Our social world keeps on changing constantly. Out of nowhere a trend comes into life and takes the world by storm. You see it everywhere: in your circle, on social media…it becomes cosmopolitan! While most of these trends are good and ‘healthy’ for our well-being, some can have counter effects too. One thing that has revolutionized the society is- Makeup. From teens to grown-ups, from men to women, the idea of putting up makeup is in serious vogue. Over the years, use of makeup in our everyday life has steered up to an extent that we find ourselves incomplete when not wearing it. This article provides a quick look into how things have drifted over time and what detrimental consequences we face!
History- From Where it All Started
About 6000 years back, makeup found its roots in Ancient Egypt. Regarded as a sign of wealth, women used to put makeup for the purpose of ‘lightning skin tone’, green color malachite eye shadow which represented the gods Horus and Re and rouge on cheeks for a rosy tint. The threads of makeup can be found in Bible, while a more elaborated statement is scripted in The Book of Jeremiah: “And you, O desolate one, what do you mean that you dress in crimson, that you deck yourself with ornaments of gold, that you enlarge your eyes with paint? In vain you beautify yourself. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life.”
As the horizons of makeup extended towards the west, the culture was addressed with both acceptance and harsh impudence. A lot of regions followed the credo of the connection between beauty and morals- especially in the Roman Empire. Stoicism, a philosophy based on moral values and human goodness, regarded ‘true beauty’ as a reflection of an internal disposition. This chain of acceptance and rejection continued till late nineteenth century, and to some extent can be objected in the present world too.
The Period of Normalization
By 1900s women were using makeup extensively. As the years rolled, entertainment industries expanded. Actresses were now becoming role models and promoting the use of beauty products. Beauty standards went under great revolution between 1900-2000s. New ideals emerged as the earlier trends went down the hill. Twentieth century welcomed some of these looks:
- Sharp lip-shape
- Thin eyebrows
- Foundation, bold lip and pink-tinted blush
- Inclination towards natural look
- Bloom of bright colors
- Shine and pop culture comes to life
- Flushed cheeks and glossy lips
Things Get Detrimental
With the increasing obsession over makeup, dilemmas started to hover above the society. A lot of women wore ‘skin-lightening foundations’ to make an explicit statement about their economic well-being; women who had tanned skin tone were regarded as poor due to the field work, they were indulged in. This has become a regular infamy in today’s world as well. This culture descended into our everyday society and blended well amongst the well-to-do households.
Over time, makeup became a synonym of wealth and luxury- a sinister means of stabilizing economic status while degrading the women of working class. Above all, the bifurcation of 'right' and 'wrong' makeup is a bigger conundrum to find yourself tangled in.
Makeup and Teens
Getting up at 5 in the morning to smear face with layers and layers of makeup is the new normal of teens. Whether it be during the school hours or catching up with friends, shades can be blended a million ways for almost every occasion. While this practice doesn’t raise remarkable questions, clouds of skepticism hover over social media. As soon as new beauty products come in the market, a following trail of teens, young men and women tussle to get the premium ones right away.
Jess Lowe, founder of @FYI_Beauty and editor of ukmakeupnews.co.uk told Refinery29— “It’s very easy to get caught up in the hype of social media. Some may feel the need to have the latest releases to fit in and not want to miss out. Some may feel overwhelmed, while others may disengage altogether from something they have found joy in previously.” Using makeup seldom becomes a way of hiding scars and blemishes which are stereotypically ‘not beautiful’. This significantly impacts self-esteem of teenagers who may feel incomplete or less confident without makeup.
Climax- The Final Outcome
To do justice with the final words, I’ll put it this way- be careful the way you use makeup. You know the best ways to control yourself from obsessing or panicking over beauty. Detox your mind and try to be comfortable in your real skin. Remember, makeup can only be used to ‘beautify’ you and not change you, as it should be. Therefore, don’t let it become a necessity. You can look good without it, just as you do! All you lack is a little confidence; trust the texture and folds of your skin, they are worthy enough to not be hidden behind some artificial layers. Flaunt the way it is, the beautiful way!