how i perceive makeup and how it can affect young girls’ self image” by molly spring

this past week i saw something online, and that person was expressing why they need to wear makeup because they are “so ugly without it”. that particular phrase made my stomach sink and my heart hurt.

as teenage girls, we are often taught to look our best, to wear pretty clothes, and cover up insecurities with makeup and products. we are taught to present the best version of ourselves to others and to show a sense of beauty and grace while in public. this “best version of ourselves” can often be tied to the idea that it must include a full face of makeup, otherwise it is incomplete. however, i would like to politely disagree.

i think the best versions of ourselves are shown through our passion, determination, humor, strength, and the ability to bring people together. personally, i feel as if the best version of myself is when i am surrounded by the people i love and i feel perfectly comfortable, acting as the person i truly am, not when i am wearing a full face of makeup.

i have not always had this outlook on makeup; in fact, i used to never leave the house without makeup. if i was going to school or sports practice, to a friend’s house or a family 

member’s house, to the grocery store or a walk around the block, i was rarely ever seen without some kind of makeup on. but sometime within the middle of my freshman year, i had a turning point. i started to wear less and less makeup because of the way it made my skin flare up. little did i know, i was subconsciously doing myself an enormous favor. i was giving my skin a chance to breathe, but in turn, i was able to breathe. i eventually felt more confident in my own skin and my face started to get back to normal. but even after my skin started looking better, i had no interest in going back to makeup. and then, and only then, did i truly feel as if i was presenting the best version of myself. free from anything that hid who i really am. 

that is why i challenge anybody who reads this, to try to a week without makeup and see how you feel. notice if your skin looks healthier or you feel that much better with those extra 20 minutes of sleep instead of having to put on makeup. or on the flipside, maybe you feel much more vulnerable or as if people are constantly watching you. either way, i think this challenge could be very eye-opening and transformative for young girls. no matter the outcome, just remember that you shouldn’t let makeup or products get in the way of the best version of yourself.

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