Debate Magazine

Why I Don’t Wear Makeup

By Juliez

I’m 17 years old, a rising senior in high school, and I am unusual among a lot of my friends for this one reason: I don’t wear makeup.

That’s not to say I have never worn makeup, because I have, on occasion. I’ve worn it for two of the four high school dances I’ve attended, for the occasional band concert or dress-up day, and for the school musicals (although then it was stage makeup, a completely different matter). I have never worn makeup for a school picture. Why? It’s not like I’m heart-stoppingly gorgeous or anything. I am an average looking girl, but I’m comfortable with that.

There are a couple of reasons why I don’t wear makeup. One main reason is that I really like sleeping. I would much prefer to spend a few extra minutes in bed in the mornings than to spend that time stabbing myself in the eyes with colored pencils. But there’s more to it than that.

The way I see it, I would rather look completely normal and average (aka, like myself) about ninety-nine percent of the time and have that be the way people see me, than look extra good ninety-nine percent of the time and have others get used to seeing me as someone other than myself.

One night I left something at a friend’s house and went back the next morning to pick it up. I was startled by how much different my friend looked that morning without any makeup on. She didn’t look like herself at all, because the self I was used to seeing was heavily altered by eyeliner and mascara. I don’t want the way I actually look to shock people. I want my friends to recognize me, no matter what time of day it is.

Whether or not to wear makeup is certainly not the most pressing issue facing feminists today, but it’s still an important segment of the larger issues of body image. To me, a big part of feminism is the empowerment of women. Feminism has certainly empowered me more than any other influence in my life, and I wish more people felt that it was socially acceptable to like the way they look naturally. I’m not saying that people shouldn’t wear makeup, because that’s a personal choice, a choice that I do sometimes make. I just wish that it wasn’t so weird to not wear makeup on a regular basis and that people, especially young girls, didn’t feel so much pressure to look perfect all the time.

I like my face (most of the time, anyway), and I don’t need makeup to make me feel that way. Instead, I have feminism to make me feel good about myself, and I’ll take those beliefs over eyeliner and lipstick any day.

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