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!

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Failure

Writing 101: Your Personality on the Page

What am I scared of?

Failure. Feeling like I have failed myself, or-even worse- others. I have always been one of those people that tries to please everyone. I used to get upset when things went wrong, when I caused a problem, when someone didn’t like me. But I have learned that some things you can’t control; you can’t expect everyone to like you! Still, I can’t help but feel like I have to make it up someone that doesn’t seem to like me.

When I say failure, I don’t mean little mistakes or accidents. I can cope with that. I mean flaws that were caused by me, that give me the responsibility for a downfall. I fear failure because of pressure to succeed. And it’s mainly from myself. My parents were never pushy or pressuring, or even that strict. Whenever we got reports at school, my mum would laugh because she didn’t need to put any pressure on me to do well-I always pressured myself. And I did do well. I’m one of those dark horses, always in the top set/class but quietly forgotten, until I shock everyone on results day. Nobody knows that to do so well I did so much revision my eyes spun, I went through several meltdowns and didn’t see my dad for months.

It’s not just school, though. I tend to be a perfectionist in most of the things I do. My idea is that if you do something, you have to give it meaning, and that usually means working hard. One of the reasons I love writing is because there are no right answers; you are free to express yourself with only the barriers you set yourself.

Fear dictates my confidence level. When I feel I have failed something or someone, it convinces me I am not good enough. I fall to a low that takes up to weeks and months to get out of. This is a vicious circle, making me fear failure even more because I don’t want to lose MORE confidence.

I used to have a huge fear of forgetting the memories I had spent my life making. Part of that fear was being a worrier, and I mean a really big worrier. I used to worry about every little thing. I’m not as bad now, but of course, I’m a teenager-there are plenty of things I worry about.

Growing up scares me, too. This time next year I will be seventeen. I could be driving. I will be applying for the university that I have visited and picked. I will have done my AS level exams. Some of my friends will be turning eighteen. It’s scary enough thinking a year ahead, never mind any further! I don’t know what I want to do with my life when I leave school. All I know is that I want to write.