Last week The Huffington Post released a new original video showing just how ridiculous female beauty standards can be in terms of makeup, while also poking a bit of fun at the swell of beauty gurus that have taken over Youtube with their tutorials. The video, along with the article that follows, bring up some valid points about the pressure so many women feel to keep up with society’s beauty standards, despite how expensive and time-consuming that can be. The cause of this pressure is made very clear: women are treated very differently based on whether or not they are wearing makeup.

Let me start by saying that I absolutely love makeup. I find it fun to play around with different looks, and for a while I seriously thought about going to school for cosmetology. I think makeup is a great form of self-expression and self-empowerment – after all, putting effort into yourself automatically makes you feel better about yourself. A little bit of pampering can go a long way.

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That being said, if I take a step back and ask myself some important questions, I can see the major conflict surrounding makeup. Sure, it makes me feel better about myself, but why? Is it purely boosting my own self-confidence from the inside, or am I fueled by the reactions I get from others?  I think the lines tend to blur day-to-day.

From my own personal experience, I can definitely see a difference in the way people respond to me when I wear makeup. They notice me more – I don’t necessarily feel like just another face in the crowd. People are more likely to come and talk to me, and if I have something to say, they seem more interested. Of course, this could all come as a result of the confidence makeup gives me. Ultimately people do respond better to those who carry themselves with confidence. If you know your worth, that kind of attitude shines through you. However, all too often women encounter situations in which they must react to the occasional, or sadly sometimes daily, comments about their appearance that are completely uncalled for.

Think about it. How many times are women told they look “tired” when they aren’t wearing makeup? When they wear too much makeup, conversely, they are told they’re trying too hard. Even the most natural of looks becomes a point of comparison for future days. And often those “natural” looks actually take a lot of time and a hell of a lot of makeup. Just take a look at this Youtube video, in which beauty guru Freddy My Love shows how to look as though you aren’t wearing makeup at all. No shade - she looks beautiful and effortless (and I am definitely going to look for that L’oreal CC cream). However, the amount of products it takes to get that “natural” look can be daunting for people who are inexperienced with makeup or just don’t want to spend the time for that kind of routine. The important thing to remember is that the opportunity is out there, but nobody should feel pressured to do all this if they don’t want to.

At the end of the day, you have to know who you are and what makes you comfortable, and you have to own it! People will judge no matter what, but true confidence will carry you past that. To hell with society’s expected standards of beauty. Take a step back and look at some celebrities making headlines because of their nonconforming styles and personalities. When so much of our media centers on a “Eurocentric beauty ideal,” as The Huffington Post puts it, sometimes we all need the reminder to embrace who we are in spite of it all. 

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Photos (in order) courtesy of www.dailylife.com.au, samanthapfield.com, and scoopnest.com.

Read more on Bust.com:

Celebrate Equality With This Amazing (And Hilarious) Makeup Tutorial

9 Indie Makeup Brands That Are Way Cooler Than Mainstream Ones

8 Scary DIY Makeup Tutorials for Halloween

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