The debate that surrounds feminism and makeup is a thought provoking one. The original marketing of makeup was that the products existed as a way for girls and women to make themselves more visually appealing. Makeup feeds on women’s insecurities but also on how we want to appear our best, our most attractive and most desirable.
Our sexuality and attractiveness seem to be defined by how much makeup we wear. When looking at modern society through a close lens, women ask their friends if they look good before going on nights out. Friends ask friends if they’re ‘fit’ enough to pull, asking for opinions on their outfits and make up. These types of conversations show that women place a massive emphasis on how attractive they are, based on their appearance, and by extension their makeup and style.
Since Laura Mulvey introduced the term, ‘The Male Gaze’ into feminist dialogue, the argument that women exist to satisfy to sexual desires of men has become a large discourse with the media. When discussing the reason for makeup being introduced into society, it is clear to see that it started out as a platform to make women feel insecure. Undeniably, the makeup industry has a massive play in women’s sexuality, but also is a large contributor to a woman’s insecurities.
Many women express that they can’t leave the house without wearing a small bit of makeup, linking to how makeup covers up our insecurities. When looking at this further, makeup could be seen to create our insecurities, we no longer accept our appearance for how it is naturally, we constantly are picking at ways to edit and improve it. We do this buy covering our face in foundation, lengthening our lashes and lining our lips.
The makeup industry asks people to spend their hard earned money on makeup. Makeup is considered to be a luxury item; it costs a lot to buy, but is considered a must within modern day society. Even when looking at the makeup industry outside of a patriarchal social setting, it can be viewed in regard to capitalism. The makeup industry is a big money market. It’s worth $445 billion and can be seen to capitalize off of the anxieties of its consumers. Makeup takes our money, hides our natural beauty and bullies us into a state of insecurity.