When I first got into makeup, I didn’t think it would make me think this hard.
I know that’s kinda funny, but it’s true. I’ve had many episodes of what felt like existential crises, all thanks to something that most people would deem frivolous and shallow. And OK, maybe these personal observations and this “”inner turmoil”” are pretty petty in the grand scheme of things… but even deeming that shallow is part of what brings about this line of questioning.
Let me explain:
Makeup and beauty have always been linked to vanity even if we, as beauty lovers and enthusiasts, know that that’s not always the case. Still, this outside judgement somehow makes me feel guilty, sometimes, even about just merely liking makeup. One of my earliest posts, Makeup Raves from the Unlikeliest, kind of delves into that incongruity of my apparent personality and this sudden interest in makeup.
There is a stigma attached to makeup that automatically stamps people who are into it as rilly, rilly shallow and ditzy people. Then, I feel really stupid because my deepest desire when that happens is to somehow try to prove that I’m not, I’m not, I’m not! After this bout of weird insistence, I end up asking myself: why do you care so much what other people think?
See, to most people, being into makeup and beauty products is a signal that this person cares way too much about what other people think of her because she spends so much time, money, and effort on the way that she looks. Beauty lovers get attached a label or a type solely because they like having good lipstick and it’s horrible! Plus, improving upon your appearance gets you called a liar, for some reason?? What’s up with that?
Truthfully, though, it’s when I decide to put on a dark purple lipstick or wear canary yellow eyeshadow that I feel strangely free. Because I know that my acceptance of whatever possessed me to put on that kind of face on that day is pretty much saying that I don’t give a shit about what other people say or think about me.
It’s hard being scrutinized for something so meaningless, but it’s even harder when you let these things get to you so much that you stop being yourself.
This post is everything. I used to get a tiny bit hurt when I hear some people say that makeup wearers are fake. -_-
I KNOW! LOL what did I ever do to you ??? 😦
YES, YES, and YES. I wrote something a bit related to this; it’s on being “maarte” and “high-maintenance” in general. Sure, a lot of readers appreciated it, but I also got a lot of flak for it because some misunderstood it as flaunting and being too self-absorbed, when my main point was to prove that being deemed “high-maintenance” isn’t all there is to a person. I really hate how judgmental people who don’t understand our love for makeup and cosmetics enclose us into their box of erroneous and shallow first impressions. How would they feel if others did the same to them!? 😐
Haha I get you, but I wouldn’t call myself high maintenance! I feel like there’s a difference between liking makeup and being “high maintenance.” Do I want to look groomed? Sure. Do I need to put on makeup to go outside? Not in the slightest. I do think that people often put both makeup lovers/users AND high maintenance people in boxes that they don’t deserve to be in. I just remember that not everyone’s opinion matters. 🙂
I’m not asserting that being high maintenance is superior to those who aren’t, however… just like how regular makeup wearers aren’t superior to those who don’t and vice versa. Sometimes I think others’ hatred for us makeup lovers partly stems from that thinking. Maybe they think we think we’re superior to them, so they try to bring us down and put us in boxes we don’t deserve to be in. They seem to forget that the traits they assigned to that box aren’t all there is to us and that they actually hurt our feelings sometimes.
But then, you’re completely right—why should we give a shit? Screw boxes in general! We don’t need to live by others’ preconceived stereotypes of us. 😆
very well said!
Thank you! x
I could write a very long comment here but for now let me just say: I feel ya. Haha
LOL I’d love to read the comment, actually! Or blog mo hehe.
This is such a perfect post. I don’t normally wear make-up because I am just too lazy and always wake up late. Recently, I wanted to have my hair colored green. Somehow, it made me remember what my current workmate told me months ago. You see, I’m very petite and recently gained a little weight. I’m not chubby, still thin but my old loose shirts now sorts of fits me “sexily”, shows my curves, defines my boobs.
I am guilty of using make-up to look good for others. But there was never a time I dressed up for anyone. I actually do not think about my clothes, I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of girl. And most of my clothes are bought my mother/aunts/cousins. I only buy shirts of my favorite bands and stuff.
I put up dyeing my hair because of what my workmate said. She even said, “I don’t wear fitting clothes like you because people will notice.” Maybe I was just too dumb at that moment, I did not reply.
When I got home, I realized what an idiot my workmate was (I do not consider her friends anymore). Whatever you wear, even if it’s a trash bag, people will always have something to say.
I don’t know what happened but I just bleached a section of my hair, and will put some green dye next week. I don’t feel uncomfortable anymore because I am not doing it for anyone. If I like how my hair looks when it’s green, then instead just a section of it, I am going to dye all my hair green.
