Proud2Bme | The Dangers of Makeup Shaming

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The Dangers of Makeup Shaming

By Samantha Hom--Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian, Demi Lovato, and Sofia Vergara have all jumped on the #NoMakeupSelfie bandwagon, posting pictures of their bare faces on social media. 

This can send an empowering message, which says a person does not need to wear makeup to be beautiful. 

Inner beauty should always be valued over a woman’s appearance.  However, it is also important to recognize that it is okay for a person to feel beautiful while wearing makeup.  Recently, body positive movements have turned to makeup-shaming and privileging “natural beauty”.

Makeup shaming is making someone feel bad or guilty for wearing or enjoying makeup.  Women have historically been critiqued for trying too hard, or not trying hard enough.  As we all know, trends change with time.  It seems that women who don’t wear makeup are being praised and complimented as being more genuine and laid back, while women who wear “too much makeup” are accused of being vein or insecure.

Beauty blogger, NikkieTutorials, posted a video where she only puts makeup on half of her face to accomplish a ‘before and after’ at the same time.  She made this video to fight makeup-shaming and celebrate the way makeup can be empowering.  The video went viral and many people posted their own pictures with half of their face all dolled up, and the other half au natural.

Reasons Why Someone May Wear Makeup

  • Because they want to! Makeup can give people a confidence boost, and that is nothing to be ashamed of.
  • Because it is part of their gender performance!  The #NoMakeupSelfie movement largely leaves out people who may use makeup to reaffirm or perform their gender.  For gender nonconforming people such as transwomen, transmen, drag queens, drag kings, and cross-dressers, makeup can be used as a tool to assert their identity. 
  • Because it’s fun! Playing around with different colors and products can be a cool way to show the many versions of you!
  • Because identity can be fluid! You may decide you want to look like a 1950’s pinup girl one day and a dapper dude the next. Makeup can help you achieve that!
  • It’s an art! Applying makeup is not easy, and it takes skill and practice to perfect this talent.  However, it is often a devalued art form.  This traditionally feminine practice may not be taken seriously because of prevalent misogynistic attitudes towards women.

Stop shaming and policing others for their appearance/ way of expressing themselves!  Wearing makeup is a choice.  A person is no stronger, braver, or more real for choosing not to wear makeup.  Nor is a person more superficial, narcissistic, or fake for choosing to wear makeup.  We can all work on not judging people based on their appearance.

Zendaya said it best when she called out @Manstagram for their offensive tweet:

If you notice someone may not be wearing makeup, do not say:

“Wow you look so different, I barely recognized you!”

Your response: What did you hope to accomplish with this comment?

If someone looks like they are wearing more makeup than usual:

“Who are you trying to impress? Is there a guy?”

Your response: I like to look good for myself.  Also, you should not assume every woman is attracted to men.

“Your makeup looks a little loud today.”

Your response: What did you say? Sorry I couldn’t hear you over my awesomeness.

About this blogger: Samantha Hom is a rising senior at Colgate University and will be graduating with a B.A. in Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Women’s Studies.  She is currently volunteering at the NEDA Helpline and is an intern at Step Up, a non-profit in New York City that inspires underprivileged teenage girls to go fulfill their potential through education.  She is passionate about intersectional feminism and pie, and hopes to pursue a career that empowers women and is focused on positive sexuality and reproductive health.  One of her goals in life is to be on The Ellen Show. 

For more on social media trends, check out:

Crop Tops Are For Every Body


#DontJudgeChallenge Does Just The Opposite


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