This is one that I'm probably most tired of. Not just because I'm a makeup artist, or that I enjoy wearing makeup as much as I do not wearing any, but because it can be the most polarizing in terms of self- acceptance and awareness. Don’t worry I get it- YouTube pretty much changed the game up for average women searching for ways to contour and find the most miracle working product, while overloading the industry with professional wanna-be's and drawing too much attention to big beauty brands that exploit them all the more. Still, the beauty industry is only to blame for so much of what’s wrong with the idealism's and expectations that we have on ourselves and each other. It used to be that feminist’s only had magazines spreads and commercials to protest with their photo-shopped hips, silicone silhouettes, diet fads and whatnot. Now with the "Baddie" craze of social media it would seem that the average woman doesn’t stand a flying chance in talks of what’s considered to be the standard of beauty in America.
Insert Alicia Keys’ of the world. What bothers me most about the No Makeup “movement” is that it’s counterproductive; its double standard the antithesis of why so many women, particularly dark skin black women, tend to be so insecure about the way that they naturally look, because their image isn’t typically celebrated without it. Insert slavery. Ancient slavery. It was there centuries ago where the profound dynamic of “light skin vs. dark skin” was created that formed what we now call Colorism. That’s when you judge a person or group of persons based upon their complexions and classify them in terms of status such as economic or educational. Basically back then the whiter you were the wealthier or more affluent you were considered to be, the darker the more detestable. Still is true in just about every culture on the planet.
That said- if you ask me black women of the new age have it harder than ever before. We don’t just have to endure Colorism and every other ism…but we are witnessing the battle royal of what I’m coining the Baddie Revolution. True- with the onslaught of the information age more and more women of color became educated and conscious; many now wearing so much as their natural hair and bare face with both pride and protest. It’s a beautiful thang. Still If I remember correctly when Viola Davis revealed her natural face on a popular prime time television show, she got drug through the mud, Honey, and social media called that woman everything but a child of God without eyebrows! But when Alicia Keys swore off makeup beaming fresh from the dermatologist with her freckles on fleek she was celebrated for embracing her inner goddess. All with the turban in tow!
Forbes recently released an article on a study showing social media linking to depression. The study suggests that constant usage gives users the illusion that their peers are living better lives then they are. In the world of Instgram and Snapchat Baddies I'm sure that the idea of Beauty has plenty to do with that. This leads to my point: because of Breeding during slavery the institution of what Colorism is built upon also translates to a person’s entire appearance and not just their skin tone. This includes physique, hair length and texture, material assets and accomplishments. You see it all the time. Millions of people share the same types of pictures and memes everyday but the ones with the most likes go to the people that are the “hottest”. And in black culture that tends to mean long hair with a pretty face and an hourglass shape. As the subject to Jasmine Sullivan’s hit song Mascara, many-a beautiful guys and gals have made profitable careers on social media with their great looks (get your money Boo-Boo!). It's the argument that the use of makeup is a means of intentional deception that I find ridiculous and is no more valid than a black woman who wears a hair weave hates herself or wants to be white.
Can I get an Amen! when I say it’s hard enough as it is on the journey to loving yourself, which is every bit of a lifelong ride. We are all out here trying to make peace within with what we’ve been given and er’body ain’t starting out with the same goods! Okay! At the end of the day, makeup or no makeup, do you. But please for the love of lipstick don’t make your beauty better, realer, or somehow blacker because of your personal decision. Black is beautiful period. What’s sad is that we preach that while not believing it at the same damn time. We post quotes on our timeline about natural beauty while cursing at our own reflections. So what some women wear more makeup than others, hell some need it. Some women just give off better energy with some perfect lashes and eyebrows on. I know I do. I spent most of my adulthood eradicating the bullying and negative thoughts that I struggled with in adolescence. Learning how to do my makeup was a huge part of that and I’m sure I’m not the only one. And don’t let these Brotha's fool you, they preach a good game but no one is checking for that REAL natural beauty: no makeup, unkempt brows, hyper-pigmentation, discoloration, mustache and chin hair. THAT’S how we naturally look if you wanna go there. So pleaaase miss me with the "take her swimming" tags when most of y’all don’t even know how to swim! DAB. So no, Miss Thang, your eyeshadow doesn’t define you anymore than that crinkly kitchen on the back of your head! You better figure out how to keep it fly and sanctified, love yourself and go ‘head on.
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