Hi Di! Thank you for sharing your story. I know the feeling of acting (or not acting) based on someone’s comment or reaction. I’m sure people will love your green hair. 😀
I completely empathize and relate. It’s one of the reasons I also talk about feminism and art and poetry on my l’il ol’ green beauty blog, because not only do those things also define me, I’m very aware that people consider beauty shallow – heck, even I consider it kind of shallow! But, it’s also kind of fun. And we all need fun in our lives. It’s definitely an existential thing, when you consider how your identity fits into the beauty world. I’m a teacher, I have a PhD…I know that some people think it’s really weird I have a beauty blog as well. But I’ve never understood why people think an interest in beauty or fashion should be mutually exclusive with intelligence or an interest and engagement with the world around you. I very much view this as a feminist issue, and that our fear of being stigmatized is largely a result of messaging that women are either ‘pretty’ OR ‘intelligent.’ Once we can get over this dichotomous hump, we’ll be well on our way to not judging ourselves for writing beauty blogs!! As Whitman said, “I contain multitudes.” Right on Walt!
That’s funny you mention that, because my whole other “life” exists on a different blog (oops) because I was so hesitant to merge the two things together (but yay for feminism and art and poetry!).
And yes, I do agree with your assessment. I know so many people who wouldn’t dare wear green eyeshadow or a red lipstick because “it’s just not who they are.” I say, unless you try it, you will never know! Yay for us and Walt! Haha
Hear hear. I came into the hobby late, when I was already in my 30s. Add to that is the industry and background I have, and it’s no wonder that I don’t let my “real life” friends know I am interested in makeup enough to have a blog. I couldn’t take the inevitable reactions.
I didn’t know your friends didn’t know! All my friends know and reunions are sometimes excruciating, haha. I know they mean well/don’t make malicious comments but it’s like… um. I don’t know, really awkward.
I apply my makeup in the office using a big mirror because like you, I don’t give a shit. I feel soooo happy playing with my makeup and I also feel prettier and motivated though I am not really feeling good or I lack a decent sleep. 😁
Haha go Juvy!
Tamaaaaa!!! As much as i want to say i don’t care what other people think, I actually kind of do. I don’t want to be stereotyped as bobo just because i dedicate a whole blog talking about makeup. There’s so much more to a person than their love of makeup but sometimes, you get judged on the spot and written off as having nothing between your ears. ay naku…
HAHAHA yun nga e, I care but I don’t want to… so I’ll try not to. 😀
Snaps to that! ❤
I usually don’t give a shit but sometimes, I can’t help it. Parang yung sa ‘class system’ whatever, I laughed at it too, tbh. Pero minsan kasi, nakakayamot na isipin na some (or most) people would belittle you just because of your complexion. Parang sa makeup. Karamihan would automatically assume that just because I’m into makeup, ang tanga or ang bobo ko na agad or I’m too self-absorbed and narcissistic. I like reading books too! And when they find out about that, they’d get this surprised look na para bang ‘dude, you’re into beauty shit why are you into reading books as well’. As if those two can’t be a hobby or a passion of one person.
Basta ang importante, we love ourselves for who we are 🙂 (Dami kong sinabi haha)
Haha sa skin tone naman, I really used to make the effort to be as brown as I could be, just to kinda dare people to say I “got ugly” or “hindi bagay,” but tbh I think I look better brown, haha.
Sa makeup naman, parang nahihiya ako mag-color depende kung sino makikita ko. Pero sana hindi na. 🙂
Hear, hear! “Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.”
You pretty much put into words everything I’ve been feeling lately. I was ashamed of being a beauty blogger and tried to either hide my blog’s existence, or downplay it, but now I seriously couldn’t care any less. I love blogging, I love makeup, both of them make me happy. I also love science, and among my friends and relatives I am the biggest astronomy nerd. But even if I wasn’t, so what? So freaking what if a girl just wants to be a girl and play with makeup? I judge people by their actions, not by their hobbies or IQ.
Aw, thank you so much! Everything else you said is true. At the end of it, the “issue” is really a big SO WHAT? Live and let live. 🙂
Also, I was really surprised to see this comment as your blog is something I regularly check. 🙂
“Because I know that my acceptance of whatever possessed me to put on that kind of face on that day is pretty much saying that I don’t give a shit about what other people say or think about me.” !!!!!! PREACH IT
HAI GABY. ❤ Yaaaay
Hahaha, a few months ago, someone told me (after seeing an ereader on my desk) —
“Ha?! Nagbabasa ka? Hindi ka mukhang nagbabasa. Hindi ka din mukhang nagsusulat sa blog. Mukha kang lakwatsera na lasengga na lumalabas every night.”
At least it was said to my face, and in a genuinely surprised tone — like it’s not possible to be someone who loves wearing makeup, reading books, writing/blogging, and going out. It’s possible to be all of those things AND MORE. 😛
Although, it didn’t affect me much, because I used to be just as ignorant of the makeup-wearing populace. Happy that I met admirable makeup-wearing women who changed my views early on.
Hahaha sorry medyo gago yun a. I didn’t think naman they were shallow, more like “oh cool,” lol. I think it’s because the first people into makeup I knew, I knew before they were interested in makeup. I didn’t think lowly of them; I just thought this wasn’t something I’d be into.
Haha. Yes, medyo gago nga. She has no filter, as in nada. But I’m already used to her being like that, I learned to appreciate that at least she says stuff to my face.
