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.

Makeup…

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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!

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is an inspiration to me. I don’t just love her fashion, but her attitude to life. There are so many quotes from her that I love that I can’t pick a favourite.

Earlier this year I went to Madam Tussauds (if that’s how you spell it?) and I got my picture taken with her Breakfast at Tiffany’s waxwork. Then, my friend bought me a boxset of her films and I fell in love with Roman Holiday and Sabrina. To me, she is such an icon because even after so many years, people like me still enjoy her work. She has a timeless beauty and elegance and such a positive outlook on life, which I wish I had more of. I aspire to be like her, if only in attitude.

Even when she was a major star, she didn’t let fame go to her head and didn’t change herself:

“Success is like reaching an important birthday and finding you’re exactly the same.”

In terms of fashion, I like her style. She could look gorgeous and elegant, and attractive to men without showing everything like so many celebrities do now-just watch pretty much any chart music video.

“There is more to sex appeal than just measurements. I don’t need a bedroom to prove my womanliness. I can convey just as much sex appeal, picking apples off a tree or standing in the rain.”

I hope she will live on as an icon to girls like me long into the future, because I think we need more people like Audrey in the world.

Some other quotes:

“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!”

“As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.”

What is beauty?

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/absolute-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.