of women, and there are double standards for women that don’t apply to men. If a woman attends a fancy event, it is expected that they look their best. This usually implies that they will be wearing makeup. If they were to show up completely natural, they would probably be looked down upon because they aren’t “trying.” Why doesn’t this same thing apply for men? Why is changing your face considered more beautiful? This way of thinking causes many young girls to feel uncomfortable with their natural selves.

[pullquote speaker=”” photo=”” align=”left” background=”on” border=”all” shadow=”on”] It is funny to me, though, that on social media they are called “brave” simply because they are being their natural selves. It’s true though; they are brave.[/pullquote]

Also, why is the act of going makeup free is considered “courageous” by societal standards? Some bold celebrities that appear on talk shows or in magazines without a stitch of makeup advertise the idea of being beautiful both ways. It is funny to me, though, that on social media they are called “brave” simply because they are being their natural selves. It’s true though; they are brave. They are going against the standards of society and doing something that many women fear. This fear exists because most of the pictures you see in tabloids or on social media of celebrities without makeup are called “ugly” or question whether the woman is suffering from depression or a drug addiction.

A lot of people don’t even know what a makeup-free face looks like. Many men see women in media with a “natural look” and mistake that for no makeup at all. Amy Schumer even made a skit playing off of that idea. It started with a bunch of guys telling her to take all her makeup off and be her natural self, but then when she does they realize how “ugly” she looks and they tell her to put it back on. People often espouse the idea that you should feel bold and confident as your natural self, but society’s honest opinions and expectations make that a difficult task. In order to truly change people’s perception we need to applaud those who feel confident as their natural selves, rather than put them down for it.


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  1. This is an interesting topic. I like how you mentioned makeup to be a creative outlet, because I agree that it is an art form! But societal standards are bunk! Nice article.


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