“Why do you look so nice?”
This is a question I’m asked almost every day. And not because I look all that special every day, but because I put effort into how I look each day, regardless of how early my day starts.
Whether I have an 8 a.m. class or no morning classes at all, it is not uncommon to see me sporting bright red lipstick and a dress, two things not often in a college-aged women’s wardrobe.
Before I started college this year, my older friends told me countless times I would suddenly stop caring about what I looked like for class.
There won’t be anyone to impress in huge lecture halls, all my friends told me. You won’t care about makeup or clothes anymore, they said.
All I could do every time my friends told me this was shake my head. I knew they were wrong. I knew having “no one to impress” would not stop me from putting makeup on and wearing cute clothes.
Because I don’t put makeup on to appear more attractive to other people. Because I don’t buy clothes in hopes of impressing men and women alike with the amount of effort I put into looking acceptable to society’s standards. And I know I’m not the only girl who feels this way.
On a college campus, I realize I stick out like a sore thumb. Although I do see girls, and guys, dressed up on campus occasionally, it is certainly not the entire school population, and it is certainly not on a regular basis. The only time I see a lot of girls wearing makeup or dressed up is when they go out on weekends.
To me, my face is my canvas; my makeup is my paint. I love experimenting with new makeup whenever I can. This is why I was so disappointed when I was Googling opinions on some of the new trends and new products available, and the top results were articles describing which “12 Hair and Makeup Looks Men Hate,” and “What Men Think of Makeup.”
Um, excuse me, gentlemen, but why did this become about you? Why is the application of makeup yet another thing women are supposed to do for you? Why must a girl’s every action somehow be in hopes of impressing a boy?
And, not only are we supposed to wear makeup to appear more attractive to men, but we are not supposed to wear certain kinds of makeup our men don’t approve of.
There is so much more to makeup and clothes than looking attractive to others. What so many individuals, mostly men, fail to see is that makeup and fashion are art forms. It is just another mode of expressing yourself.
The really intriguing thing about it is you can live your life in it. It’s fun, an opportunity for creativity, and practical all at the same time. What else can you say that about?
The article “12 Hair and Makeup Looks Men Hate” on totalbeauty.com went far past simply specifying what styles most men supposedly dislike — they even included reasonings, and rated celebrites adorning the styles in sexiness and the likelihood they would ask her out.
Girls wearing red lipstick supposedly highlights her “masculine features,” and girls with bangs appear pretentious and unapproachable. Darker, edgier makeup apparently only raises one question to men: “How do I ask someone out if I can’t even find the eyeballs in the sea of ink beneath her eyebrows?”
Women do not aim to please all men. Everyone has different styles, and different opinions. Male opinions are not the only ones that matter. And why do beauty blogs and websites write articles centered on appealing to men?
Those who are most likely to read articles like this are women who, like me, have a true interest in makeup as a fashion statement. Their readers are women who understand men often do not know anything about makeup or fashion whatsoever, and their opinions do not stop them from taking part in whatever beauty trends they please.
So ladies, I say wear as much (or as little) makeup as you please, wear the clothes you want and do whatever the heck you want with your hair, regardless that you’re in college and you’re not supposed to care, and whether men have a taste for it or not.
I know I won’t halt all use of red lipstick or stop appreciating other girls’ pixie cuts simply because men “don’t like it.” Don’t let our patriarchal society define how you choose to present yourself.