Why do we wear make-up?
When I was asking for questions for an upcoming post someone jokingly asked me ‘why do you wear so much makeup?’ My first response was because I can but then it got me thinking what is the psychology behind wearing makeup? Hopefully examining some of the reasons why I slap on the war paint will give a greater understanding of why people wear make-up in the first place.
Because I can
Rights and equality for women have come a long way throughout the centuries with women now having much greater freedom in the choices that they make so therefore can express themselves in whatever way they choose and often this is done through makeup. I am very fortunate that I can afford makeup and I have the ability to wear it without prejudice, so I am free to paint my face in whatever colour suits my mood because I have the freedom to.
I am really glad that we are becoming more accepting of males also wearing makeup if they choose; things still need to come a long way but shouldn’t everyone have the right to wear makeup if they so wish and it makes them happy?
The best version of myself
Makeup can be a bridge to giving a person confidence because it makes them feel like they are showing the best version of themselves. With or without makeup we are still as beautiful and hold the same worth in the world but sometimes people struggle with their own self-esteem and makeup can help ease that by giving them that little boost of confidence.
I said a very similar thing in my ‘Autumn Nail polishes’ post about feeling ‘put together’ or you ‘look the part’; taking a moment to care for your appearance is not for the benefit of other people, it is the benefit of yourself. I always feel more confident and like I can tackle the day’s challenges with my makeup on as opposed to when I go without; I love my signature winged eyeliner and colourful lips or eyeshadow.
Often people refer to makeup as ‘putting their mask on’ or ‘putting on the war paint’; life is quite often a battle and can tear you apart on the inside but often you cannot show that side to the rest of the world, women often wear their makeup to appear to be confident when often the reality is they are not. Some people might say it is creating a ‘false illusion’ but if you look at it positively, putting makeup on to boost confidence is helping people get through their lives and helping them feel better about themselves then who are we to argue with that?
I have always been a creative person; I love the ability to create things and make masterpieces out of simple materials. I have been doing creative and imaginative things since I was a young child and I would draw cartoon characters. Over the years I have dabbled in many different crafts which have let me express my creative side and makeup has been one thing that has really inspired me to learn new things, work on my skills and create looks with just the help of a brush and some makeup.
Makeup has helped me and other people I know test themselves creatively and challenge themselves to move beyond their comfort zone and try something new. I have learnt so much and created some pieces of ‘makeup art’ that I am extremely proud of doing. The fact that it can take ten minutes or hours means I can be as creative as I like with the time I have in my busy life, something that art journaling or scrapbooking could not provide me with along with the fact that you need a workspace to create art and I am sadly lacking that with a full house.
A sense of identity and individuality
I might not say this as much as I should do but I am proud to be different, it has taken many years for me to feel comfortable saying that but I am unique and can express myself in whatever way I choose to. I am heavily influenced by the 1960’S and the 1980’s and do not care whether it is in fashion or not, it’s my fashion, my identity and we should have the freedom to express our identity without fear of judgement or ridicule.
Some people may say I wear too much makeup, or my winged eyeliner is too big, or I cannot wear blue eyeshadow and I have the perfect response. My response to people who judge me is ‘I don’t care what you think because I’m representing myself and my own identity if you do not care for it, do not look.’
When I was younger I felt like I couldn’t express my real identity in the way I dressed and how I had my makeup but now I’m older and things like green hair and more acceptable compared to the 90’s I am getting a second chance to show the world the real me, weird, loud and proud.
If you don’t take care of yourself how are you going to care for other people? Self-care has become such an important thing now that society is racing at breakneck speed, making sure you care for yourself and do the things that make you feel good is one of the ways we can keep our mind healthy.
I feel that, when I make the extra effort to put on my makeup and do my nails, I am taking care of my mental wellbeing as well as my outward appearance. The act of putting on makeup makes me happy, playing around with different colours and trying new things gives me a sense of achievement and boosts my confidence.
Also, putting on my makeup is actually a very relaxing activity for me the majority of the time (apart from if I have a makeup disaster), it makes me concentrate and clear my mind and enjoy the process of what I am doing because I am choosing to spend the time on myself and I am worth that extra time and effort.
To attract attention?
Apparently, it is scientifically proven that men are more attracted to women wearing red lipstick and wearing blusher emulates that flushed, glow that means you are a healthier mate. Some people may feel like they need to look at their ‘best’ in order to bag themselves a worthy suitor if it makes them feel more desirable then fair play to them.
Whether it makes you more desirable or not, makeup can definitely make a statement and attract a persons attention. Just think about Amy Winehouse without her trusty winged liner or Kylie Jenner without her statement matte lip, makeup can define your identity in a way that makes you stand out from the crowd, it is a tool that can say ‘I’m a minimalistic beauty’ or ‘I am a full-on glamour queen’, makeup is worn because of the power it has to make a statement.
I would love to know your thoughts and opinions about this topic, are their any other reasons I have missed off? Let me know what you think in the comments.
Ciao for now beauties xx
Why do we wear make-up?