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Wearing Makeup: Liberating Or Oppressive?

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Makeup is a popular commodity used by many individuals for different purposes and it can be liberating for some but also a form of oppression. Wearing makeup can be liberating for individuals because it allows people to express their creativity, and people can make a living off of it. However, makeup can be oppressive in the population because if you wear makeup you may be perceived as don’t love yourself or if you are not a woman you can’t wear makeup. While most Americans today enjoy wearing makeup, have you ever thought of the idea is wearing makeup a form of liberation or oppression?

The use of makeup is such a common thing for teens and adults. It has also become a part of a lot of people’s everyday routines. Creativity stems from makeup use because everyone has their own way of applying makeup and our faces and skin types are vastly different. In the article “Women’s makeup Careers: An integrative Study of Color Cosmetic Use and “Face Value”, Fabricant and Gould stated that, “ women also see makeup as important to their lives even as liberating in allowing them to express their femininity”.

Wearing makeup makes people feel good! The ability to choose what you want to do with your face is exciting and a new experiment every day.Makeup is liberating because many people can make a living off of being a makeup artist. There are many youtubers who have gained millions of subscribers by just creating simple makeup tutorials. Patrick Starr is a prime example of someone who started a youtube channel because he had a passion for makeup and that resulted in him being a successful businessman. In an interview with “People magazine” Starr stated that “Youtube changed my life. It’s creative. It keeps me busy. I’ve been able to acquire beautiful relationships with major brands”. Patrick Starr has over 4 million subscriber on instagram. Making a living off of makeup may not be for everyone but it can be a possibility for some people.

Oppression is an ongoing issue that will continue to prevail in today’s society. Makeup can be a form of oppression because if you wear makeup you may be perceived as not loving your natural self. In the passage “Oppression”, Marilyn Fye describes the oppressed people as “ the living of one’s life is confined and shaped by forces and barriers”. If you decide to wear makeup some people may jump to you just not loving yourself when realistically you wear it because it just makes you happy. The oppressed population are so simple minded, meaning it is one way or the other. If it is not what they consider as normal it is a problem. the author describes the oppressed as being “caged in: all avenues, in every direction”.

For example, I fill in my eyebrows everyday because I prefer the look over my natural eyebrows and people assume that I don’t love my natural eyebrows. I love every aspect of myself I just have a preference and there is nothing wrong with that.Wearing makeup can also be a form of oppression because If you are not a woman you shouldn’t wear makeup because it may ruin the image of being a real man. In “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity”, Michael S. Kimmel states that “One may never do anything that even remotely suggests femininity. Masculinity is the relentless repudiation of the feminine”. If a man wears makeup he is considered to not be manly enough, but the question is why should what you wear or do define your masculinity? Society has their own definition of what a man is and there will always be an oppressed population who will have one way of thinking. Opinions constantly influence the decisions of people and there will always be an oppressed population. Based on my research and my own knowledge, I think that makeup is a form of liberation because we should have the freedom to do what we want with our bodies. There are multiple uses for makeup whether it be for art, a necessity, a job, or just for fun. Who cares about what is trending or what society thinks just do you and love everything about yourself!

Works Cited:

  1. Fabricant, Stacey M., and Stephen J. Gould. “Women’s Makeup Careers: An Interpretive Study of Color Cosmetic Use and ‘Face Value.’” Psychology and Marketing, vol. 10, no. 6, 1993, pp. 531–548., doi:10.1002/mar.4220100606.
  2. “Patrick Starrr Reveals How He Went From Makeup-Loving Teen to YouTube Businessman.” PEOPLE.com, Time Inc, 23 Nov. 2016, people.com/social-media-stars/patrick-starrr-bio/.
  3. Fye, Marilyn. “Oppression.” Women In Culture: An Intersectional Anthology for Gender and Women’s studies, edited by Bonnie Kime Scott, Susan E. Cayleff, Anne Donadey, and irene Lara, Blackwell Publishing, 2017, pp. 13-16.
  4. Kimmel, S. Michael. “Masculinity as Homophobia: Fear, Shame, and Silence in the Construction of Gender Identity.” Women In Culture: An Intersectional Anthology for Gender and Women’s studies, edited by Bonnie Kime Scott, Susan E. Cayleff, Anne Donadey, and irene Lara, Blackwell Publishing, 2017, pp. 24-33.

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"Wearing Makeup: Liberating Or Oppressive?" GradesFixer, 15 Jan. 2020, https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/wearing-makeup-liberating-or-oppressive/. Accessed 29 May 2020.
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