Image and Makeup

Being a teenage girl means that I am in one of the groups that is, arguably, under the most pressure to fit into society’s expectations of how to look. For me, the topic seems unavoidable as image is constantly the focus of the media.

The other day I was watching an educational YouTube video on one of the novels I’m studying at the moment and as I scrolled down the comments I was met with line after line not on the content of the video, but the woman’s appearance. I felt angry that the commenters actively chose to ignore people’s views and ideas to focus on their appearance. Not only this, but it seems that image decides the quality of the video. This is only one little example, but it’s an issue that I think needs to be talked about.


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With or without?

Some people think that women and girls must make a conscious choice: to wear or not to wear makeup. (That is the question!) Those in favour of no makeup may argue that we shouldn’t feel the need to impress others or feel pressured to cover up our insecurities.

I choose to wear makeup pretty much every day because it makes me feel comfortable and gives me confidence. Sometimes its the boost I need to make me feel able to do and try things, however simple, like introducing myself to a stranger or putting up my hand in class. I don’t think people should say that wearing makeup is always a bad thing for this reason. Though I agree we should accept and embrace ourselves, including flaws and insecurities, gaining confidence often comes from ‘fake it til you make it’. Makeup is a way of ‘faking it’ in a way, and this is why it is important to me. When I see people without makeup I respect them for either having the confidence to ‘bare’ themselves or just not caring what people think.

When I’m still half asleep on a school morning, trying to get my eyeliner to look even, (which is pretty darn hard) I often think angrily, why don’t boys have to do this? That’s just one of those things that has developed in our society that is hard to understand sometimes when you think hard about it, but is so familiar to us that it just seems natural.

Makeup is strange when you really think about it. We paint our faces like a blank canvas. Yet we aren’t blank. We have these sometimes amazing and sometimes not-so-amazing features. Freckles and dimples and beautiful eyes of blue, green, grey, brown, hazel. Lips someone secretly wishes to kiss and a cute little nose. Believe it or not, someone out there finds what you call your horrible chin quite attractive. Maybe not on its own, but because it makes up the beautiful, amazing, unique, special person that is you whoever you are. It’s okay to hide those features under foundation if you want to, and it’s okay to feel happy showing them. People may judge you, but you have to let them do that and let their nasty words and  cruel looks go over your head. In my opinion the important thing is acceptance and confidence. Accept yourself as your whole self, faults and all, ‘covered up’ or ‘bare’, and you have the key to confidence!


The Trail

I leave a trail.

The half-eaten sandwich;

Traces where mascara and tears splashed

As they rolled down flushed cheeks;

The stain of painted lips pressed against cold glass,

Or the white paper cup;

Fading scents of vanilla perfume

That linger where limbs have been;

Long hairs that fell from the sweeping chestnut locks

I left my trail,

Never to be followed by you.

What is beauty?

Is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

Yes. i think beauty IS in the eye of the beholder. Except there’s a ‘but’. And the ‘but’ is that society has such a strong influence on how people perceive the world that many people follow the same beliefs and conventions. These ideas that have been drilled into people’s minds make me wonder if they weren’t so used to thinking that a certain feature is attractive, would they have a different opinion?

I understand that down to human nature, we are all attracted to features, which can be scientifically proven. This leads me on to question what beauty is. The definition: “a combination of qualities, such as shape, colour, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight.”

But is this really what beauty is? I feel that emotions and personality have more to say than it seems about beauty. For instance, clothing isn’t just about physical appearance, but it can represent so much about a person and their character.

In my opinion, the most beautiful thing is sincerity. When something has not only a meaning, but a genuine, heartfelt meaning. Like a smile- it’s so easy to tell a fake smile, and to me it’s ugly. It’s a bright, sincere smile that I find beautiful. Even if it isn’t often that someone does smile, it’s better than always having a fake smile.

Just Writing-Discoveries

I have discovered a few things today. First is that I am finding it very difficult to be an optimist. I feel like the pessimistic side of me is tearing me up and today it ruined my state of mind.

A levels are hard. I properly understood why people say there is a jump between GCSEs and A levels. It’s not a jump. It’s a leap over a gorge with only one leg. As you can tell, I need to work on my analogies.

I need to work on a lot of things, I feel. When I imagined starting sixth form, I saw myself striding in wearing a pretty outfit, scribbling away in notebooks and enjoying the free periods. Well, no. I can only blame myself, but every day I have felt self conscious and ugly about my clothes, my makeup or my hair. I even bought myself some expensive makeup brushes to cheer myself up and so I could do my makeup better. Then, in lessons I have begun to feel weak and useless. There is a simple answer to all of this; not to care, or to put it even more simply, not give a shit. But as usual, I care too much. I give too many shits (metaphorically speaking, of course). How can I change the way I think without changing my personality?

Basically, I feel inadequate. I keep getting stuck in the frame of mind that whatever I do, it will never be enough. Trying to do homework and revision while feeling like that is just impossible. So I’ve climbed into my bed with my laptop and am listening to upbeat songs. It’s kind of worked. I think that hopefully, if I get a good night’s sleep tonight and don’t dream about someone trying to murder me, I will wake up and start afresh with a better outlook on the day.

So there you have it. My feelings, my thoughts poured out. I think I might do this more often because I am starting to feel better already.


 What are some (or one) of the things about which you usually don’t trust your own judgment, and need someone’s else’s confirmation?

As a teenager- and I think most teenage girls will agree- clothes and appearance ARE important and hiding insecurities is even more important. So, it might seem shallow and silly, but I usually need a second opinion on my clothes or my hair out of my own insecurity. The way I see it is that when someone asks, “Does this look ok?”, they are really asking, “Does this hide my awful zit?” or something along those lines. 

With my writing, I often ask for someone else’s opinion because, especially when I am writing from an honest, open perspective, I feel conscious of my choices and judgements. 

In my opinion, I think having a second opinion is usually a good thing, because it encourages the development and improvement of an idea. It is also support. We need our friends to be there and tell us when our hair looks greasy or our bums look big. We need confirmation that our own personalities are amazing because they are unique, when we forget it’s okay to be different. We need others to support us and help us grow as people.