Before, I didn’t think makeup-wearing people are shallow, but I thought it’s a waste of time. I thought it’s a chore, like washing dishes. Didn’t realize it’s a fun activity. Naisip ko, if my mom, aunts, doctors, and dentist find it worth spending time for, it must be worthwhile, and it is!
Yes! I have this problem all the time, people ask me about my hobbies and I want to say makeup but don’t want to be labeled an airhead. Sigh. Problems.
Hahaha we can say “art!”
HAHAHA! I got asked this question for a job interview. The first thing that came to mind was makeup and I couldn’t even modify with saying makeup artistry as makeup is something of a personal hobby for me (probably for all of us here).
I definitely empathize with that I feel like if it’s a creative job, then mention it, otherwise probs should leave it out :]
What a great post! I’ve given a lot of thought to these problems, too. When I first started my blog, I was afraid to post photos of my face for fear that a fellow academic might find them and, horrors, discover that I didn’t spend every moment of my life poring over 17th-century texts. Sometimes I still have the paranoid fear that when I go on the job market, a search committee will stumble across my blog and be like, “Nope, we can’t have someone who owns that many lipsticks in our department.” In general, though, I’ve stopped giving a shit. Life is hard enough; why should we begrudge ourselves and others harmless hobbies like makeup? Plus, the beauty bloggers I read regularly are some of the smartest people on the internet. ❤
Truth! ❤ I know what you mean, though. I am so scared people "who don't understand" will find my YouTube videos hahaha. Ha.
I honestly agree to everything.
I was the kind of girl to never wear makeup, or skirts for that matter, then I started to like both these things, in particular make up. And what really astonish me to this date is that one of the first reaction I got was: “you shouldn’y change yourself to please others”. While I honestly always saw makeup as a way to have fun with colours! And I still see people annoyed when someone start talking about it, or even my friends (which are ALWAYS with make up on) commenting on make up blogs (which they found for a reason) as places for people who have nothing to do and too much free time. Why? Why is speaking of something you like a “waste of time”?
And, yes, the worst of all is that we notice because we can’t help think about what others will think about us and out choices…
Oh, man, that’s so annoying. The general reaction of people I already knew weren’t really mean or anything, just kind of confused haha. I think this is the time to make an effort not to care about what people who don’t matter think. 😀
Easier said than done! 😀
Probably my friends react like that because they don’t know I have a blog (even the one before the actual one), lol, and it’s perfectly clear WHY they don’t know! 😉
Let’s forget all together that she’s smart and talented. She likes makeup, she must be shallow and vain. Ugh.
I feel you.
/shallow and vain ~
Since I’m a little late to the comment game, I just have to say 3 words: YOU DO YOU ❤
Seriously. When someone tells me why I need so much makeup, I just tell them, "Do you think I woke up like this?" And more often than not it shuts them up or makes them laugh. Really makes for a good comeback.
Totally agree with everything on here.
Haha. I love T-Swift.
Woohoo! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow! 🙂
I got into makeup this year! Terribly unexpected because back when I used to work in the magazine industry, I couldn’t care less about the products being sent, being shot, being published. I even thought I was “above and beyond” all the frivolousness. What a douche thing to say, really, and not to mention, hypocritical, since now I LOVE putting on eye shadow and blush and etc. Makeup makes people look and feel good (especially if done well haha)!
Haha sayang yung mga free! Hehe, yeah I feel bad about my judginess. Bad, Carina.
Yes to this post! I’ve been called ‘maarte’ because I wear makeup all the time and can’t go out without it (when all my life I’ve been nothing but normcore prep, hehehe). Thankfully, I don’t feel the need to explain to them that I get more zits when I go out without anything on my face, hence makeup forever… Pero dito nagexplain ako. Hahaha. Blindingly bright fuchsia lips with a shirt-jeans-sneakers combo? YES!
Talaga?? Haha my skin got worse when I started using makeup. I used to have really really nice, baby butt skin even if I washed my face with my bar soap lang lol. Yay, you do you! 🙂
Yeah! Kasi I have large pores (na ayaw lumiit, hehehe) and a very oily T-zone. So stuff happens easily and before you know it, boom! Zit you go. Baliktad nga yata hehehe
I could not agree more! I can relate.
Yay, here’s to not caring!
Hear, hear! 🙂
I’m not much of a make-up person but when I do I pretty much always create the same neutral looks even if I use different products. Plus, I primarily use makeup to hide scarring so I don’t scare people, ha! We should think of putting on makeup as a social courtesy – well unless of course you go on a casual outing with celebrity-level makeup… It’s too bad that the notion ‘oh she’s into beauty stuff, so shallow/nothing better to do’ is still prevalent, but that said, I don’t like discussing my blog stuff unless someone specifically asks me a question… Hmm not sure what my point is anymore, but great blog here, I love the aesthetics! x
Yes, I’m the same! I don’t really talk about beauty stuff unless someone expresses interests or asks me a question. 🙂 I think that women shouldn’t be EXPECTED to wear makeup, but I agree that it’s a social courtesy to present yourself well in the presence of others, whether or not that entails makeup for you.
Thank you for the kind words!