We Need to Talk About Makeup and Empowerment
Jane Harkness

Thanks for writing this piece. This is a topic on my mind quite a bit. I appreciate the sentiment that women shouldn’t be pressured or constrained by unattainable beauty standards and the billion dollar beauty industry; but I found some aspects of your thinking disingenuous.

It sounds like the reason you wore make-up in high school, to conceal acne, is no longer a problem. While reading your piece, I wondered — Would you have stopped wearing make-up if your acne hadn’t gone away? It’s much easier to break free of make-up and beauty standards when your skin is clear.

I deal with adult acne; if I don’t wear make-up to work, I notice people looking at my chin instead of my eyes when they’re talking to me. And I don’t really blame them — it catches your eye and is unsightly. This is totally humiliating even though I know they likely are feeling sympathetic more than disgusted. And I really hate that it distracts or detracts from what I am saying. I don’t feel coerced to wear it. The fact is that large, inflamed, cystic draws the eye. It just does. So, I do put on concealer and powder each day. Some days, I skip the mascara or bronzer, but not wearing make-up doesn’t really feel like an option to me. The weekends are a different story :)

I feel it was disingenuous to say that you’re free from the pressures and constraints of make-up and beauty, when your original impetus to wear make-up is no longer present.

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