A friend once told me that it took her 10 minutes every day just to get her eyebrows looking they way they looked. That’s not including the time it takes to do the rest of her face and choosing what to wear. Her eyebrows do look hot – even a slob like me could tell, but I wondered, why spend so much time just for eyebrows?
She told me that it made her feel pretty. It wasn’t to impress anyone; she did it for herself. It’s her body and she wants to make it pretty.
That’s wonderful, isn’t it?
More recently, I met a guy who puts on BB Cream to campus. It’s really rare to see a regular guy, who wears makeup regularly in Indonesia (though there are probably self-proclaimed “metrosexual” who apply moisturizer and go to salons for a hair spa). I was curious, so I asked him why he wore makeup. He told me that it made him feel more confident. Is it to attract other fellas? Nope, he said. Later a friend told me that the guy was not gay and that he had a girlfriend. Whoops. I guess stereotyping, though convenient, isn’t always accurate.
So here’s the thing. I don’t really wear makeup. If putting on make-up were a game, I’d lose in the first round, because I have no skill whatsoever. I also sweat easily and it’s hot out there. I can’t even apply eyeliner – each time I try, I end up looking like a crying raccoon. Imagine what I’d look like running around campus, sweating per usual, combined with my ability to put on black liquid to my eyes. You get the picture, right? The furthest I’ll go is putting on some lip tint or matte lipstick and waterproof mascara. Easy. Simple.
As a fan of easy and simple, I’m clearly not obsessed with makeup. I can’t equate the joy I get from eating really good pizza with getting a Giorgio Armani Luminous Silk Foundation. I can’t take pride on my contouring/strobing skills; my eyebrows will never be on fleek; and I still don’t know what red lipstick suits my skin tone best. But it doesn’t mean I’m against women and men who wear makeup, especially if they have those ninja-like skills. When I see those people who can really work their skills, I’m like, damn girl (or dude), keep on doing your thing!
Sadly, not everyone shares this opinion. Some people (men) say, “Guys don’t like a lot of makeup, we prefer the natural look, like Raisa and Maudy.”
Or, sometimes those who wear makeup are branded “superficial”, “dishonest” who “mislead” or give “false advertisement”. The same people would post about wanting to fuck Kendall Jenner, the face of Estee Lauder, or Godfrey Gao, SK-II Men’s Global Brand Ambassador. Some even break up with their girlfriends after seeing how they look without makeup on.
Human beings are not mindless objects. We are individuals with the right to do whatever we want to our face and body, and this includes the decision to wear makeup or not. If you are a man or a woman who wears makeup, and you enjoy doing so, and it makes you feel beautiful, confident, and empowered – or any other positive adjective – you shouldn’t listen to what those haters say.
Do whatever the fuck you want ladies and gentlemen. You should never follow what society expects you to do and be. It’s your body and you’re doing it for YOU. Screw the haters. When the haters start to hate, all you have to do is shake it off (but make sure your makeup stays on while doing it, because it takes time, skill and practice to make you look like that).
Sandra is a feminist and first-year college student. She believes in equal rights for all human beings and always asks “What would Beyoncé do?” when in doubt.