Makeup your mind

There is a common belief that women wear makeup solely to make themselves look more attractive, but in reality, there are many other reasons why people choose to wear makeup.

Kat Smith (’19), applies makeup to her face, just before she prepares to step on stage of her latest theater performance. For Smith wearing makeup became an important part of her life when she first became involved in theater. Smith’s love of cosmetics began when she wanted to help her younger sister and her friends with their stage makeup, and from then her hobby only grew. “I started doing other kids makeup and then I just got into [it],” she said.

Smith’s passion has now evolved into a ritual which allows her to spend time on herself and also because she finds it enjoyable. “I enjoy doing it every morning because that’s the time that I can set aside in the beginning of each day just for me where I’m not focused about school, or about homework,” she said.

Tatianna Kalb (’17) feels similarly to Smith in regards to having a positive relationship with makeup. Instead of trying to change how she looks, Kalb enjoys wearing makeup because she considers it as a canvas to explore an artistic skill. However, contrary to Smith, Kalb doesn’t wear makeup to school everyday because of the effort it requires. “I’m pretty comfortable with only wearing a bit of makeup like mascara to school, and really in the mornings I think I’m too tired to put on more,” she said.

Kalb’s interest began at the end of eighth grade when she started watching YouTube tutorials during her free time. “I couldn’t stop watching the videos,” she said. Kalb describes makeup as something that started off as an obsession and has since blossomed into a hobby. Although it is something she loves, Kalb does not let it impact her social activities. “I don’t mind going to school or going out on the weekends without [any makeup] on,” she said.  

Having never been introduced to makeup, Ruchi Ahuja (’17) never developed an interest in it. She “never really felt the need” to start wearing makeup because of the time and effort it requires. “Especially when High School got really crazy I didn’t really have the time to start getting into [wearing makeup],” she said. Ahuja explains that she saw the amount of time her friends were dedicating to it and how that discouraged her from learning how to apply it. However, Ahuja is “in awe of people who can do makeup” because of the skill and talent it requires to apply it well.

Similar to Ahuja and Kalb, Chloe Chace (’20) does not wear makeup to school because she would prefer to sleep longer and feels confident without it. “I’m just not that insecure… I don’t really feel the need to [wear it],” she said. She mentions the problems of people wearing it to hide their insecurities, “I think there’s a fine line between wearing it too much because then you’re not confident without [makeup] and that’s just detrimental,” she said. Chace describes this kind of a relationship with makeup as a negative way for people to view themselves.

Contrary, Smith believes wearing makeup is not about insecurities but about taking her mind off of things. She feels people should not feel pressured to wear it to fix blemishes or what they deem as imperfections on their face. At the same time, Smith doesn’t think people should avoid wearing it in fear of judgment from others. “At the end of the day it’s just makeup on your face and that comes off every day, that doesn’t change who you are,” she said.

Gender in Literature teacher Eve Berinati, similarly cautions students to be aware of their relationship with makeup and how it affects their daily lives. Berinati stresses the importance of students prioritizing their academics and health, she also mentions students should take the initiative to feel comfortable and confident. “Whatever it takes to make you feel good– to do that, I think, is a good thing,” she said. Berinati also explains that students have various reasons to wear makeup whether it is a “decorative art” or a “way that they express their creativity.”

Despite these positives, Berinati sees a few problems with makeup in relation to a greater societal issue related to the judgment of women. Berinati describes this judgment as something that women “have to deal with… always.” She describes women as having to constantly worry about their “superficial appearance” whether they are “running for president or trying to teach class or maybe even being a teenager coming into school.” Berinati feels that regardless of whether or not a woman chooses to wear makeup, “there are assumptions that are made if you do wear it and assumptions that are made if you don’t.”

Written by Phaedra Letrou (’19)